However from February, 80% of the Direct stuff will be merged into the grocery site, while George.com will remain the home for all your fashion needs, but will become the online lifestyle store bolstered with no doubt matching towels, toys and pleasing-but-fragile cushions.
The Direct site especially triumphed with deals in stuff like books, garden bits and bobs as well as white goods, like electrical cleaning solution providers such as the washing machine.
This follows Sainsbury’s announcing similar last month, with streamlining its non-food into their grocery site.
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said: “We’re creating an online experience that logically fits with how our customers want to shop and focuses on the areas that our customers love. Ultimately, we want to give more people access to the price, quality and style that we are famous for.”
There’s that dreaded ‘experience’ again.
“In what is still a challenging market, I am delighted that we are able to make an investment that will not only step on delivery of our strategy, but also bring new and convenient ways for our customers to shop with us,” Clarke adds.
The company are also hoping to boost online sales by launching the first fully automated click and collect points in the UK, which should roll out in London and the South East from early 2015.
You remember a few months ago when we excitedly told you of Tesco launching a Hudl smartphone?
Well, cancel that all-night vigil party because Tesco now can’t be arsed.
Instead, the company are pouring their efforts into making the Hudl 2 as amazing as possible.
According to Robin Terrell, the supermarket’s multichannel director: “The technology sector is fast changing and constantly evolving and since then, the mobile market has become even more competitive. So in early July, I took the decision that we would put the phone on hold and concentrate on the Hudl 2 tablet.”
“Mobile technology – phones and tablets – are transforming all consumer industries and particularly retail. Our future success relies on our anticipating and adapting those consumer trends so that we can continually improve the products and services we offer our customers.”
The Hudl 2 is promised in the next few weeks, which is conveniently handy for Christmas.
They’ve not gone completely wild and reckless though as this is only a pilot scheme which saw 100 or so of its delivery offices across the UK opening on the Sabbath.
It is said that the move was to take advantage of the increase in online shopping. ‘Taking advantage’ in this case, means ‘not being left behind by everyone else who already works on a Sunday’.
Plus, it’s all going to get a bit Christmas soon and having the opportunity of the limited collection period doubled is handy for ‘hard working families’ and all that.
Royal Mail will also begin a trial of Sunday deliveries to addresses within the M25 motorway tomorrow. How very Orbital of them.
Just so you can update your records, the Royal Mail delivery offices which will be taking part will be open between 12pm and 4pm. Plenty of time to rock up with a red slip while you suffer a brutal hangover.
In fact, let’s all get some of their own brand vintage champagne to celebrate, as it’s just trousered three top gongs at the Champagne & Sparking Wine World Championships (CSWWC).
Man. Imagine how amazing it would be to attend the Champagne & Sparking Wine World Championships.
Co-op’s £24.99 Les Pionniers 2004 Brut got garnered the Best Vintage Blend, Best Value Champagne and Best Supermarket Champagne prize action.
The Brut is made in the Piper-Heidsieck champagne house in France
In a blind taste test, at specialist wine school Plumpton College the judges wolfed down 650 different wines from across 16 countries, before – probably after having a well-deserved lie-down – deciding on 30 winners.
And for each Gold winner, they were all blind-tasted again to make sure. Nice work.
The big winner, or the Supreme World Champion, was the Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002. The judges chorused: “This is possibly the most amazing result of the entire competition. The 2004 Les Pionniers is as much a tribute to the winemaking skill of the Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck winemaking team, under the direction of Régis Camus.”
A possibly quite merry himself Ben Cahill, the Champagne Buyer at Co-operative Food said: “We’re really proud to have a long-standing relationship with Regis Camus who offers his expert wine making skills from one of the best Champagne producers in the world. And, now matured for 10 years, our own-label vintage champagne is at its best age for drinking and is a steal.”
See you down the booze aisle as soon as work finishes.
Except this one is for Building Design’s Carbuncle Cup, which is handed out to architecture that is “unforgivably bad and deserve(s) to be named and shamed“.
The development at Woolwich Central is managed and owned by Spenhill, who in turn are owned by Tesco, and it offers a Tesco Extra across the first eight floors teamed with 189 apartments of one, two and three bedroom variations, above that.
It must be said, the judges delivered some champion shade, when describing the building: “Camouflage comes in the way of some truly diabolical cladding and a massing strategy that seems to have been directly inspired by the 1948 Berlin blockade; we can only hope that residential leases come with free airlift.”
One of the panel, Prince Charles’s architectural adviser, Hank Dittmar aced that with “too much for the site, for the area and for the eye”.
An unnamed spokesman for the architects, was having none of it, saying “the aim was to create a cohesive piece of strong architecture that unlocked this vast space and established a desirable place to live”.
But then he would.
The range consists of 30 dishes, for either 2-4 people, and should be in selected stores from the end of September.
As with any ready meal, all the meals can be cooked from frozen and features ingredients that cope the best with the frozen wastes.
“We’re well known for our ready meals, and we felt that we could do our frozen prepared foods justice in terms of quality” said someone from M&S.
“This move was part of the expansion of our food ranges and has nothing to do with other retailers, especially not Iceland,” the spokesman added cattily, honest.
Still, no-one’s buying non-food items from M&S, so they might want to have a look at those arms of the business before trying to fix things with frozen pies.
The new format bags of Honey Hoopla, Coco Pops Jumbos and Coco Pops Chocos [someone fire the person who names products at Kellogg's - Ed] will weigh 240g as opposed to 295g, and contain eight servings.
Kellogg’s had originally launched discounted cereal bars in May, but reckon that this new range will expand their reach in the discount market and, as we know, the discount market is where it is really at in 2014.
Nick Dawson, who is a UK customer director of speciality channels (get him) said: “Cereal sales in the discount channel are growing strongly so being able to offer Kellogg’s branded products with a strong value proposition on shelf offers a fantastic platform for growth”
He could’ve discounted or at least reduced half the waffle in that quote, but you get the idea.
Marks & Spencer have launched a new TV advertising campaign for its food.
The ‘Adventures in Imagination’ (which, if it involved the Body Talk hitmakers, would be even more amazing) slightly harks back to their soft-porny ‘Not Just Any…’ series of ads, with erotic cutting and gooey centres oozing just so.
M&S has said that the ad is to “tease the nation’s increasingly discerning taste buds” and highlights the most in-demand food trends featured in the retailer’s autumn 2014 range, such as lush looking patisserie loveliness, top quality cuts, runny Scotch eggs and showcases the Kouign-amann, a traditional Breton cake that is a cross between a croissant and a brioche.
It’s also a rare opportunity to hear that most-streamed-song-of-the-year Clean Bandit number.
The unnecessarily lengthily titled M&S executive director of marketing and international Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said: “Over the last decade, consumers’ culinary tastes have become more adventurous and Britain’s love affair with food has really ignited.”
“Our new campaign reflects this shift and uses a different language to the price-focused supermarkets. It brings to life the hundreds of new ideas we have in our food halls every month by showcasing the sensual and surprising aspects of food – like its textures and movement – in a modern, stylish and precision format.”
‘A different language’ – nice bit of shade there.
The cut-and-shut merger of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse has had its position bolstered by Vodafone renewing a long-term contract with the retailer, after evil gossips suggested otherwise.
As well as strengthening their links with Dixons Carphone, Vodafone also shucked off their involvement with Phones4U, making their position a bit of a headache, raising questions about THEIR future as they’ve just also lost O2 and only have EE for company now.
Shares in Dixons Carphone went up to 368.4p, which sounds all quite good doesn’t it, making a 6.9% gain and sending the new company to its highest level yet, and giving them a market value over £4.2 billion.
So hurrah for Dixons Carphone, and um, a, well, er to Phones4U.
