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Fashion sales back in vogue for John Lewis Friday, 17th May 2013
Photo credit: John Lewis plc
Despite tough comparisons across the business, John Lewis’ fashion sales rose 4.8 per cent in the week to 11 May, as the warm weather spurred on clothing lines.
A warm bank holiday weekend brought a sharp drop in footfall for John Lewis in the seven days to 11 May, with total sales falling to -0.2 per cent year-on-year. Even with the flat performance, the department store managed a 4.8 per cent growth in fashion sales, with children’s clothing, shoes, and own-brand women’s fashions all reporting strong trading.
Tough year-on-year comparisons didn’t stop the retailer’s electrical and home technology directorate, as it managed an impressive 4.7 per cent growth in sales for the week, despite coming up against high tablet sales and one of the peak digital switchover weeks the year before.
Meanwhile home sales dipped by 9.4 per cent week-on-week, although the warm weather led to outdoor furniture and barbeques being “predictable stand outs” for the retailer.
Speaking in light of the week’s performance, Simon Russell, director of retail operations development, said there had been some “encouraging signs” at the end of the week as the weather cooled down, helped by price matching and promotional activity across the group’s operations. Online, sales grew by 8.2 per cent, outpacing the majority of shop sales for the week.
Russell added that the current week had gotten off to a much stronger start, with the retailer “well placed” for the week ahead.
It seems the spate of warm weather certainly played in Waitrose’s favour, as sales at the partnership’s food operations rose 12.8 per cent excluding petrol for the week.
Retail director Rob Collins said strong sales were driven by the warmer bank holiday, helping to create a “summer spirit” for trading.
Waitrose’s online sales momentum continued to grow with the number of orders placed up by 41 per cent year-on-year, while the retailer opened its newly relocated Waitrose in Oakgrove, Milton Keynes, completed with a new Waitrose.com hub, customer café and home department.
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.
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.
ECB announce Waitrose as new sponsor for England cricket team Friday, 10th May 2013
Photo credit: My-Retail Media
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.”
John Lewis fetes arrival of spring as fashion sales surge Friday, 3rd May 2013
Photo credit: John Lewis plc
Hotter climes have helped fashion sales at John Lewis rise 19.6 per cent on the same week a year before.
The department store on Friday reported a stronger week with sales up 5.3 per cent in the seven days to 27 April, as fashion sales managed to offset tougher trading at the retailer’s home and electricals and home technology directorates.
Despite getting off to a slow start, it seems fashion sales have finally kicked into action at John Lewis, up 19.6 per cent on the same week last year. Women’s accessories and beauty, women’s footwear, women’s fashion accessories and sunglasses all recorded best-ever spring weeks, with shoes managing a 71 per cent gain on last year.
Online fashion sales rose an impressive 49 per cent on last year, giving a boost to the 18.9 per cent jump made at JohnLewis.com across the week.
Speaking on the results, Amanda Scott, head of buying at John Lewis women’s accessories and beauty said: “Price matching activity clearly drove footfall into stores as well as growth online. Department stores finished ahead of last year with Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Liverpool and Peter Jones posting the strongest performances.”
Both home and electricals and home technology came up against tough comparables on the previous year, with home down 2.5 per cent for the week. Tech sales fell just behind 2012’s results, down 0.3 per cent against the same week last year.
“As we conclude a strong first quarter our focus ahead is on trading new season's merchandise, continuing to provide product innovation to surprise and delight our customers and a best-in-class shopping experience through all our channels.” Scott added.
John Lewis Partnership’s food operations echoed the sunny disposition, with sales excluding petrol up 11.1 per cent in Waitrose’s first quarter.
The high-end supermarket on Friday revealed customer transactions rose 8.4 per cent for the period, with Waitrose serving an average of 5 million customers a week. Online sales at Waitrose.com rose 50.1 per cent, as the retailer continued to drive growth across its multichannel operations.
“What is so significant about our figures is that the vast majority of our growth has been achieved by an increase in volume sales from our established branches, with just one shop opening so far this financial year.” Tom Athron, financial director at Waitrose said on Friday.
