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Tesco acquisition on Sandbanks' millionaire row proves contraversial Thursday, 16th May 2013
Photo credit: My-Retail Media
Wealthy residents of the Sandbanks millionaire’s row remain perplexed by the acquisition of a Tesco Express, which plans to open in July.
Residents from Dorset have expressed their frustration by claiming that the convenience store will be an ‘eyesore’ and that it would look ‘like a filling in a set of teeth’, the Daily Mail reports.
The plans, which involve converting an old pub into a convenience store, have outraged residents who believe that a Marks & Spencer or a Waitrose would have been more appropriate.
A petition started by Karen Denham, the proprietor of the local newsagent Sandbanks Stores, has accumulated 425 signatures, and Denham stated: “I believe local people will boycott it, a lot of my regulars here have already said they will not use it.”
Residents fear that the convenience store’s bold blue and red logo would garish in the upmarket seaside resort, nicknamed by some as Britain’s Monte Carlo.
Tesco are enduring a difficult period currently, with the leading supermarket grocer suffering a 51.5 per cent decline in year profit last month.
Asda report first quartely profits Thursday, 16th May 2013
Photo credit: Asda
The supermarket chain, which is owned by American retail giants Wal-Mart, said on Thursday that excluding fuel and VAT, sales at shops open over a year have seen a 1.3 per cent rise in the 14 weeks to April 12.
The rise follows a 0.1 per cent rise in the fourth quarter from the previous financial year.
Asda say that their online sales have grew by 16 per cent, proving beyond doubt how essential the grocery e-commerce market is becoming.
Furthermore, Asda have been investing in its 50 pence and one pound lines, and lowering the prices of essentials such as break, milk and eggs.
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke was buoyant with the supermarket’s performance, saying: “This represents a strong performance in what remains a very tough market.
"Despite a difficult environment for our customers, we have continued to achieve growth on growth by lowering the prices of essentials and investing in technology to make shopping more convenient."
Asda’s good performance has not been matched by some its competitors however, with Tesco posting a 51.5 per cent decline in year profit last month, whilst Britain’s fourth top grocer Morrisons, reported a 1.8 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in the first quarter.
Despite this, Sainbury’s, which currently occupies the third spot in the grocery sector, reported a 6.2 per cent rise in annual profit last Wednesday.
Parent company Wal-Mart, currently the world’s largest retailer, posted a higher quarterly profit on Thursday, whilst underlying sales fell 1.4 per cent.
Kroger introduces a clean energy production system Thursday, 16th May 2013
Photo credit: Kroger
One of America’s largest retailers, Kroger unveiled a clean energy production system that is powered by food waste. Food that cannot be sold or donated will be converted into clean energy to power its distribution center Ralphs/Food 4 Less situated in Compton, CA.
It is an anaerobic conversion system that processes over 55,000 tons of organic food waste to renewable energy (biogas) every year which is transformed into power for onsite operations. This will provide power for its over 650,000 square foot distribution center. The conversion of the food waste which is equivalent of 150 tons per day will also reduce truck trips by over 500,000 miles annually.
The system uses a complex process in an enclosed, oxygen-free environment to transfer carbon in the organic food waste to renewable source of methane.
The company comments: "We are committed to finding solutions for food waste and clean energy, and we believe this is a meaningful step forward," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's president and chief operating officer. "Investing in this project is a good business decision for Kroger and, most importantly, an extraordinary opportunity to benefit the environment. We want to thank Governor Brown and his team at CalRecycle and CalEPA, the City of Compton, the SCAQMD, and our partners at FEED for making this renewable energy project a reality."
The biogas will counteract over 20 per cent of the energy required by its distribution center.
With the renewable energy power and 150 zero emission fuel cell fork lifts combined, Kroger's distribution center is currently one of the most efficient and greenest, making the Compton the leading sustainable city.
Ocado's shares fall 8 per cent amid potential contract dispute with Waitrose Monday, 13th May 2013
Photo credit: My-Retail Media
Ocado, the grocery delivery service, saw its shares drop 8 per cent amid a potential breach of contract with main clients Waitrose, The Guardian reported Monday.
Waitrose lawyers remain concerned about Ocado’s proposed deal to set Morrisons up with their own online delivery service, fearing a conflict of interests.
The news follows reports of a protest vote within Ocado’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday over board pay packagaes, which include a 30 per cent salary rise for chief executive Tim Steiner.
