John Lewis will offer free meals to all of its employees in the months leading up to Christmas as it seeks to recruit 10,000 temporary workers in what remains one of the tightest UK labour markets on record.

The retail group said it will offer 4,000 seasonal roles in its 331 Waitrose shops, 2,000 in its 34 John Lewis stores, and 4,000 in its supply chain through recruitment agencies.

Despite spiralling inflation and warnings that the economy is headed into 15 months of recession, unemployment levels remain near half-century lows. Employers have had to increase wages to attract and retain staff, as well as offering other incentives.

To help staff with the cost of living, John Lewis said it will offer free food to all its permanent and temporary workers while on shift from October 3 through to January 6.

Bon Accord shopping centre owners fall into administration


The Channel Islands-based owners of Bon Accord shopping centre in Aberdeen have fallen into administration, amid cash-flow problems.

James Fennessey, Blair Milne, Colin Haig and Matthew Richards, partners of accountancy firm Azets, have been appointed as joint administrators of the Guernsey-based owners of the shopping centre, Aberdeen Retail 1 Limited and Aberdeen Retail 2 Limited.

Buyer swoops for historic Mercure Hotel in Perth


A historic hotel in Perth, based in a converted watermill dating from the 15th century, has been sold after being marketed from a guide price of £2.25 million.

The Mercure Hotel has been sold on behalf of a private client to S Hotels and Resorts, owner of Jupiter Hotels, in a deal brokered by Savills.

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