Welcome to the November edition of the Retail & Consumer newsletter. With Christmas now firmly in our sights, and of course Black Friday, we are entering the busiest time of the year for the majority of the sector.
In the UK a recent Which? investigation has drawn attention to Black Friday pricing while an article from our colleagues at Mintz Levin considers a US perspective on the discounting bonanza. Before the festive cheer, however, we consider in this newsletter some important recent and proposed changes, most notably around increased reporting requirements and transparency.
Firstly we look at the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the lessons that can be learned from those statements which have been published to date.
We also consider the Payment Practices Regulations, which are due to be implemented in April 2017. Businesses will need to ensure that they have the processes in place to make sure they are in a position to meeting reporting requirements.
Finally, we look at the Criminal Finances Bill, which introduces a new corporate criminal offence of failing to prevent facilitation of tax evasion.
We hope you enjoy the newsletter and as always, if there are topics that you would like us to cover in future editions, please let us know.
This month's articles...
Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion
A new corporate criminal offence has been added to the Criminal Finances Bill 2016-17, read our article explaining the terms, entities and examples of this new offence.
On the theme of mandatory reporting, we continue to monitor supply chain transparency statements published by businesses under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. From conversations with our clients, we perceive a real appetite to "do the right thing" in this area, although for many businesses this first reporting year has been more about putting in place new policies and procedures to gain a greater understanding of where the real risks lie in their global supply chains. Meanwhile, the UK's Anti-Slavery Commissioner has delivered his first annual report. Our article summarises some of the key points from that report from a transparency in supply chains perspective.
Where do we spend all our money?
What do consumers spend their money on and how has this changed between 1985 and 2015? Take a look at the latest statistics in our infographic.
New Payment Practices Regulations
Compliance by peer pressure? Increasingly, businesses are being asked to report publically on a range of topics. For example, supply chain reporting legislation came into force over a year ago (more on that later). In the pipeline, we have gender pay gap reporting, and an obligation on businesses to publish their tax planning strategies. In this article our Commercial Litigation team looks at yet another reporting requirement that is expected to land next year: mandatory reporting on how quickly a business pays its suppliers.
Is your company a victim of fraud?
There are a number of systems and processes available for implementation to offer protection to businesses and reduce the chance of them falling foul to fraudsters. Read our article here to learn more.
On the 22nd of this month we launched our Logistics report which considers product movement ‘cradle to grave’ and the challenges and opportunities facing businesses along this journey. More information can be found here on our website. Our infographic gathers the thoughts of the event attendees.
You may recall from our previous newsletter, we recently hosted a 'Fair game or foul play?' seminar in London. We have pulled together an article and an infographic alongside, which display some of the key findings from the event.
Huge thanks to our colleagues at Noerr, August & Debouzy and Mintz Levin, who have contributed content from across Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and the United States.
- Czech Republic: New regulation of mystery shopping
- Poland: Effective consumer complaint without a receipt
- Romania: New regulation regarding trading and advertising of food products
- United States of America: Has the Black Magic (Black Friday) Run Out?