snapchat 300x300 Amazon to send deals through Snapchat that last for secondsAmazon have decided to adopt a novel approach to getting people to spend money with them. They’ll be using Snapchat to send exclusive deals to customers which will last a matter of seconds.

This partnership will allow you to also send gift ideas and recommendations as well as receiving deals that’ll be gone in 10 seconds. It looks like they’ll be using this on Black Friday and really getting going with it in the build-up to Christmas.

Amazon’s director of social John Yurcisin said: “Instagram and Snapchat are the two of the fastest growing mobile social networks where people are engaging and interacting with each other in entirely new ways.”

The Amazon Instagram page is growing in popularity and if you click on an image posted by them, it’ll send you straight to the product page. There might be a few people who get the hump with that, if they initially intended to double-tap to like the image, and end up on Amazon’s website instead.

The retailer is really gunning for social shopping. Last summer, they created a Twitter hashtag which allows you to place an item in your Amazon shopping cart simply by replying to a tweet.

Aldi to launch pop-up restaurants

November 21st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

aldi logo 252x300 Aldi to launch pop up restaurantsAldi are entering the restaurant business… sort of. The discount supermarket have announced that they’re opening a few pop-up restaurants around the country ahead of Christmas.

The restaurants will be serving up a meal planned by chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

The events will happen in selected hotels such as Blythswood Square Hotel and Home House between November 21st and December 10th.

You can try your luck to win a reservation by tweeting @AldiUK using #AldiFestiveFeast as your hastag.

Naturally all the food served will be sourced from Aldi’s Specially Selected range, including such fare as caviar, crab, turkey wellingtons and Christmas pudding.

(Actually their Christmas pudding is well nice).

Joint managing director of corporate buying, Tony Baines said: “Jean-Christophe Novelli has put together a luxury menu that shows off our festive range to the full and offers better value than other supermarkets. We hope that our consumers will enjoy it.”

Tesco launch Secret Scan-ta app

November 21st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Tesco Clubcard are hoping to help you find the perfect gift via Twitter! They’ve teamed up with We Are Social to create a campaign that endeavours the find the ideal gift for people via Twitter.

The Secret Scan-ta (OH GOD YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE) app will focus on the cheaper end of goods they offer, rather than stuff like tellies and fridges.

secret scanta 500x363 Tesco launch Secret Scan ta app

Both Clubcard customers and non-customers can input the Twitter handle of a person they are buying the gift for, and then Secret Scan-ta will sift through that particular Twitter account sourcing info on what sort of people and organisation the user follows.

Then using this data – which they’ll probably store away and cite you as a stalker or something in the future – the Scan-ta will offer up gift solutions which they have in stock.

Clubcard members who input their Clubcard vouchers at the start of the search will find their voucher value doubled and deducted from the gift’s price if they go ahead with the purchase.

And that’s not all, each week five winners will be selected at random from those who have used the app to receive 5,000 Clubcard points, and one ultimate winner will be in with a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Katie Aust digital marketing manager from Tesco Clubcard, said: “Christmas, although a happy season, can often bring with it panic and stress of buying gifts. This campaign gives the buyer get a bit of genuine insight into what the recipient is really interested in, resulting in a personal, and thoughtful gift. It also promotes the huge offerings of the Tesco gifting range and the benefits of joining Clubcard and boosting vouchers.”

So, ‘gifting’ – we’re saying that now, are we?

Swipe your Co-op card to win things

November 20th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

The Co-op have unveiled a new promotion!

Entitled Swipe and Win, any Co-op member can swipe their card in a food store, and then get entered into a daily draw thing where there’s a prize budget of £1.3m, with booty such as vouchers, tellies and fridge freezers.

swipe and win offer banner live 500x212 Swipe your Co op card to win things

There’ll also be instant prizes such as a £20 voucher or just some freebies. The promotion runs until December 9th, so you’ve got a good couple of weeks or so to try your luck.

Steve Murrells, CEO retail at The Co-op Group said  “We hope our members will enjoy taking part in Swipe and Win,”

“Of course, there are many other facets to membership of The Co-operative which enables people to have a say in the running of the business, join campaigns and to take part in organised events with other members.”

Hark at him with his ‘facets’.

Christmas AdWatch: Samsung

November 19th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Samsung are entering the TV advertising arena this season with their first Christmas campaign!

The series of ads will showcase the company’s range of gadgets while soundtracked by the decidedly ponce and unfestive Ravel’s Bolero. Mercifully, it doesn’t involve this gawdawful rap.

