Retail news round-up on April 15, 2015: Next chief to give up bonus; Apple Watch reaches 1m pre-orders, Tesco asks staff to stay active.

Next chief to give up on bonus to pay staff

Next chief executive Lord Wolfson has agreed to forgo his bonus next year to help subsidise a 5% pay hike for his shop workers.

In a letter to Next workers, seen by the Daily Mail, he said: “We will again increase standard entry level wages by at least five per cent in our annual October wage review. In the event there is a shortfall in funding, I have agreed with the board that any bonus I might be due in the year ahead will be used to help fill the gap.”

Apple Watch reaches 1m pre-orders before launch

Pre-orders for the much-hyped Apple Watch have topped one million ahead of the devices’ launch on April 24, as early adopters rush to become the first to strap the tech giant’s latest shiny thing to their wrists.

Speaking to The Guardian, Ramon Llamas of tech market analysts IDC, said: “There are a lot of companies that would love to be selling 1m devices. But if you’re Apple, you’re sometimes unfairly judged when people say, ‘A million? That’s it?’ We started [our predictions for 2015] at 22m back in December and came back down to 16m. You’ve gotta give Apple a mulligan (a second chance) on their first-generation device – they’re learning a lot of things.”

Tesco asks staff to stay active

Tesco has encouraged its staff to get fit by dancing and running on the spot in store amid concerns about overweight checkout workers putting off customers. The grocer published a list of tips on how its 314,000 UK workers can stay active in their jobs and not become couch potatoes in a post on its staff website.

Industry insiders have said that the initiative is part of a broader move to smarten up Tesco stores in the eyes of consumers. One suggested that slimmer employees can work faster and are less likely to be off sick, according to the Sun.