Amazon Prime Day boosts small business shopping, too

Amazon’s annual shopping bonanza known as Prime Day begins Tuesday. Though, not everyone is excited: Campaign groups have urged shoppers to instead spend cash in small, local shops.

They argue the coronavirus pandemic — along with the lockdowns and travel restrictions that followed — has accelerated hardship for small- and medium-sized businesses that rely on foot traffic into their shops. Before COVID-19, many companies were already struggling to compete against the likes of Amazon, which offers quick delivery and access to thousands of products online.

One German trade union urged workers at seven Amazon warehouses in the country to go on strike and advocate for better pay conditions.

But Oliver Bristowe, co-owner of Pets Purist, an animal care business in the English city of Manchester, said a boycott against Prime Day could negatively affect his business and thousands of others like it.

“A shop in a local community finds Amazon

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Losses mount at French Connection, supermarket shopping boosts Tesco shares and Rolls-Royce falls

French Connection shop in Covent Garden. (Credit: Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
French Connection shop in Covent Garden. Photo: Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

Losses mount at French Connection

Fashion chain French Connection (FCCN.L) saw a loss of £12.2m ($15.69m) in the six months to 31 July 2020, compared with a loss of £3.6m during the same period in 2019, according to a company statement released on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a “significant decline” in sales, forcing the business to shut down its stores from the end of March to mid-June, in line with UK government guidelines, it said.

This caused store sales to slump 57% to £10.1m in the six months to the end of July, compared to £23.8m in the same period last year.

“The timing of the COVID-19 outbreak has had a material impact on our

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Early Christmas shopping boosts UK retailers

HOMI 2020 is held in Milan, Italy, on January 25 2020. HOMI is the international lifestyle exhibition held annually in Milan, is dedicated to the world of home and the trends and novelties of contemporary living. The aim of the show is to define the evolution of the market and lifestyles trying to understand current trends and anticipate future desires. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A Santa Claus statue pictured at HOMI, the international lifestyle exhibition held annually in Milan, in January 2020. Photo: Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Brits have already begun Christmas shopping after pleas from retailers to get orders in early.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said on Tuesday there were signs that consumers had begun putting in their Christmas orders. It comes after IMRG, the industry body for online retailers, warned last month that order volumes were likely to be “very excessive” this year and urged shoppers to put in orders early to avoid late deliveries.

The BRC said retail sales rose by 5.6% in September, or 6.1% on a same-store basis. It marks the best monthly growth since December 2009, excluding Easters.

READ MORE: Retailers warn more shops will close without return to office

“September sales have also given retailers early signs that consumers are starting their Christmas shopping earlier

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As Pandemic Boosts Suburban-Home Demand, Startup Sells a New Ownership Model

Americans feeling trapped at home during the pandemic want more space. The creators of a new startup think they can deliver it with a fresh spin on the timeshare business.

Pacaso, a venture between two Zillow Group Inc. alumni, is using a vacation model to sell ownership in weekend homes.

Similar to a traditional timeshare, Pacaso will give buyers the right to use the house a certain number of weeks a year. But where timeshares typically cluster in holiday hot spots like beach towns or mountain resorts, many of Pacaso’s homes will be located in suburban and other residential neighborhoods.

“This is not just for Napa Valley, Santa Barbara or fancy vacation destinations,” said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow Group’s former chief executive and a Pacaso co-founder. “This is for that lake outside of Detroit, where maybe you’ve had your eye on getting a little lodge.”

A home in Hilton Head, S.C.

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Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination Energizes Democratic Women’s Groups, Boosts Fundraising and Planned Marches

Amy Coney Barrett is just the fifth woman to ever be nominated to the Supreme Court, but not all women’s groups are celebrating.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks next to Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on September 26, 2020. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated Saturday to the Supreme Court, has been criticized by women's groups for her past rulings on reproductive rights.


© Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks next to Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on September 26, 2020. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated Saturday to the Supreme Court, has been criticized by women’s groups for her past rulings on reproductive rights.

Planned Parenthood called her possible appointment to the high court an insult to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy of fighting against gender discrimination. The National Organization for Women has said that Barrett, if confirmed, will “turn back the clock on equality.”

Emily’s List, the political action committee that aims to elect Democratic female candidates in favor of abortion rights, echoed the view that Barrett’s nomination is a threat to women’s rights.

“This is

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