The adverts entitled ‘All Wrapped Up Early’ and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ are already on Samsung’s YouTube channel. All Wrapped Up will be on TV tonight (19th Nov) during that I’m A Celebrity nonsense, and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ makes its TV debut next Monday.

Russell Taylor, vice president of corporate marketing at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland said: “Christmas provides the perfect platform for us to communicate with a large base of Samsung customers and will help to make the UK’s biggest tech brand also its most loved one.”

The Galaxy Note 4 takes centre stage in ‘All wrapped up early’ celebrating the brand’s flagship smartphone. ‘Christmas round ours’ showcases the whole Samsung range.

Will it persuade you to ask for a Samsung for Christmas? Didn’t think so.

tesco Man threatens to kill Tesco staff with a PHOTO of a gunA man has threatened to kill staff at Tesco in near Cambridge, which is a bit bleak isn’t it? However, there was a problem – he was holding a photograph of a gun.

Officers (real ones, not lifesize photocopies) were called to the supermarket after staff told the 999 operators that a man was threatening to kill them all, as well as waving around an image of a firearm.

A force spokeswoman said: “A 34-year-old man from Cambridge was arrested on November 12th on suspicion of making threats to kill. He was released on police bail to return to Parkside police station in Cambridge on January 14, 2015.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “This is now a matter for the police and we are helping them with their inquiries”.

Now, if you imagine everyone trying to stop themselves from laughing about the man and his photograph of a weapon while making their statements, you’re probably somewhere close to the truth of the situation.

On a serious note though, do be careful out there. If there’s people doing things like this, then soon, we might see people carrying a photocopy of a massive bomb or something.

UK grocery sales down for first time in 20 years

November 19th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

trolley UK grocery sales down for first time in 20 yearsUK grocery sales have fallen for the first time in 20 years.

In what can only be described as quite good news for the consumer, the average price of a basket of things such as bread, milk and veg now costs 0.4% less than a year ago, as the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel show.

However the price wars have had a knock-on effect on the fortunes of the UK’s biggest supermarkets, with the overall market contracting by 0.2% in the 12 weeks to November 9.

Kantar also claim that it is the first time they’ve recorded a decline since it started in 1994.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel said: “The major supermarkets have all had a difficult period, hit by both the flow of shoppers toward the discounters and reduced revenues as they competitively cut prices.”

Tesco did the worst with their sales sliding by 3.7%, yet Morrisons’ slumped faster down from 1.3% to 3.3% a month ago.

The only growers and showers included Waitrose who increased to 5.6%. Aldi slowed down a fraction from 29.1% to 25.5% and Lidl went down from 17.7% to 16.8%.

Market share in the 12 weeks to 9 November:

• Tesco: 28.7%
• Asda: 17.2%
• Sainsbury’s: 16.4%
• Morrisons: 11.1%
• The Co-operative: 6.2%
• Waitrose: 5.1%
• Aldi: 4.9%
• Lidl: 3.5%

bm bargains 300x300 B&M Bargains: The next shop to disrupt the High Street?With Aldi and Lidl making things difficult for the big supermarkets, there’s a bunch of companies that have been doing a similar trick, albeit, more quietly.

Netto have been opening a crop of new shops with little fanfare, but the one to keep an eye on is B&M Bargains.

Simon Arora, the chief executive of B&M, has been saying that his company are “genuinely disruptive” to the retail industry and that they will be doubling in size in the UK. B&M floated on the stock market earlier this year and are valued at £2.7bn.

While Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda have all been keeping an eye on each other, they collectively failed to noticed that B&M, Poundland, Aldi and Lidl have been stealing their customers through good prices and expansion.

B&M also happen to be chaired by former Tesco boss, Sir Terry Leahy, so you know they’re not messing around. The company already has 400 outlets, but they’re looking at getting to 850 stores in the next couple of years.

Arora said: “Half the UK does not have a B&M in convenient access. We will become a national retailer not a regional retailer.” While they don’t sell food, “you can find a toaster in B&M and it will be cheaper than a specialist shop.”

B&M are looking at becoming something like Woolworths, filling the gap for those who want the kind of things you wouldn’t buy with your groceries. B&M are also looking at grabbing the buildings left by Homebase who closed a quarter of their stores.

Sir Terry Leahy says: “The business is well-positioned as the leading limited assortment general merchandise discounter in a growth sector which offers scope for it to at least double in size in the UK alone over the next few years – and we are making good progress towards that objective.”

“B&M has delivered good momentum in sales, profits and cash generation during the first half whilst at the same time pushing on with rapid store rollout and investing in new infrastructure and team capability to support this long-term growth.”

The Big Four – the ball’s in your court.

Should the supermarkets break-up for success?

