United Kingdom

Bella Italia andCafé Rouge plunge into administration with the loss of 1,900 jobs 

The owner of Bella Italia and Café Rouge has today plunged into administration with more than 1,900 jobs set to be axed.

The Casual Dining Group, which also owns Las Iguanas, said it would close 91 of its 250 restaurants, but confirmed it has saved others for now.

Most of the closures affect Bella Italia and Café Rouge, although 11 Las Iguanas restaurants, three Belgo branches and several eateries in airports will also shut. 

More than 1,900 workers are set to be made redundant, though 4,050 positions are reportedly secure at the moment.     

The latest blow for Britain's high street takes the total number of redundancies made by UK firms to 14,000 in just three days, after a string of companies announced job losses amid the coronavirus lockdown. 

John Lewis yesterday told staff it was 'highly unlikely' all of its department stores would reopen, as it announced the closure of one of its central London offices to cut costs. 

Upper Crust also axed 5,000 jobs, while Topshop's owner Arcadia reduced the number of staff in its head office by 500, citing 'very challenging times'.

Elsewhere in retail, luxury department store Harrods, furniture seller Harveys and TM Lewin cut more than 1,500 jobs between them. 

The owner of Bella Italia and Café Rouge has today plunged into administration with more than 1,900 jobs set to be axed (stock image)

The Casual Dining Group, which also owns Las Iguanas, said it would close 91 of its 250 restaurants, but has saved others for now (stock image)

Speaking today, the CDG said entering administration was in the best interest of stakeholders during the 'extreme operating environment' it is having to trade through.

It is looking for a new owner, but said that the administration would allow it to end negotiations with landlords, a 'critical step' before finding a buyer.

Chief executive James Spragg said: 'After reviewing all our options with advisers, it became clear that we needed to take this action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future for Casual Dining Group as we look to conclude a potential sale.

'We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them. 

'Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to.'

Administrator Clare Kennedy, from Alix Partners, said: 'We appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for all those associated with Casual Dining Group. 

Pictured: Employees from the John Lewis branch in Kingston, Surrey place social distancing markers on the floor 

Topshop's owner Arcadia yesterday reduced the number of staff in its head office by 500, citing 'very challenging times'

Harrods boss Michael Ward has told his staff that 700 jobs will have to go because of the need to cut costs

'Our immediate priorities are to assist those whose employment has been affected by today's announcement and to secure a sale for the group in order to protect jobs and provide the Group's much-loved brands with a sustainable platform for the future.'

The CDG is the latest high street restaurant firm to fall victim to the Covid-19 crisis, after Carluccio's and Chiquito collapsed into administration earlier in lockdown.

Frankie & Benny's bosses have also announced plans to close 125 branches with immediate effect, with no intention of reopening any restaurants when lockdown measures ease on July 4. 

How John Lewis' new boss is forced to wield the axe just months into the job 

Sharon White only joined John Lewis in January and has been hit by a pandemic that shut its stores and Waitrose supermarkets and now she must cut jobs, stores and bonuses.    

Ms White, 52, announced last summer she would leave her job as chief executive of Ofcom to take over from current chairman of the retailer Sir Charlie Mayfield at the beginning of next year.

Cambridge-educated Ms White had a number of senior civil servant roles at the Treasury and Ministry of Justice before she joined the media watchdog in 2015.

The 53-year-old has no formal retail experience and has been described as an 'unlikely candidate' by her predecessor.

She is married to Robert Chote, who is head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, with whom she has two children. The couple have been repeatedly dubbed 'Mr and Mrs Treasury'.

The mother-of-two was even rumoured to be in the running to become the next Governor of the Bank of England, a £480,000-a-year role.

After becoming Second Permanent Secretary in 2013, The Voice named Ms White as the seventh most powerful black person in Britain.

She was born to Jamaican immigrant parents and was brought up in Leyton, east London, where she went to a state secondary school.

Ms White graduated from Cambridge with an economics degree before studying for her Master's at University College London.

In another blow to UK business, Virgin Money said it would make 300 redundancies and close or merge 52 branches.   

And Ryanair pilots and cabin crew, who were forced to agree pay cuts of up to 20 per cent, were last night still waiting for a final decision on 3,500 job cuts. 

On Tuesday, 3,700 redundancies came at Airbus UK and EasyJet, including 700 pilots. 

Experts believe unemployment could hit 10 per cent even as taxpayers pay the wages of 11 million workers. 

They fear redundancies are picking up speed as the Government prepares to pare back the furlough scheme from August 1. 

It follows a 20 per cent contraction in the economy because of the lockdown, making it the worst month on record. 

This week, Boris Johnson laid out a route map out of recession focused around large infrastructure projects, investment in the NHS and schools, and cutting planning red tape. 

But yesterday he warned workers were still at a 'very, very serious' risk of losing their jobs. 

He said: 'I say to employers to keep supporting your workers with the furloughing scheme, it's much better to wait for times to get better rather than laying people off.' 

Defending his plans for the economy, he added: 'We're going to build, build, build and deliver jobs, jobs, jobs for the people of this country.' 

In response, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: 'Next week's financial statement could be the last chance to save millions of jobs. Will the Prime Minister start now by extending the furlough scheme for those parts of the economy which are still most at risk?' 

The coronavirus crisis has hammered UK business, with John Lewis bosses yesterday admitting it is 'highly unlikely' that all 50 stores will ever reopen again.   

