Posts Tagged ‘retail’

Sainsbury’s new trolley for disabled kids

September 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

sainsburys 300x192 Sainsburys new trolley for disabled kidsSainsbury’s have launched a new shopping trolley designed especially for parents with kids who have disabilities.

600 of the trolleys will be sent to stores across the country this week.

The new trolleys are designed for children with the likes of cerebral palsy and autism, and fitted with a special padded seat and harness designed for maximum comfort and security.

All Sainsbury’s supermarkets will have at least one of the new trolleys by the end of October.

Sainsbury’s had invited parents Maria Box and Stacie Lewis to trial-run the new trolleys, after learning of their frustration with the current trolleys being unsatisfactory.

Hannah Bernard, Sainsbury’s director of customer experience, said: “We were reviewing our range of trolleys when we read about Maria’s experience and Stacie’s call for supermarkets to introduce a new trolley for disabled children. We immediately contacted them and invited them to trial our new trolley with their children.”

“We always had trolleys for parents with disabled children but they weren’t appropriate for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy or autism. We hope these new trolleys will make shopping much easier for thousands of parents like Stacie and Maria and are very grateful to them for helping us with the design.”

Mark Harper MP, Minister of State for Disabled People said: “It’s excellent news that Sainsbury’s are taking steps to improve the shopping experience for disabled people. This new trolley should serve as a benchmark for others in the retail sector.”

Hurrah all concerned!

Tesco invent £250m in their profits and suspend execs

September 22nd, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco extra Tesco invent £250m in their profits and suspend execsEveryone enjoys it when Tesco make a pig’s ear of something. They’re too big for their boots, so even if these cock-ups don’t necessarily mean that they’re in trouble, we should take every opportunity to mock them when it presents itself.

And so, Britain’s biggest supermarket have overestimated their profits by £250m, like the massive idiots they are.

They were talking about their expected profit for the half year, and invented a whole load of money ”due to the accelerated recognition of commercial income and delayed accrual of costs”.

“On the basis of preliminary investigations into the UK food business, the Board believes that the guidance issued on 29 August 2014 for the Group profits for the six months to 23 August 2014 was overstated by an estimated £250m. Some of this impact includes in-year timing differences. Work is ongoing to establish the extent of these issues and what impact they will have on the full year,” the company said in a statement.

The stupid gits.

Tesco have gone off crying to Deloitte and asked them to undertake an independent and comprehensive review of this balls-up, as well as consulting Freshfields, their external legal advisers.

Once they get this sorted, they will provide a further update of their interim results, which will now be shared with the world on the 23rd October 2014.

We can only hope that even more money goes missing, because we’re petty and cruel.

*update*

Tesco have gone and suspended four executives, including its UK managing director, after their overegging of profits and have launched an investigation, which will be undertaken by Deloitte.

As a result of this debacle, the company’s shares fell 10%. ”We have uncovered a serious issue and responded accordingly,” said Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis.

Lewis said “a number of people” had been suspended from duty, and one of those is UK managing director Chris Bush, according to the BBC.

Lewis added that he expects Tesco “to operate with integrity and transparency” and that they ”will take decisive action as the results of the investigation become clear.”

Made.com congratulate Scotland on their independence

September 19th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

The Scottish Independence Referendum (or, ‘neverendum’ for those who have been furiously bored by the whole thing) has had a lot of people debating and musing, and when that happens, you can bet your ass that a load of people in marketing are looking at ways of getting on board with the whole thing.

Made.com got a bit trigger happy, congratulating the Scottish on their new found independence… that didn’t happen.

IMG 0864 381x500 Made.com congratulate Scotland on their independence

 

What with Scotland still being part of Britain for the time being, the email will have no doubt offered Scots a painful glimpse into a future they could’ve had, where they could’ve had a bunch of navy blue things in their houses.

Obviously, navy blue things are banned now.

Made.com realised their error and sent another email out, which was inspired by the Union Jack, which will serve to offer certain Scots the bleak realisation that they’re tied to David Cameron for a while yet.

IMG 0867 347x500 Made.com congratulate Scotland on their independence

 

Now, all Scottish people who voted ‘Yes’ will be required to store all their broken dreams in a £179 ‘Jack Upholstered storage box’ while watching their hopes float away while sat on a £769 ‘Edward Jack Armchair’.

Cruel business this politics lark.

Avid Bitterwallet reader, Steve Hogarty, spotted something in Boots and needed to share it with everyone. He’d spied their essential-for-summer product, called ‘Boots’ Hot Weather Refreshing Spray’, which sounds magical, especially if you’ve been struggling in the heat.

He said: “The special formula in Boots’ Hot Weather Refreshing Spray is a closely guarded secret. Only two scientists know— oh.”