Ocado’s shares did see a distinct rise with the Morrisons deal imminent, however, shares are currently down 18.2p at 206.4p. Shore Capital analyst Clive Black recommends selling, saying:
“We believe that Ocado is playing with fire in speaking to another British supermarket group, as it tries to utilise its substantially greater fulfilment capacity, because the group's umbilical cord to Waitrose may be cut sooner than we anticipated and Ocado cannot exist as a commercial entity without Waitrose in our view. “
He continued to say: “Whilst Ocado states that any agreement with Morrison's would not be a conflict with Waitrose, we see the mood of [Waitrose chief executive Mark Price] as being deadly serious. As such, Ocado may have irreparably polluted a commercial relationship upon which it is dependent and it must lead to a greater chance of a break in 2017 in our view. Additionally, Waitrose's understandably forthright stance means that the prospect of Morrison and Waitrose brands simultaneously utilising Ocado's fulfilment centres and vans is low. As such, the extent of a tie-up between Morrison and Ocado needs to be pencilled down, along with it the financial extent.”
This could potentially spell danger for Morrisons, who have been falling behind competitors Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Online grocery shopping is one of the fastest growing areas in the sector, and chief executive Dalton Phillips has vowed that a service will be available by January 2014.
The top four grocers commit to reducing waste Friday, 10th May 2013
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The third phases of the Courtauld Commitment launches today with the aim of reducing household food and drink waste by five per cent.
The voluntary agreement, which is overseen by Government body WRAP, has secured the commitments of the four big grocers in the UK as well as other signatories.
The third phase involves not only reducing household waste, but reducing product packaging waste across the supply chain by 3 per cent.
Some signatories however, have committed to reducing packaging by 8 per cent with the anticipation of increasing sales and production.
Retailers are working to maximise recyclable material and improve packaging design in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP, said: “Courtauld 3 builds on the achievements of Courtauld 1 and 2 by tackling the areas that bring the greatest financial benefits to UK plc and deliver significant reduction in environmental impact.
“Over the course of the three phases of the agreement, a 20 per cent reduction in UK household food waste is achievable, a deeply impressive outcome.”
Since its 2005 launch, the Courtauld Commitment has reduced 670,000 tonnes worth of food waste between 2005 and 2009. Between 2006/7 and 2010 1.1 million tonnes of food waste has been prevented.
Lord de Mauley, Resource Management Minister at Defra, said: “Together we are cutting down on waste to deliver £1.6 billion of savings, which is good for consumers, the food and drink sector and local authorities.”
Andrew Opie, Food Director at the British Retail Consortium (BRC),
Pressure group the British Retail Consortium (BRC), applauded the move to meet these “challenging targets”.
Andrew Opie, Food Director of the BRC, said: “These new targets build on the major strides already made by grocery retailers to reduce food and packaging waste.
“Despite the downturn and other challenges affecting business, the retail industry is continuing to innovate and collaborate on waste reduction as well as working hard to meet wider green goals across all aspects of its operations.
“That’s delivering real environmental benefits as well as value for customers.”
Thomson Reuters same-store sale index records modest April sales Friday, 10th May 2013
Photo credit: Thomas Reuters
The Thomson Reuters same store sales index shows how thirteen major U.S retailers have reported a 3.8 per cent increase in April sales at stores open at least a year.
The news comes after Wall Street optimistically expected a 4.3 per cent increase, and AlixPartners Managing Director Steve Nevill, says that Wall Street “got ahead of itself” with its expectations.
He went on to say that high unemployment and a lack of consumer confidence is the reason behind the modest April sales.
L Brands Inc, the group which operates companies Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, said sales at all company stores open at least a year were up 2 per cent last month, but shares fell 1.1 per cent.
Costco Wholesale Corp, which sells everything from computers, clothing to garden furniture and food, reported a 4 per cent gain, slightly less than expected. This is in part due to lower gas prices, but the company did say that food and consumer electronics were good, despite shares falling 0.5 per cent.
Not all retailers recorded a less than satisfactory performance however. TJX Cos Inc, which operates T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, and Ross Stores Inc, both surpassed Wall Street estimates comfortably.
Ross’ first-quarter profit forecast subsequently rose after reporting a 7 per cent gain in same-store sales. TJX Cos also saw same-stores sales rise to 8 per cent last month. Their shares were up 0.6 per cent whilst Ross Stores was up 0.2 per cent.
Gap Inc after-hours trading in the market sent their shares up 7.2 per cent, as they recorded a 7 per cent gain in sales for all their companies. Its profit forecast was above Wall Street expectations.
Spending is not expected to rise much in the coming months, as consumers’ concerns regarding the U.S and European economies, the debt debate In Washington, and lack of employment, remain rife.
Furthermore, many shoppers’ have delayed buying Spring clothes due to the cool weather in April.
Adrienne Tennant, market analyst for Janney Capital Markets, said this week that retailers were more aggressive in offering April discounts. She continued to say that discounts had eased up by the end of April, suggesting retailers’ had not over-ordered, avoiding panicked markdowns.
