John Lewis to end ‘never knowingly undersold’ era on 22 August

John Lewis is to retire its 97-year-old price pledge “never knowingly undersold” on 22 August but has yet to reveal a catchy new slogan to take its place.

The department store chain told customers in an email it will not accept new claims under the pledge from 23 August, instead promising them – rather long-windedly – it is “always knowingly committed to outstanding value”.

Explaining its rationale, John Lewis said it was scrapping the historic pledge to focus on “everyday quality and value”.

A spokesperson for the company said neither of these were its new slogan but a “short term message at point of sale to let customers know about the retirement of ‘never knowingly undersold’, and will only be used for another couple of weeks”.

John Lewis is expected to launch a marketing campaign to kick off its new sales pitch in the coming weeks. In November last year, … Read more

Asia Rises After U.S. Inflation Report

Asia-Pacific markets climbed on Thursday after a better-than-expected inflation report in the U.S. sent stocks spiraling higher.

Markets in Japan were shuttered for holiday.

The Japanese yen traded at 132.55 per U.S. dollar, after strengthening sharply.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index sprang back sharply, gaining 471.59 points, or 2.4%, to 20,082.43.

Consumer prices stateside rose 8.5% in July compared to the same period a year ago, a slightly better result than the 8.7% increase that economists polled by Dow Jones were expecting.

In company news, SoftBank Group said it would reduce its stake in Chinese tech giant Alibaba through an early physical settlement of prepaid forward contracts for around 242 million American Depository Receipts.

The move would add 4.6 trillion yen ($34.6 billion U.S.) to its pre-tax gains, SoftBank estimated.

Separately, Apple supplier Foxconn on Wednesday posted results that beat expectations, but was cautious on the outlook. Foxconn … Read more

Events startup Pollen enters administration months after raising £124m

London-based events startup Pollen has entered administration after failing to find a buyer. The collapse of Pollen comes just months after it raised $150m (£124) in funding.

The company, which has received taxpayer funding via the government’s Future Fund, had been seeking a buyer for the whole business.

But according to an email sent by one of Pollen’s co-founders and seen by Sifted, parent company StreetTeam Software Limited is “appointing administrators to restructure after we were not able to sell the company in its entirety”.

The restructuring will see the company’s college travel business split off from the consumer-facing events business, Pollen.

The writing appeared to be on the wall for Pollen for many months. Sky News reported on Tuesday that the startup had been looking for a buyer for weeks after calling in Goldman Sachs to assist with a buyout.

Early on Wednesday, the Telegraph confirmed that Pollen … Read more