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TALKING POINTS

Ralph Lauren mulls overhaul after tough quarter; shares decline

Associated Press

RETAIL

Ralph Lauren looks to avoid the trouble faced by rivals

Ralph Lauren Corp. is considering revamping its operating structure as it looks to avoid the fate of several retail rivals who’ve been unable to weather the unprecedented season for apparel. The company, which on Tuesday reported an adjusted loss per share for the first quarter that was worse than the average analyst estimate, said it’s evaluating its “long-term operating structure to align with our evolving strategic priorities,” with a focus on six main areas, including how it organizes its teams, its corporate office real estate footprint, where it sells its products and its overall portfolio of brands. In terms of store footprint, Ralph Lauren expects to open as many as 90 stores in 2020, with the vast majority in Asia, less than a dozen in Europe, and only few in the United States. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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TRAVEL

Booking.com to lay off more than 4,000

Booking.com is laying off a quarter of its workforce — more than 4,000 people — with the global pandemic snuffing out travel. Layoffs will begin next month and run through the end of the year, according to parent company Booking Holdings Inc. Booking Holdings, based in Norwalk, Conn., also owns the restaurant reservation company OpenTable and Priceline.com. The number of room reserved at Booking.com during the first quarter of this year tumbled 43 percent, to 124 million. The number of people passing through US airport checkpoints is running about 70 percent lower than a year ago, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration. Travel plunged about 95 percent by mid-April, then rose steadily until leveling off throughout July. More than 700,000 people were screened each of the last five days, through Monday, the first time that has happened since mid-March. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

FOOD DELIVERY

British regulators approve Amazon plan to buy a stake in Deliveroo

Britain’s competition watchdog has approved Amazon’s plan to buy a stake in food delivery company Deliveroo, saying the deal would not hurt competition. The Competition and Markets Authority had already given conditional approval to the proposal that will see Amazon take a 16 percent stake in the delivery platform. But the decision came with a warning that the authority would reassess if Amazon, which has a dominant presence in online retail, sought to increase its stake. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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AUTOMOTIVE

Honda recalling more than 1.6 million minivans and SUVs

Honda is recalling over 1.6 million minivans and SUVs in the United States to fix problems that include faulty backup camera displays, malfunctioning dashboard displays, and sliding doors that don’t latch properly. The problems were revealed in four recalls posted Tuesday by the government. They cover certain Odyssey minivans and Pilot and Passport SUVs. The largest recall covers nearly 608,000 Odysseys from 2018 to 2020, the 2019 and 2020 Passport and the 2019 through 2021 Pilot. Honda says critical dashboard functions such as the speedometer, engine oil light, and gear position can fail to display due to faulty software. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

RESTAURANTS

Katz’s pivots to nationwide deliveries as tourism in NYC dries up

New York City icon Katz’s Delicatessen, the 132-year-old home of heaping pastrami sandwiches, is accustomed to serving thousands of customers per day. But social distancing measures have drastically changed how the restaurant does business. A drop in tourism — New York City hotel occupancy plunged to as low as 15 percent in late March — combined with an outflow of residents, has led to a major loss in business for Katz’s. The deli now brings in about 100 customers a day, compared with as many as 4,000 prior to the pandemic. That said, Katz’s has managed to keep all 200 of its employees on the payroll, thanks in part to its delivery business which ships delicacies like pastrami, latkes, soups, and mustard across the country. It has also set up outdoor dining for the first time in its history, and created a structured line within the restaurant to avoid crowding around the cash registers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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E-COMMERCE

Amazon to launch in Sweden

Amazon will launch in Sweden via the website Amazon.se. The move into the Nordic region’s biggest economy comes at a time when the US retail giant is benefiting from an influx of consumers trying to avoid physical stores during the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the company reported record profits and projected third-quarter revenue of up to $93 billion. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

OIL

BP cuts dividend as it quickens its shift to green energy

BP slashed its dividend for the first time in a decade and set out new targets to accelerate its shift to greener energy after the coronavirus pandemic upended the oil business. The U-turn in its dividend policy was expected after European peer Royal Dutch Shell slashed its own payout in April. Big Oil’s generous dividends have long been its main attraction to shareholders, and the move — hastened by the virus but made inevitable by the transition to cleaner energy — redraws the company’s investment profile. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

FINANCE

UK banks write off more than $22b in bad loans

British lenders have offered a taste of how much the worst recession in centuries is going to cost. The bill’s already at 17.2 billion pounds ($22.4 billion). Write-offs at the country’s six biggest banks so far this year roughly equal Barclays’ current market value. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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RETAIL

Hugo Boss looks for financial help to weather pandemic

German apparel brand Hugo Boss has joined more than 100 similar companies from Europe and the United States in seeking financing support during the pandemic. Boss has drawn down part of its existing credit line, borrowed additional funds supported by government-owned bank KfW, and asked to waive financial covenants under its loan agreement, according to its second-quarter report on Tuesday. More than 20 firms including Columbia Sportswear Co., Next, and Tiffany & Co. have asked to waive or amend covenants under their loan agreements to give themselves more financial headroom. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

GAMING

Sony hopes new PlayStation at Christmastime will boost bottom line

Sony reported profit that outpaced estimates on strong demand for its gaming products, but offered a measured forecast for the fiscal year due to uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic. The Japanese tech giant is preparing to launch the latest generation of its PlayStation gaming console this holiday season, which has undercut sales of existing hardware. Still, Sony anticipates strong sales for the PlayStation 5, recently asking suppliers to double production, and the last quarter made clear the coronavirus is fueling demand for games as many people are stuck at home.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS