Retail news round-up: Lidl plans major expansion in the UK, Asos breaches employment law, M&S accused by MP, and McColl's sales rise
Lidl plans major expansion in the UK
Lidl will spend £70m on building a new distribution centre next year as part of major expansion plans for the UK, Belfast Telegraph reported.
The retailer said that the new 58,400 sq m depot in Doncaster would create 500 jobs. It will be its 13th warehouse in the UK.
The supermarket plans to invest £1.5bn over three years on expanding its warehouses and store and logistics network. It currently trades from 640 stores and wants to have 1,500 in the UK in the long term.
Lidl UK's head of warehouse expansion Adrienne Howells said the grocer was "laser focused" on the sustainable growth of its business.
Asos 'breaches employment law'
Asos has been accused of breaching employment law by restricting new temporary workers’ pay for longer than regulations permit, The Guardian reported.
The online retailer allegedly breached “the spirit if not the letter” of law developed to prevent exploitation of low-paid temporary workers.
Reports show that new temporary warehouse workers at Asos have been receiving lower wages than colleagues for three months longer than regulations allow.
GMB union has launched legal claims on behalf of workers at Asos's warehouse.
The UK agency worker regulations state: “After an agency worker completes a 12-week qualifying period with the same hirer, in the same role, they will be entitled to have the same basic terms and conditions of employment as if they had been employed directly by the hirer.”
Asos denied the claims.
A spokesperson said: "We are extremely disappointed in media reports suggesting that temporary workers are not paid equally at the site in Barnsley. This is completely untrue. In fact, all workers are paid the same rate from their first day – regardless of their temporary or permanent status.
"This means that we actually go further than the agency worker regulation guidelines, which don't require equal pay until 12 weeks of work. Our approach is to do what is right for the employee – and in many cases that means going above and beyond what’s required by law."
M&S accused by MP of hiding store closure from staff
Marks & Spencer has been accused by an MP of not disclosing which store it is planning to close to its workers, The Times reported.
Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden Siobhain McDonagh said that she was contacted by dozens of employees who were “shocked that M&S had not had the grace to at least tell staff which stores will be closing, so that they may prepare themselves for the year ahead”.
Ms McDonagh has written to M&S chief executive demanding a meeting.
A M&S spokesman said: “Our colleagues will be the first to know when proposals are made on specific stores and locations.”
McColl reports 1.9% increase in sales
McColl has reported a 1.9% increase in sales over the year to 27 November, The Scotsman reported.
It is also awaiting clearance for its takeover of 298 stores from the Co-operative to further increase its chain.
McColl’s chief executive Jonathan Miller said: “I am delighted to announce that with the recent opening of our new Erdington store, we have achieved our target of operating 1,000 convenience stores by the end of 2016.
"This is a significant milestone in our strategy to grow our neighbourhood presence.”