As The Weekly hits your inbox, thousands of hardened runners will be streaming out of Greenwich Park and over the start line for this year's London Marathon. Not only have the participants got to run a grueling 26.2 miles around the capital, but they have also got to contend with what is expected to be the hottest marathon on record. Luckily the temperatures aren't forecast to reach Thursday's April record of 29 degrees celsius, but the organisers have still expressed concerns about the well-being of those running in fancy dress costumes. Apparently it is not the day to be dressed in a full suit of armour whilst dragging a 10ft dragon, or (as in the case of Jez Allinson) to attempt the marathon dressed as a Star Wars Stormtrooper - an outfit designed to provide protection from "Jedi lightsabers", with little (or no) consideration given to "breathability". Luckily, concerned friends and family can now track the progress of the runners with a newly redesigned App that shows all the drinks stations and first aid points on an interactive map. More importantly, it even shows the location of the pubs along the route. So if you've turned up to support an overly ambitious Stormtrooper, or a full-size replica Rhino now slowly succumbing to heatstroke, at least you'll have somewhere agreeable to wait for them!
Barber and Wadlow's Forecourt Property Market Update 2018 released this week shone a light on an alternative sector that is rapidly becoming more mainstream, attracting the likes of AXA, AEW and OLIM. Notably, the £75 million worth of transactions in 2017 represented a 36% increase on 2016. The report also looked at the future of the forecourt sector in the wake of the Government's plan to ensure electric vehicles make up 70% of the new car market by 2030. This will be followed by a ban on the sale of hydrocarbon-powered cars by 2040. Barber and Wadlow believe that forecourts are well placed to meet demands whatever the energy source (electric, hydrocarbon, or petrol/diesel), but acknowledge that the retailers and oil companies have work to do before they can boast a truly national network of electrical charging points. Either way the switch over to electric vehicles (EVs) is underway, with double digit growth in EV sales over the last five years. The one stumbling block to electric vehicle growth in the UK is that some major advances in technology are needed to persuade the mass consumer to make the switch. At present for example, only 1 in 6 charging connectors provide a "rapid charge" (by which they mean 30 minutes) and there are only three EV models in production with a range of over 275 miles. Suddenly the already painful trip from London to Cornwall now includes extended pit-stops whilst you "plug-in" the car and spend money you shouldn't on coffees and cakes in the forecourt café!
Struggling retailers were back in the headlines this week with Carpetright's chief insisting the company will not be following in the footsteps of Toys R Us and will instead "emerge stronger from the CVA", with plans to raise £60m through an equity capital raise for reinvestment in the remaining stores. One supermarket chain, however, appears to have taken a different approach to boosting turnover in turbulent times after it emerged Asda charged one of its shoppers £930.11 for a single banana. Bobbie Gordon initially assumed the supermarket had made a typo when she received her bill by email, but was then contacted by her credit card company saying she'd exceeded her £1,000 limit. Luckily Asda admitted the "slip up" and refunded her the money. Worth keeping your eyes peeled next time you shop at Asda though!