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The Monday Briefing: Frasers, Amazon, TM Lewin

What you need to know from this weekend’s news…

Mike Ashley aide criticises Westfield rents: Michael Murray, who runs the property side of Frasers Group, warned its properties would turn into “ghost towns” unless shopping centre operator Westfield showed more flexibility with tenants suffering amid coronavirus, The Times reports.

Murray said the bosses of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield had “their heads in the clouds”.

However, Westfield told The Times it was committed to working collaboratively with retailers.

It comes as the Guardian reports that Sports Direct and House of Fraser chains have asked store managers to work at least once a week while under the government’s furlough scheme. It claims managers had been asked to return to work on reduced pay on Monday. However, the decision was reversed on Sunday.

Staff said they had been asked to volunteer to go into stores about one day a week despite being furloughed.

Frasers Group has been contacted for comment.

Amazon extends home working: Amazon staff whose jobs can be done at home can do so until at least 2 October,  Reuters reports. Employees have been working from home since March.

TM Lewin sale: Shirtmaker Charles Tyrwhitt is planning to take over rival TM Lewin, Sky News suggests. The owner of Charles Tyrwhitt, Nick Wheeler, is among several parties who submitted offers for TM Lewin this week.

Lockdown exit: The government is to outline the UK’s lockdown exit strategy on Sunday, Sky News reports indicate. This is three days after the government must review the current restrictions.

Landlords in talks to furlough shops: Landlords are in talks with the government to help subsidise the rent bill for shops and restaurants, The Telegraph has reported.

The government is in talks over a proposal known as “furloughed space grant scheme”, as commercial property owners risk losing billions at the next quarterly rent payment date in June.

Insolvency rules change: The government could publish emergency legislation this week to make insolvency rules fit for purpose in the current crisis, according to The Telegraph.

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