BwdnaPTIMAEi97N 500x340 What is the secret behind Boots Hot Weather Refreshing Spray?

 

So as you can see, Boots are flogging plain ol’ water in a spray can and saying that the ‘Hot Weather Refreshing Spray’ is good ‘for sensitive skin’ and is to be used by ‘adults and children’.

You have to admire the brass balls on Boots for this.

Tesco: woes continue

September 1st, 2014 5 Comments By Ian Wade

tesco bag 300x187 Tesco: woes continueIt’s been a rum few days for Tesco.

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?

Should Tesco break itself up?

August 26th, 2014 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco bag 300x187 Should Tesco break itself up?The incoming chief exec at Tesco is being shouted at by a top industry analyst who reckons the supermarket needs to break itself into pieces so they can fend off the competition.

The marvellously named Bruno Monteyne, who is an analyst at Bernstein Research, says that Dave Lewis should split the supermarket into three separate categories: a high-end ‘Finest’ store (which will go toe-to-toe with M&S, Waitrose and the like), the regular, trad. arr. Tesco shops, and a discount chain to take on Aldi and Lidl.

Monteyne thinks that this is the only way Tesco can stay relevant in the current climate. Tesco need to do something, that’s for sure.

Monteyne is himself, a former Tesco executive, and he said: “Splitting themselves into different channels allows them to use different strategies with different customers.”

“Rip out 20 per cent of the range, have cheaper shelving and cheaper products in the more deprived areas and give customers a better deal. In London, where people want someone behind the counter who knows the difference between a parma ham and a serrano ham, that requires more investment.”

“By Tesco promising to have the same prices in the most affluent areas as the poorest areas, it’s basically tied its hands behind its back by committing to an uneconomical model. Tesco could probably be cheaper than Aldi in some areas, but national pricing would force them to do the same in Chelsea as well and Chelsea wouldn’t be successful.”

What do you make of that? Eccentric ramblings of a lunatic? Sensible thinking from leftfield? Sod Tesco, and here’s to them dying on their arse?

Everyone needs a Lidl black dress

August 21st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

lidllogo1 300x298 Everyone needs a Lidl black dressLidl are moving into the fashion world, which means you’ll be able to buy all your Friday night clothes at the same time as filling your trolley with meat and bargainous booze.

From next Monday, you’ll be able to buy clothes for ladies, including a leather-trimmed jacket for £14.99, ankle boots for £9.99, something called ‘stretch’ jeans for £6.99 and shirts for £5.99. Men – don’t feel like you’re being left out. You’ll be able to buy clobber for yourselves as of November.

Of course, Lidl have sold clothes before, but this time it is different. They’re describing the new ranges as ”high-end, on-trend”, which means they’ll be flogging stuff to go to the pub in, rather than basic undercrackers and fleeces.

This is all bad news for Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons who have seen their sales hamstrung by German budget supermarkets. Now, it looks like Lidl are going after Asda’s ‘George’ market, which has been lucrative for the Wal-Mart owned retailer.

Josie Stone, non-food buying manager at Lidl UK, said: “This is the first time ever that we’ve done such a high-end fashion promotion and we’re hugely excited about launching these lines on 25th August. Not only are these jackets bang on trend for this season but they’re also £15 a pop, which is unbeatable value for such high quality. So we’d advise customers to be quick getting down to stores on the 25th because they’re likely to be snapped up very quickly.”

Naysayers will no doubt turn their noses up at Lidl’s fashion choices and no-one expects them to win any awards for what they get in, but cheap clothes are big business – just look at how well Primark are doing at the moment.

Lidl is set to go from 600 stores to around 1,500 in the near future, and they’ve got a customer-base of 5 million shoppers per week in the UK.

Looks like they’re trying to take over the British high street, Lidl by Lidl…

You’ll have to wait for Poundworld.com

August 12th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

one pound coin 300x300 Youll have to wait for Poundworld.comIf you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the chance to spend your money on Poundworld.com, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer.

The company have announced that they won’t be going through with the Poundshop.com venture that they launched with Poundland founder, Steve Smith. Basically, the family who run the world of pounds can’t come to an agreement with those from the land of pounds.

Poundworld announced the joint venture in February 2014 and would provide stock to a site that would, they say, be the first ever online single price point website. Of course, everything costs the same on a torrent, but that’s nitpicking.

While Poundworld would provide the goods, other aspects of managing the business, from operations and fulfilment and all that, would be overseen by Steve Smith. It looks like Poundworld didn’t think Steve Smith was up to the job of looking after the customers.

Instead, Poundworld plans to launch their own online shopping portal later in the year.