“Our competitive price position and the extension of Brand Price Match has helped us continue to win new customers. We now price match Tesco on more than 7,000 items each week, meaning that our prices on everyday brands, excluding promotions, are the same as Tesco and in many cases lower than Sainsbury's.” Athron added.
In the week ending 27 April, total divisional sales excluding petrol rose 8.4 per cent, with shoppers continuing to stock up on summer food and drink.
Waitrose to supply food on Eurostar Monday, 29th April 2013
Image courtesy of Waitrose
Waitrose is set to provide food and beverages for every Eurostar service into Europe, according to The Telegraph.
The British grocer is reportedly hoping the venture will offer an insight into customer reaction to its products in Northern Europe.
Information concerning the value of the contract has been withheld by Waitrose, but it is expected to last several years.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for us to work with such a prestigious brand, which shares our commitment to quality and service,” said David Warton, the business-to-business director of Waitrose.
“To be the first food brand that Eurostar’s customers experience when they are visiting Britain is tremendously powerful as we seek to expand our presence within northern Europe.”
Kantar finds Sainsbury is strongest performer in Big Four Tuesday, 23rd April 2013
Photo credit: My Retail Media
Latest Kantar results find Sainsbury delivered the strongest growth within Britain’s four biggest supermarkets, as sales rose 5.4 per cent in the 12 weeks to 14 April.
According to market research conducted by Kantar Worldpanel, Sainsbury increased its market share to 16.9 per cent in the three months. Tesco’s sales rose 1.0 per cent, while Asda, the nation’s second largest grocer, reportedly managed a 3.0 per cent rise in sales. Morrisons continued to lag behind with a 0.3 per cent growth in sales for the period.
Away from the big four, Kantar found an “increasingly polarised grocery market” led to all-time record shares for Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl as tough trading on the high street continued.
“Pressure on household budgets is undoubtedly driving some of the growth at the discounters, but messages about quality are starting to resonate.” Edward Garner, director at Kantar said.
“Lidl announced this week that it will increase its fresh meat and poultry floorspace by 50% within the year, and Aldi’s new ‘convenience’ store in Kilburn is a departure from its traditional edge-of-town offering. These changes are likely to appeal to a new and different group of shoppers which will bolster the performance of the discounters even further,” Garner added.
With a long-standing upmarket positioning, Waitrose managed a 4.9 per cent rise in market share, while Kantar said discounters Aldi and Lidl achieved a 3.4 per cent and 3.0 per cent rise respectively.
John Lewis’ Oxford St flagship sees 18.5% rise in sales Friday, 19th April 2013
Photo credit: John Lewis plc
Proving the stores still have it, John Lewis’ Oxford Street flagship reported an 18.5 per cent rise in sales in the week to 13 April.
While John Lewis’ stellar rate of sales growth slowed slightly to 6.9 per cent including VAT in the seven days to 13 April, it was the group’s bricks-and-mortar stores that led the way for the week, with Oxford Street, Liverpool, Poole and Aberdeen all well into the double digit figures for growth.
“Week eleven proved a solid one to conclude a strong set of Easter comparisons.” Andy Street, John Lewis managing director, said on Friday. “This was especially so when we consider the strength of April trade last year which included the beginning of the Technology surge. Inevitably therefore, the headline sales growth has slowed just a little from the cracking pace we set at the beginning of the year” Street added.
John Lewis on Friday reported the first glimpse of sunshine helped lift its fashion directorate by 7.6 per compared with the same week the year before, while over in the home department big ticket items sold well with a focus on furniture.
Usually the star of the show, John Lewis’ electricals and home technology department last week came up against strong comparisons from the ‘Digital Switchover’ in 2012, but still managed to report a 7.2 per cent rise in sales.
Street said John Lewis’ online performance in April 2012 had “proved hard to beat, but encouragingly the new website continues to bed down, and outstanding mobile trade helped the channel to 5 per cent overall.”