ECB announce Waitrose as new sponsor for England cricket team Friday, 10th May 2013
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The Waitrose sponsor will replace the current Brit Insurance logo, which features on England match and training gear.
Although details about the proposed sponsor are yet to be disclosed to the public, the Daily Mail understands a three-year deal in the region of GBP 18 million has been agreed with the ECB.
Chief executive David Collier is said to be “delighted” about the deal. He continued to say: “They join at an incredibly exciting time for the sport in England & Wales - with a packed international schedule including Test series against the other three teams who occupy the top four spots in the ICC Test Rankings.”
ECB Commercial Director John Perera added: “This partnership is especially pleasing for us as we welcome another high profile, high-street brand into our ever-expanding commercial partner family.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Brit who has been an excellent and valued partner of the ECB since 2010 and whose name will remain on the England shirts until next year.”
Morrisons shares fall as sales continue to struggle Thursday, 9th May 2013
Photo credit: My-Retail Media
The UK’s fourth biggest grocer, Morrisons, crashed in the stock market today as it continues to fall behind its competitors.
The 1.8 per cent slump was an improvement from its 4.1 per cent performance in the last quarter, however, shares fell 8.2p to 288.2p, making them the worst performers in the FTSE 100 index.
Despite this, the supermarket chain claimed that it was experiencing improving performances in London due to avoiding the horsegate scandal, and the acquisition of TV duo Ant & Dec for their advertising campaigns.
The grocer remains in negotiations with Ocado over utilising their technology and operating practices for online sales, but vowed to launch its own online service if the negotiations fell through. The supermarket said that an online service will be available before the end of January.
Online grocery shopping is one of the fastest growing areas in the sector, and Morrisons are falling behind rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s by not having this service.
Morrisons’ chief executive Dalton Phillips remains under pressure about the grocer’s declining profits, but despite this, Phillips says that the companies’ exclusion from the horse meat scandal has helped boost the sale of beef products.
Marks & Spencer’s Contactless Payment Launches Nationwide Wednesday, 8th May 2013
Photo credit: Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer has launched ‘contactless payment’ service nationwide to 644 UK stores, including its railway and airport franchise stores after a successful trials in 25 London stores last summer. Processing 230,000 contactless transactions every week Marks & Spencer stands as the UK’s leading contactless retailer.
The self-service has continued to grow in popularity with busy customers that are on the move. One in seven card transactions under £20 are completed through contactless payment. The contactless payment allows customers to make payment via card or phone without having to enter their pin. A quarter of contactless payments processed through self-checkout points in the Food Halls.
The company has started to see increasing use of the contactless cards in busy urban centres including Manchester, Croydon and Reading.
Richard Crooke , store manager at M&S Finsbury Payment which completes one in three contactless card transactions under £20 said:
“In busy central stores that receive a huge lunch time rush, contactless payment is helping to revolutionise the customer experience. Self-checkout tills are already very popular, but contactless helps reduce queue times even further, giving customers a payment option that’s even quicker than cash.“
Visa debit card is supported by contactless cards, which allows current account customers to earn one point for every £1 spent at M&S via their Visa debit card.
New research from M&S Bank2 reports that customers are becoming ‘savvy’ and 51 per cent admit loyalty points influences how they shop. Visa Europe forecasts that there will be over 33 million contactless cards in the UK by the end of 2013.
Tesco hit by first annual fall in profit in 20 years Wednesday, 17th April 2013
Photo credit: Tesco PLC
Britain's biggest retailer on Wednesday announced its first fall in annual profit in 20 years, after taking a USD 1.5 billion writeoff on its loss-making Fresh & Easy business in the US.
Shares in Tesco fell 2.8 per cent in early trade as the supermarket giant reported pretax profit of £1.96 billion in the year to 13 February, down 51.5 per cent. A 14.5 per cent fall in underlying full-year profit was said to largely reflect the cost of turning around its domestic market, which Tesco has since begun to invest heavily in following a shock profit warning in January 2012.
Speaking in light of the figures, Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke described the results as "natural consequences of the strategic changes" the retailer began to make in 2012, adding:
"I've been working for Tesco for nearly 40 years and I can tell you this - it already looks, feels and acts like a different and a better business."
Tesco's turnaround plan for Britain signifies a £1 billion investment into brining in more staff, refurbishing stores and rejuvinating its food ranges. Despite the changes already made, the retailer said fourth quarter sales at British stores open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, grew by 0.5 per cent, a slowdown from the 1.8 per cent reported in the six weeks to 5 January. Tesco pointed out that this was, however, at the top range of forecasts of 0 to 0.5 per cent and the grocer's strongest quarterly growth in three years.