Shellfish protests, Doc boots and expensive places to live

Planet Business: The week in ‘Brexit carnage!’ and fashion updates

Police in London speak to a shellfish export truck driver as he is stopped for an ‘unnecessary journey’ on Monday. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

Police in London speak to a shellfish export truck driver as he is stopped for an ‘unnecessary journey’ on Monday. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

 

Image of the week: Shellfish people

With lorries bearing slogans such as “Brexit carnage!” and the slightly less catchy “incompetent government destroying shellfish industry!”, seafood exporters from Scotland and Devon converged upon Westminster this week for a protest against the Brexit red tape that is either delaying or ruining exports of fresh shellfish to the EU. Some protesters had previously threatened to dump fresh fish close to Downing Street, which would have made for some great visuals, but instead what happened was a small number of the protesting drivers were stopped by police and issued with Covid-19 fines for making an unnecessary journey. Some exporters caught up in the bureaucratic nightmare have simply decided to stop exporting, which is a less-than-ideal way of getting around the problem.

In numbers: Booted up

€3.4 billion

Expected valuation in euro for footwear maker Dr Martens, the British-owned but German-founded maker of “Docs”. Its owners since 2013, private equity group Permira, is booting the company up for an initial public offering (IPO).

€759 million

Revenue recorded by Dr Martens in the year to the end of March 2020. The brand – once associated with punk rock, grunge and some distinctly less benign subcultures – is these days a regular on high-fashion catwalks.

€4 billion

Birkenstock, the German sandals company favoured more by hippies than punks, is in talks to be taken over by CVC Capital Partners in a deal that could value it above this sum.

Getting to know: Marco Gobbetti

Marco Gobbetti, chief executive of Burberry, is a luxury kind of guy, with a CV that includes priors at Givenchy and Céline and a mission to bring Burberry further upmarket. This push to be “super-luxe” was going okay before the pandemic led to store closures – first in Asia, then in Europe – and the absence of high-spending tourists, and its slumped sales remain “susceptible to regional disruptions”, the Italian businessman said this week. A contract to supply non-surgical gowns and masks to the NHS – the fashion house having earlier made donations from a repurposed trench-coat site in Yorkshire – won’t have done any harm, nor will its contribution to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Another thing has gone very well: a partnership with Manchester United forward and anti-poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford to help disadvantaged young people has yielded a new influx of younger customer for the purveyors of tan check.

The list: Pricey places

Ireland is the 13th most expensive country in the world to live, according to price-comparison site Numbeo. But which countries topped the list?

5. Iceland. This one will be no surprise to anyone who has visited, nor will the fact that the country it knocked into sixth place was Denmark.

4. Norway. Fourth place is actually not as high as Norway typically manages on lists like these.

3. Switzerland. Costly, but maybe worth it?

2. Bermuda. The runner-up overall, but spare a thought for its resident tax exiles: the island’s restaurants were ranked the most expensive.

1. Jersey. The largest of the Channel Islands is pricier than anywhere, with rents that are somehow even higher than Ireland’s. Call Det Sgt Jim Bergerac to investigate immediately.

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