Over at the partnerships’ food operations, Waitrose reported an impressive 24.6 per cent rise in sales excluding petrol on the same period last year. Helen Hyde, personnel director at Waitrose noted “the distorting effect of the fall of Easter and school holidays when compared to last year,” but added that it was still an “impressive trading performance and well above our expectations.”
As the hottest week of the year so far, Waitrose said its customers were looking ahead to summer with warmer weather eating habits, including picnic sales and quick-to-prepare foods so more time could be spent outdoors.
Sales rise 23.1% for John Lewis as department store looks to cater for “every eventuality” Friday, 5th April 2013
Photo credit: John Lewis plc
Sales rose 23.1 per cent year-on-year for the department store group, as Easter purchases boosted strong like-for-like sales and online growth in the seven days to 30 March.
The Easter holidays brought a rise in footfall for John Lewis stores, as sales rose 14.6 per cent on the Easter week from 2012. Tamworth achieved the strongest growth results for store sales, up 79.3 per cent year-on-year, with Swindon just behind at 77.7 per cent.
Online, sales rose 14.6 per cent, while the retailer’s gift food and seasonal lines rose 31 per cent thanks to Easter purchases. Electrical and home technology once again became the best-performing directorates, as sales rose 47 per cent year-on-year.
Commenting on the results, Susan Young, head of merchandising, central operations at John Lewis said: “The coldest March in 50 years continues to have a dramatic effect on our sales pattern for this time of year when compared to the warmer weather last year. However, the varied assortment that we offer provides customers with choices to suit every eventuality.”
“With the school holidays in full swing, and the Shop Spring campaign under way, we are confident of a good performance across the board. Although it's still on the chilly side, we have begun to see a glimpse of sunshine which should encourage customers to venture into our summer product and start thinking about spending more time outdoors. Stock and availability remains in a good position to support this footfall,” Young added.
John Lewis’ supermarket operations reported an equally encouraging week for growth, with total sales excluding petrol rising 33.9 per cent year-on-year at Waitrose. Sales in the seven days to 30 Match reached £140.7 million, the retailer’s biggest ever week outside of Christmas, and up 14.8 per cent on last year’s equivalent Easter week.
Waitrose’s online store managed a record-breaking week, as sales rose 57.8 per cent when compared to 2012’s Easter week, as shoppers chose to stay at home and buy online instead of braving the wintry weather for the supermarket.
Snow in spring can’t stop John Lewis as sales rise 13.5% Thursday, 28th March 2013
Photo credit: John Lewis plc
Blossom and daffodils may have been replaced by sleet and snow in the run up to Easter, but John Lewis continues on its winning streak, with sales up 13.5 per cent year-on-year.
Despite a marked contrast to last year’s balmy March, it seems the weather did little to abate the UK’s appetite for shopping as the department store chain managed to report strong growth across its branches and online. Sales at the retailer’s Trafford store in Manchester rose 28.1 per cent year-on-year, while Swindon saw a 33.7 per cent jump in sales. Online, John Lewis reported a 20 per cent leap in sales in the seven days to 23 March, compared with the same time a year ago.
“When compared to the equivalent (very hot) week last year, last week's unseasonably cold weather has, not surprisingly, impacted the pattern of our sales with some store opening hours affected by heavy snow.” Dino Rocos, John Lewis operations director said in light of the results.
“The product focus has shifted to winter wear (with a surge in sales of boots and outerwear), and has affected both the Directorate and channel sales mix. The breadth of our assortment does, however, support customers continuing to shop with product for all occasions, accessible through our multiple touchpoints.”
As with previous weeks, it was fashion that struggled the most through the unseasonable weather, as customers reportedly held off full-price new season products in favour of last season’s winter lines. Home categories benefited from an earlier Easter, up 13 per cent year-on-year, but it was electrical and home technology that again lead the way across the directorates, as sales rose 22 per cent on last year.
Over at the partnership’s supermarket operations, Waitrose reported its strongest sales growth for the year for a standard trading week, with total sales excluding petrol up 14.5 per cent. Online grocery shopping rose 61.3 per cent year-on-year for the high-end grocer, as customers chose to shop from home instead of braving the freezing temperatures outside.