This week, many of us will get an early holiday season, as the anniversary bulge means an increase in public holidays around the world.
If you’re reading this in the U.S., you’re already immersed in a long weekend on Memorial Day with tomorrow’s remembrance of those who gave their lives in military service.
In other years, the last Monday in May would also be a day off in the UK associated with the Christian holiday of Pentecost or Whitsun, as the Church of England calls it. But this year, the day off was postponed to Thursday, and the British were given an additional national holiday on Friday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth as head of the British state – perhaps by going to the cinema.
Italians will commemorate the founding of their modern state on Thursday with fireworks and Republic Day parades.
Then there is the Dragon Boat Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday that takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar – this year it will be this Friday. However, due to the pandemic, many actual dragon boat races planned around the world will be canceled or held under restrictions.
Whatever you think of the significance of these public holidays, they have an added spice this year given the debate on working hours. The greater flexibility needed to complete things during pandemic prisons has led to many doubts about the rigidity of working nine to five five days a week, whether we need to better reconcile our home and work lives or move to a four-day week – as he has already done technology company WANdisco.
This is a fairly full week for economic data with inflation and unemployment data for euro area countries on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, and the Beige Book of Federal Reserves on US Economic Conditions on Wednesday and US unemployment data on Friday.
So-called dollar stores in the US were leaning towards resilient trading during the economic recession, and this is likely to be the message of the B&M discount this week.
Analysts expect sales and profits for the year to be below last year’s record level by the end of March, as buying habits will normalize and costs will rise. But, as my colleague Jonathan Eley notes, the size of the company and its operation with direct resources in Asia will help keep prices below those of more conventional competitors, as revenue will be under pressure.
This will probably be the latest set of year-round results for CEO Simon Aror, who along with his brother Bobby took B&M from a small chain of quirky stores in northwest England to an estate with almost 700 stores in the UK and a FTSE 100 city. retirement plans.
Read the full calendar for the week ahead here
“Alcohol scholar. Hardcore tv junkie. Wannabe bacon enthusiast. Twitter fanatic. Subtly charming travel guru. Pop culture specialist.”