Thousands of retail jobs unviable, Next boss warns

The boss of one of the UK’s most successful and resilient High Street chains has told the BBC that hundreds of thousands of traditional retail jobs may not survive in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Lord Wolfson, who runs clothing firm Next, said there was a clear threat to thousands of jobs, which are now “unviable” because the lockdown has triggered a permanent shift to online shopping.

“I wouldn’t want to underestimate the difficulty that is going to cause a lot of people who work in retail, I think it’s going to be very uncomfortable,” he said.

His comments came just hours after the chancellor announced a new Job Support Scheme that would see the government top up the pay of people unable to work full time.

But the government’s contribution to workers’ pay will fall sharply compared with the furlough scheme. Under furlough, it initially paid 80% of

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State education boss leans on 16 remote-only school districts, including Gardner – News –

The Baker administration has left school reopening plans up to local officials but the state education commissioner is now asking 16 districts to lay out plans for when they will bring students back into the classrooms, citing a “stark discrepancy” between their reopening models and local public health metrics.


Education Commissioner Jeff Riley on Friday night wrote to officials in the districts that are offering remote-only instruction and have COVID-19 transmission rates that fall into the lowest risk categories in the state’s color-coded assessment system — Amesbury, Bourne, Boxford, East Longmeadow, Gardner, Pittsfield, Provincetown, West Springfield, Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public, Hoosac Valley Regional, Gill-Montague, Mohawk Trail, Mohawk Trail/Hawlemont, Manchester Essex Regional, Belmont and Watertown.


He asked for more information about their fall reopening plans and gave them 10 calendar days to respond.


“In light of the stark discrepancy between local public health data and your reopening plan, I

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British Airways boss Alex Cruz defends decision to axe 12,000 jobs

Alex Cruz standing in front of an airplane: MailOnline logo

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The boss of British Airways has defended his decision to cut up to 12,000 jobs and said the pandemic has left the national carrier ‘fighting for survival’.

Chief executive Alex Cruz stressed that ‘people need to get flying again’ if the company is to emerge through the winter and weather the ‘worst crisis in its 100 years of history’.

But he told MPs that many would-be customers are still cautious about travelling for fear their holiday destination will suddenly be brought on to the government’s quarantine list. 

Passenger numbers have nosedived and last week the airline only flew 187,000 passengers, compared with almost a million the same week last year. 

The slump in flights, of which roughly a quarter are operating, is causing BA to burn through £20million a day and has led to a jobs bloodbath.

Mr Cruz said: ‘Fewer passengers means

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