The iPhone 6 is going to include a new payments system allowing owners to pay in stores simply by tapping their phone on a reader.
And now it sounds like they’ve got the big guns on-board.
The iWallet app will allow users to pay for things like lattes and Wired magazine with their phones, using Near Field Communication (NFC), the technology is already widely used by credit cards for low cost payments.
The handset, which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday 9th September, will come in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes.
It is rumoured that it will also have a flexible, scratch-proof screen, which is good news for, well, everyone – especially you clumsy alcoholics who get in a lot of arguments where you feel the need to throw your phone around.
Apple is also expected to link the system to their iTunes store, which already holds customer’s payment details, so you’ll be buying Rene & Renato’s Greatest Hits in no time.
Most phones already do it as well, but hey ho.
One of their key shareholders, Harris Associates, has sold nearly two thirds of its stake in the beleagured supermarket.
The American investment fund Harris Associates, had been Tesco’s seventh largest shareholder.
Chief exec David Herro told the Sunday Telegraph “We have sold, in the last month, probably two thirds of our position
“With so many unknowns … those risk factors are just too high to justify a big position.”
This comes after Tesco issued its second profit warning in two months, and estimating that annual profits are more likely to be 25% lower than last year. Continuing a three year decline.
It’s probably not the ideal welcome for Dave Lewis, who takes over the top job today, a month ahead of what had been planned.
Tesco, who has lost the bulk of their business to up-and-coming budget retailers such as Aldi and Lidl, also slashed its dividend by 75% to give Lewis greater flexibility to revive the world’s No.3 retailer.
Can it catch up on lost ground? Who knows? Should they break themselves up in a bid to stay in the game?
We haven’t polled everyone, but we reckon you’d be hard pressed to find someone on this planet who doesn’t like crisps. Only sickos don’t like crisps.
Anyway, it pleases us to announce that there’s a new crisp on the scene, which is not like the others, namely Mackie’s Whisky & Haggis crisps.
Gie it laldy.
And that’s not all, as it will soon be joined by Venison & Cranberry flavour too.
The Ridge Cut affairs are in Scottish Co-ops RIGHT NOW, and will appear in Tesco and Asda in October, so petition/ mildly riot accordingly.
It’s a limited edition at the moment, but if it kicks off, it may be added to the range full time.
George Taylor, managing director of Mackie’s at Taypack, said: “We have been delighted with the uptake of our Ridge Cut range thus far, with sales already in line with our core range.”
“We felt it was time to add a Scottish twist to the range as our Scottish flavours have always been very popular. We were particularly keen to try a whisky seasoning as Scotch is so renowned around the world. We tried various combinations and the whisky and haggis pairing came out on top. We are very excited to see the market’s reaction to the new flavour lines.”
The gauntlet has been thrown down, beat that England. Oh and if anyone could source us a box for “research”, we’ll be quite grateful.
According to some research by the Kantar Worldpanel (sounds like a support act for Kraftwerk or Can), low inflation in the price of groceries, has seen sales grow by only 0.8% in the last 12 weeks, against figures from a year earlier.
The ongoing price wars and what have you, has driven inflation down to a record low of 0.2%. And guess what?
The main winners in market share again were Aldi and Lidl.
Aldi’s market share rose to 4.8% from 3.7% a year earlier, while Lidl’s share climbed to 3.6% from 3.1%. And it’s not all budget end, as sales at Waitrose were up 3.6% from a year earlier, and its market share edged up to 4.9% from 4.8%.
But it’s grim news for Tesco, as its sales were down 4% from last year’s period, and the market share dropping from 30.2% to 28.8%
According to Kantar Worldpanel director Edward Garner: “Competitive pricing among the big grocers and deflation in the price of staple items such as vegetables, milk and bread has driven inflation down yet again,”
“This naturally impacts on the overall growth of the grocery market, which has fallen to a 10 year record-low of 0.8%,” he added.