Retailer John Lewis plans to hire 7,000 temporary workers for the Christmas trading period - 2,000 more than last year - and is tempting potential recruits in a tight labour market with free food and drink.

The employee-owned partnership trades from 34 John Lewis department stores and 331 Waitrose supermarket stores and also has a huge online operation.

It said it is also recruiting more than 550 permanent full-time driver and warehouse workers across its distribution centres and Waitrose.com and John Lewis.com customer delivery centres.

HeraldScotland:

"We will offer free food and drinks to partners and temporary workers from 4 October to 31 December to help ensure we can attract the help we need," John Lewis said.

Official jobs data published yesterday showed businesses reporting more than 1 million vacancies in the three months to August, the highest since these records began in 2001.

Last year Christmas celebrations in Britain were hindered by restrictions on the number of people allowed to meet up due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With no restrictions this year, UK retailers are expecting a bumper festive period.

Springfield Properties hails market resilience as sales top £200m for first time

HeraldScotland:

Springfield Properties has shrugged off the fall-out from the pandemic, including pressure from supply chain disruption, to report a big leap in profits in its latest financial year.

The Elgin-based housebuilder hiked turnover to above £200 million for the first time as it flagged the benefit of completing homes originally scheduled to have been finished the previous year, as well as higher demand for larger houses with greenspace as people continue to work from home. Profits surged by 81.4 per cent to £18.5 million as revenue increased by 51% to £216.7m in the year ended May 31.

The results were driven by an increase in home completions to 973 from 727.

University signs seven-figure licensing deal for breakthrough cancer research

HeraldScotland:

The University of Edinburgh has signed a multi-million pound licensing deal with a US drug firm to advance research into new medicines for hard-to-treat cancers.

Nuvectis Pharma of New Jersey has paid an upfront fee of $3.5 million (£2.5m) for the exclusive worldwide rights to a novel small molecule developed at the university’s Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre within the Institute of Genetics and Cancer. Known as NXP900, the compound inhibits the activity of SRC/YES1, a protein family associated with cancer growth.

Nuvectis is expected to begin studies later this year that will lead to an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the US Food and Drug Administration.

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