According to reports, two million UK shoppers have had their credit scores damaged via ‘buy now pay later’ schemes which have led to increased levels of consumer debt. According to Comparethemarket.com, one in five shoppers have used BNPL schemes to purchase goods over the past year in the UK, equating to roughly ten million people. Furthermore, 41 per cent of consumers said that they weren’t aren’t aware that BNP schemes could affect their credit score, and 39% of consumers aged 25 -34 year-old stated that it had damaged their credit score.
Many consumers aren’t aware of the repercussions of failing to make scheduled payments, which could prevent them from achieving essential life milestones like purchasing a house. Which is why consumers need to read through the terms and condition of the agreement carefully.
Facebook and eBay have pledged to do more to eliminate fake reviews on their platforms after receiving pressure from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In June 2018, the CMA ordered both online platforms to tackle the on-going issue involving fake reviews which led to an 8 month investigation which revealed ‘troubling evidence’ of their prevalence. The pair have made progress in identifying and removing suspicious accounts on their respective sites. Facebook confirmed that they have removed 188 groups and suspended 24 user accounts which are responsible for doing fake reviews in exchange for monetary gain. And, the CAM has confirmed that eBay has banned 140 users from its site since the summer.
Fake positive reviews are often written by business owners, employees or by paid reviewers in a bid to boost sales. This practice is unethical since it’s dishonest, misleading, and it defeats the purpose of having a customer review put in place. However, those that do commit it could argue that if companies actually provide an excellent service, then no actual harm is being made.
Romania is withdrawing its Anti VAT fraud split payment regime from 1st February 2020. This news follows a November 2018 EU Commission warning that it is not cooperative with the EU VAT Directive and the freedom of services based on it being a disproportionate measure for honest companies. The VAT split payment method requires customers to pay the VAT element of suppliers’ invoices into a unique, account of the supplier. The anti VAT measure will remain on a voluntary basis.
The VAT split payment method was first introduced to Romania on the 1st January 2018, and has been adapted by other EU nations including Italy, Poland and more.
In May, J&P reported that France had proposed a 3% digital service tax on large technology companies. The US did not agree with the tax, and in retaliation the Trump administration threatened to impose tariffs of $2.4 billion on French goods. This dispute has been ongoing, and the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, has announced that the US and France have given themselves two weeks to resolve this dispute. The EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan has said “The European Commission will stand together with France and all other member states who wish to have the sovereign right to impose digital taxation on companies in a fair way.”
It is important that the conflict between the US and France is resolved before any major tariffs are enacted, as this would be problematic for businesses that are exporting the goods from France to the US and it would also be a lot more expensive to import goods into the USA from France.
This year, sustainability-focused logistics company LivingPackets are expected to launch their ground-breaking alternative to cardboard packaging known as ‘The Box’. ‘The Box’ is designed to be used by E-commerce companies, is made of reusable material and has a protective inner layer which is also designed so that plastic cushioning is not necessary. The product can be re-used up to 1,000 times, and this can be accomplished by retailers using it to ship products, customers using it to return products and unused units can be collected and bought back into circulation.
As the number of online retailers trying to become more sustainable is on the increase, many could definitely benefit from the introduction of ‘The Box’ and all it has to offer. Not only can it be used to send and return goods, but ‘The Box’ can also be used for storing second-hand goods that people no longer use.
Logistics real estate firm Prologis has acquired Ravenside Retail Park in Edmonton, London for a value of £51.4 million. Prologis plan to revolutionise the 129,000 square foot shopping centre by converting it into an E-commerce logistics facility for online retailers. The head of capital deployment for Prologis UK, Robin Woodbridge, has said “By investing in the regeneration of these sites, we intend to support our customers’ plans for growth and help create hundreds of jobs for local people and boost the local economy.”
The redevelopment of the retail park is a highly innovative and profitable move, as this is the first time a retail park has been transformed in this way in the UK. The retail park is also in a location which is close to public transport links and it will be easy to deliver parcels via electric vehicles to suburban areas.