November 18th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

morrisons 300x300 Should the supermarkets break up for success?We all know that the big supermarkets aren’t doing particularly well and, as far as the consumer is concerned, why should anyone care? As long as someone is offering a decent price on decent products, it doesn’t matter where you shop.

And so, to Goldman Sachs who think they have a solution for the big players in supermarket world – they need to be broken up and scaled down.

In a research note, Goldman Sachs said Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons must cut space by around 20% by 2020 if the want to survive the onslaught from Aldi and Lidl. “Our analysis of the UK grocery industry suggests capacity exit is the only viable solution for a return to profitable growth,” their analysts said.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that someone has suggested that. We’ve spoken about the idea of Tesco becoming ‘smaller’ in a bid to stay relevant.

It is believed that like-for-like sales through the bigger stores will fall by around 18% and that earnings could also fall by 60% between 2013 and 2017 if supermarkets don’t sort this issue of space, out.

The supermarkets have already noticed this and tried to find a remedy for it, that’s why so many of them are setting up ‘convenience’ versions of their supermarkets, because no-one is using their enormo-markets that are found out-of-town.

And while the big four have been slashing prices, or at least threatening to, it isn’t enough according to Goldman Sachs. They think that “the major decisions that will shape the future of the UK grocery market are yet to be taken”.

We can only wait and see.

Easyjet see increase in profits and customers

November 18th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

easyjet 300x170 Easyjet see increase in profits and customersEasyjet have announced a 21.5% rise in their annual pre-tax profits.

The company’s profits rose to £581m for the 12 months up to September 2014, which is up from £478m the previous year.

This is said to be down to increased passenger numbers, with a 7% rise on them reported, taking the total to 64.8 million people ferried about.

According to chief executive Carolyn McCall, EasyJet had “opened up clear blue sky” between the airline and its competitors. When chief execs say things like that, you just want to kick them up the arse forever, don’t you?

The budget no frills airline has a fleet of 226 planes, and said that acquiring some slots at Gatwick from their arch rival Flybe had helped them considerably.

Also, the amount of available seats on Easyjet flights grew by 5.1% to 71.5 million, of which almost 91% were filled.

Easyjet are also seeing customers returning to them, not put off by being cheap and cheery, and 57% of customers are rebooking each year. ”When people sample us, when they try us for the first time, they tend not to go back to legacy airlines,” McCall told the BBC.

A new loyalty card scheme – which had be trialled on 15,000 passengers – had proven quite popular, as it cut out some of the additional faff and made it easier for regular fliers to come back and forth. It’s all reasonably rosy, although they have warned that costs-per-seat may increase due to rising airport, navigation and maintenance charges.

On the other hand, the airline also said an expected fall in fuel prices could drive costs down by as much as £22m over the next six months.

Tesco launching free WiFi in stores

November 18th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco clubcard 300x168 Tesco launching free WiFi in storesTesco are trying to win over the public with free WiFi in their stores. Of course, this means Minority Report fans are going to lose their baps over this, thinking that the whole thing is an exercise in stealing your data and tracking you around the aisles.

In fairness, that’s probably true.

In a press release, Auntie Tesco said:”Customers are now able to take advantage of BT WiFi free in Tesco Extra and Superstores across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Tesco is helping customers get more value out of their shopping experiences with free and fast WiFi access at stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland, thanks to a new partnership with BT.”

So how do you go about getting it?

Tesco add: “To enjoy the new service, customers should simply select ‘Tesco Wi-fi’ or ‘BT’ on their smartphones or tablets and they can begin browsing. The free service has been fully rolled out to 806 Tesco Extra and Superstores in the UK and 113 stores in the Republic of Ireland.”

While you’re using it, you’ll be allowed to download Clubcard vouchers and get product information too, as well as browsing recipes and hawking the latest in-store offers and all that.

Tomas Kadlec, Group Technology Director, Tesco, said: “Customers now want the same kind of experience in-store as they enjoy online, with fast and convenient access to product information, pricing and offers at the touch of their fingertips. We were the first supermarket in the UK to offer free WiFi  and the first to launch online shopping. We’re now bringing these innovations together to put our customers in control with better service and value than ever before.”

Get on the torrents while you’re shopping for beans, eh?

Now a thing: Personalised Nutella

November 18th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

nutella david 285x300 Now a thing: Personalised NutellaWhat do you get the person who is really batshit for Nutella this Christmas? Why, a personalised pot of it.

Yes indeed, Nutella are doing special personalised pots of its spread in branches of Selfridges this year. The £3.99 for a 400g jar will seem meaningless once the object of your affection’s eyes light up upon unwrapping their own personal jar of brown gloop.

