Thursday newspaper round-up: John Lewis, Klarna, Spotify

updated: 17 September 2020 at 7:21am Author: Michele Maatouk

(Sharecast News) - John Lewis is working on plans for a massive reduction in the size of its London flagship store, converting entire floors into offices, as shoppers switch to buying online and the crisis on British high streets turns into a fight for survival amid the Covid pandemic. The staff-owned department store has applied for planning permission to switch up to three floors of its landmark Oxford Street store - which currently house children's ranges, electrical goods, kitchen and bathroom departments as well as dining areas - into office space for rent. - Guardian
Rishi Sunak has insisted that he will close the furlough scheme at the end of next month - but this week hinted that he could announce new measures to protect employment, telling MPs he would use "creative" ways to help keep people in jobs. The government will pay bonuses of £1,000 for employers who bring back furloughed staff, and has launched the £2bn "kickstart" job creation scheme to fund work placements for under-25s. - Guardian

The Government's drive to get workers back to the office has been dealt a fresh blow as new research reveals almost two thirds of employers believe staff are at least as productive when they work from home. Employers expect the proportion of staff that work from home regularly to double to 37pc after the coronavirus pandemic ends. Firms also predicted that more than a fifth of workers will never come to the office, up from 9pc prior to Covid, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which represents human resources professionals. - Telegraph

"Buy now, pay later" companies such as Klarna face a crackdown by the Financial Conduct Authority as part of a sweeping inquiry into lending practices in the unsecured credit market. Chris Woolard, the regulator's interim chief executive, will lead a review to examine the regulation of unsecured credit before leaving next year. - The Times

The battle between Spotify and Apple intensified yesterday, with the giant music streaming service lashing out at its rival's newly launched subscription bundle, claiming that it abuses its market position. Until now, Spotify and Apple have charged customers £10 a month for unlimited access to music and audio on their respective platforms. However, Apple has released a new subscription package that bundles its music, television and video services into one monthly deal for £15, called Apple One. - The Times