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Coronavirus supply chain woes are 'a global problem'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Jaguar Land Rover cars in the factory
Getty Images

Jaguar Land Rover has had to fly in small car parts in suitcases such as key fobs as the coronavirus outbreak hits the company's supply chain, and is warning that it could start to run out of Chinese parts for its UK factories in a fortnight.

The virus has killed more than 1,800 people in China sparking a shutdown that has seen factories close across the country, and its impact on global supply chains is becoming marked.

"We've had many of the car manufacturers talking about cutting production, and also JCB saying supplies are affecting their production," said Laura Lambie, senior investment director at Investec Wealth and Investment.

"It's a global problem that in the cold light of day when this is all over, companies will have to think through their supply chains and how they can combat it in the future."

Why Amazon knows so much about you

Leo Kelion

Technology desk editor

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The BBC's technology desk editor Leo Kelion has investigated how much data Amazon collects from all its customers.

It's a long read, but well worth your time - for example, Leo discovers that one of the company's databases has transcripts of all the 31,000+ interactions they have had with their Alexa smart speaker.

Asda's sales fall during Christmas quarter

Asda store
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UK supermarket chain Asda has said its sales fell over the crucial Christmas trading period, with shoppers remaining "highly budget conscious".

Like-for-like sales in the final three months of 2019 fell 1.3% as the retailer experienced "challenging market conditions - particularly in clothing". Asda added that its core food business had "proved more stable".

Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said: "We know that our customers' mindsets during the quarter were cautious and whilst customers were enthusiastic for Christmas, they were more mindful in their spending – with many choosing to pare back gift lists and focus presents on kids rather than adults and extended family.

"Our monthly Income Tracker showed that whilst disposable income remained stable at around £217 a week during the fourth quarter, previously seen trends of growth are starting to slow and consumers remain highly budget conscious."