It’s not available online, but you can call 0800 123 400 and order there and collect in your nearest store.

This idea worked a charm for Coca-Cola. By simply putting human names on a product, you’ll find that everyone on the internet can’t wait to show something with the same name as them, thereby, doing a lot of free promotion for you.

Obviously this – as anything offering a personalised service – can be corrupted by miscreants and all manner of words can be put on the jars, not that we’re advising you get a jar and personalise it with something like “compacted faeces” or something like that.

But it’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid (well, unless you have a nut allergy, and then you’re a bit doomed). Quite literally SPREAD the love. [you're fired - Ed.]

Free stuff with the Morrisons PudPod!

November 17th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

pudpod hero 258x300 Free stuff with the Morrisons PudPod!There’s nothing jollier than a van done up as a massive Christmas pudding handing out treats is there? Well, there’s about 5,000,000 things more jolly.

Either way, Morrisons are sending a massive pudding on the road!

The supermarket is taking the Pud Pod – or, inevitably #pudpod – on to the road to call at 32 locations around the UK ahead of Christmas. ['The Pudmobile' would've been better - Ed.]

The mobile pudding will also be handing out vouchers and free food as part of its ‘Make Christmas Special’ campaign this season.

Shoppers that visit the #pudpod will get £5 off a Christmas shop at Morrisons and will also get free samples from the Christmas range, including mince pies, panettone, roast turkey and pigs in blankets (bacon wrapped sausages, not actual porcines in a picnic rug).

If you want to follow the #pudpod, and if you have a largish Morrisons in your manor, then it’s likely you get a visit. Gander over here for further details.

We hope that we see it hijacked and entering into a high speed chase a la OJ Simpson, for a truly wonderful festive shoot-out that sees Morrisons being the unwitting star of 24 rolling death news.

Asda and Tesco must make their bananas fair

November 17th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

tesco unveils its banana 001 300x180 Asda and Tesco must make their bananas fairAsda and Tesco must sell more Fairly traded bananas.

The Fairtrade Foundation has been geeing up consumers to harass the two supermarkets this month, which is when buyers negotiate supplier contracts for the next 12 months.

The UK public spends over £700m eating 5 billion of them a year – yet instead of making a decent living, many banana farmers that supply the UK are struggling to get by.

Fairtrade Foundation claims that Tesco and Asda are the two largest UK sellers of the yellow-skinned treat, yet still stocked ranges of non-Fairtrade bananas.

According to a poll of 2,000 banana lovers, more than eight in 10 customers – which itself included 85% of Asda shoppers and 84% of Tesco types – would happily coin up a bit extra if they knew that the banana grower was getting their slice.

“UK consumers care about the conditions faced by the people who grow our food,” said the Foundation.

Globally, Fairtrade works with close to 25,000 banana plantation workers and small farmers across Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, the Windward Islands, Panama, Costa Rica, Ghana and Cameroon.

If you want to join the chanting, head here and enter details to email Asda and Tesco directly.

Christmas AdWatch: Cadbury and Vodafone

November 14th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

The Christmas advert season is in full swing now, with few left to showcase their festive wares. While it seems that we may have reached the peaks with Monty The Penguin and Sainsbury’s tribute to Paul McCartney’s ‘Pipes of Peace’ video, there are still some companies hoping to woo you in with imagery of stressed ordinary folk in woolly hats enjoying a reasonable Christmas.

Vodafone’s seasonal effort features a variety of scenarios wherein actors perform ‘Let It Go’ from that Frozen. It’s basically saying “hang out with Vodafone as we can offer Sky Movies and TV shows with NOWTV, included on Vodafone Red 4G”

They’ve also done the admin ahead for you hashtag-wise, with the unsightly #powertothefestive, which plumbs new lows in meaninglessness.

Meanwhile Cadburys have gone into the Christmas ad market with a tie-up with ITV. A series of adverts feature star “talent” from the station such as Fearne Cotton, Keith Lemon, Paddy McGuinness, Christine Bleakley, Phillip Schofield and Stephen Mulhern. Because Daniel Day Lewis was busy probably.

The tie-in with ITV will also see Cadbury’s sponsor Christmas programming on the channel, including Catchphrase Christmas Special and the All Star Family Fortunes Christmas Special.

According to Simon Daglish, group commercial sales director at ITV: “Cadbury are the perfect fit for this exciting and unique partnership with ITV to unwrap joy across the festive period. The innovative activity is a great example of how ITV can work closely with advertisers and talent across a number of platforms to deliver a highly dynamic and unique campaign.”

If the idea of Cadburys condoning Keith Lemon is enough to drive you off chocolate for life, then these adverts will have done their job.