Sharon White, who joined from broadcasting watchdog Ofcom before the pandemic began, has written to 80,000 staff at the retailer and its supermarket Waitrose warning them that their bonus is unlikely next year as she tried to improve profits. 

Harrods boss Michael Ward has also told his staff that 700 jobs will have to go because of the need to cut costs.

In a memo to staff, he said: 'With a heavy-heart, today I need to confirm that due to the ongoing impacts of this pandemic, we as a business will need to make reductions to our workforce' and said 14 per cent of its 4,800 staff would likely lose their jobs'.

John Lewis was struggling before the pandemic shut down their department stores and supermarkets.

In March profits slumped by 23 per cent to £123million and the bonus paid to staff since 1953 was dropped to two per cent of salary - the lowest for more than 60 years. 

John Lewis boss Sharon White has written to staff warning that jobs, stores and the annual bonus are all under threat because of coronavirus

 Ryanair pilots and cabin crew, who were forced to agree pay cuts of up to 20 per cent, were last night still waiting for a final decision on 3,500 job cuts (stock image)

On Tuesday, 3,700 redundancies came at Airbus UK and EasyJet, including 700 pilots (stock image) 

Sharon White's letter to thousands of staff, leaked to the Evening Standard, said: 'The difficult reality is that we have too much store space for the way people want to shop now.  

'As difficult as it is, we now know that it is highly unlikely that we will reopen all our John Lewis stores. 

'Regrettably, it is likely that there will implications for some Partners' jobs. We are in active discussions with landlords about ending some leases and renegotiating others to make the terms more flexible'. 

Shirtmaker TM Lewin collapses into administration  

TM Lewin collapsed into administration yesterday with 600 jobs axed.

The 122-year-old shirtmaker's 66 shops, which also sell shoes, suits and ties, will disappear from the high street but its online platform will remain.

The firm blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the move to digital-only as it could not afford to pay rents after stores shut in March. 

A TM Lewin source told MailOnline an email was sent to staff 25 minutes before a Microsoft team meeting to tell them they were being made redundant. 

John Lewis has opened 20 stores with social distancing in June and will now open ten more - raising questions about the remaining 20.

It said said shops in Basingstoke, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Chester, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Stratford and the Trafford Centre will reopen on Monday July 13.

Its Oxford Street department store will open later in the week, on July 16, as John Lewis said the size of the shop meant it needed extra time to finalise plans.

The latest raft of reopenings will take the total for the group so far to 32 since lockdown restrictions have eased for non-essential shops, with 18 remaining closed.

England was the first to allow retailers to reopen, on June 15, followed by Wales on June 23 and Scotland on June 29. 

The grim week for retail also saw Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group blame 'very challenging times' as it revealed plans to trim its head office operations.

The firm, which also owns Burton and other high street brands, said: 'Due to the impact of Covid-19 on our business including the closure for over three months of all our stores and head offices, we have today informed staff of the need to restructure our head offices.' 

Up to 5,000 jobs are also under threat at the group which owns Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza following plunging passengers numbers at railway stations and airports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The SSP group warned it expects to open only around a fifth of its sites in the UK by the autumn as travel is set to remain at very low levels amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Upper Crust owner SSP Group is axing up to 5,000 UK jobs (pictured, in Marylebone Station)

Harveys became another casualty of the pandemic on Tuesday as the furniture chain fell into administration, with the immediate loss of 240 jobs

It has launched a consultation on a restructure to 'simplify and reshape' the business in the face of the pandemic, which could lead to more than half of its 9,000-strong peak season workforce being axed. 

The group, which employs 9,000 people and has around 580 stores including those trading under the Caffe Ritazza brand, said head office and UK staff will be affected. 

TM Lewin collapsed into administration on Tuesday with 600 jobs axed.

The 122-year-old shirtmaker's 66 shops, which also sell shoes, suits and ties, will disappear from the high street but its online platform will remain.

The firm blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the move to digital-only as it could not afford to pay rents after stores shut in March. 

Earlier this month official data from the Office for National Statistics showed there were 600,000 fewer people on the payroll in May than in March.  

And the number of people claiming work-related benefits, which includes the unemployed, was up 126 per cent to 2.8 million.

How coronavirus has affected UK airlines and travel operators 

Flybe: Europe's largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. 

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was 'no guarantee that many European airlines would survive'. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000. 

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. 

Jet2: The airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline's planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain. 

TUI: Holiday giant Tui is looking to cut up to 8,000 roles worldwide with the firm calling Covid-19 the 'greatest crisis' the industry has faced.

The UK's biggest tour operator posted losses of 845.8 million euro (£747m) in the first half of 2020, compared to 289.1 million (£255m) in the same period 12 months previously. 

Football news:

Yeovil of England's 5th division about De Gea: No, I'm not Interested. Sorry, David
Henderson is the best player of Liverpool in the 2019/20 season
Massimo Moratti: The owners of Inter have everything they need to bring Messi
Gagliardini on the match with Shakhtar: They are strong, but Inter is determined
The President of Atletico Madrid on the departure of the Champions League: Not our night. They were lucky to score twice, we have a good team
Defender Lyon Of Marsal: We are thinking about reaching the final of the Champions League. We have a great chance of winning
Willian: Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. I'm here to collect trophies