Chris Edwards, a junior trading director at Poundworld commented: “A mutual and constructive decision has been made by both parties for Poundworld to end its association with the Poundshop.com brand. We are still committed to online and Poundworld is putting plans in place to go it alone with our own online venture. By doing so, this will enable us to have full control over all aspects of the business ensuring that the site reflects our ongoing brand values and strategy.”

“We wish Steve every success for the future,” they added, like they’d just sacked some 17 year-old who didn’t impress during his probationary period of their first office job.

Happy 20th birthday online shopping!

August 12th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

online shopping  Happy 20th birthday online shopping!To paraphrase The Beatles, it was 20 years ago today, when online shopping first appeared to us.

Or, just in case the pedants haven’t had enough tea this morning, it’s the 20th anniversary of the first secure online transaction.

And what did that purchase consist of? Why, it was a copy of tantric hitmaker Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales which went for $12.48 (plus shipping). Rip off.

Since then, it has grown exponentially (online shopping, not Sting) to the point where 95% of the UK spent £91 billion online in 2013, with one in four of us doing it at least once a week.

Unsurprisingly, the research by Shop Direct, reckoned that most of the online shopping was done on laptops and PCs, with one in 10 doing it from a mobile and one in five on tablets.

Of the most popular purchases, Books are top with 64%, clothing and accessories (you can never have enough hats, gloves and shoes) are next at 60%, Music and entertainment solutions (56%), electronics (54%) and holidays and travels (50%) as the things most frequently bought online.

The survey gets nosier and gleans that more than a quarter of the 1000 people surveyed do it in bed, one in seven get up to it before work, while one in 20 do it while commuting.

Can you beat that? Where’s the oddest place you’ve bought a Sting CD online? Send in photos of proof!

christmas tree 300x214 Selfridges open up a Christmas shop in the middle of a heatwave‘It’s nearly Christmas!’ you almost certainly haven’t thought as you find yourself in the middle of a load of sunny weather and the kids having their school holidays.

However, that hasn’t stopped Selfridges opening their Christmas store, serving as a timely reminder that you better hurry up and buy your loved ones a festive gift, what with over 140 days to go until Christmas.

Selfridges’ London shop has in advance of 700 sq ft of Christmas happening on their fourth floor, which will see snow and scarves greeting shoppers who are wearing shorts or speedos or something.

Geraldine James, Selfridges Ms Christmas, said: “Despite the summer weather, we’re in full festive mode here at Selfridges. We’ve been working on this year’s Christmas Shop since Christmas last year.”

They’re not the only ones. In the Trafford Centre, Clintons have also started rolling out their Christmas junk as well.

The Mail asked a bunch of people what they thought about it all. One shopper said: “I normally buy my cards two weeks before so to see them on sale now is quite laughable.”

“It’s too far ahead, we haven’t even got summer out of the way. I actually came out into town to buy a barbecue and popped into this shop for a birthday card. I couldn’t believe it when I saw these Christmas cards – no doubt the Christmas trees will be out on sale soon.”

Of course, there’s always the option of completely ignoring all the Christmas stuff, but there’s nothing quite as British as moaning about Christmas coming too soon.

Greggs 300x286 Greggs: They actually sells things that arent bad for youGreggs have been performing well, but it isn’t all cheese and ham slices and steak bakes. No. Greggs is trying to be a bit healthier, which is very distressing news for all concerned.

With more seating in shops and a bunch of salady things and butties that are under 400 calories, they’ve got one eye on becoming a budget version of Pret or something. And they’re doing something right, because half-year profits up nearly 50%.

Greggs’ finance director, Richard Hutton, said: “We want to make sure we keep pace with changing taste. People have developed a taste for good coffee and healthy food.”

However, the good people of Britain are still great enough to know the value of deliciously greasy food, with Hutton adding: ”We still sell more sausage rolls than anything else, more than 100m a year. You will still see the sausage roll as a snack. It has 350 calories. There’s nothing to worry about for the sausage roll.”

Next up for Greggs is new fresh soup and hot sandwiches in the Autumn. Basically, they’ve noticed that everyone likes coffee shops, so they’ll be better than them by being a coffee shop that sells pasties.

“Greggs has a similar model to Pret. We have a similar supply chain, although we own our own bakeries, Pret don’t. Both are about good food made fresh.”

Just don’t remove too much salt and grease from your food though because, really, that’s the reason why people still shop there. If it doesn’t pass Dr Nick’s see-through food test, it isn’t worth bothering with.

Primark have a lot of detractors because their clothes are cheap. Snobs don’t like it when people can buy new outfits, while others worry for the welfare of people in sweatshops who make the garments (but are seemingly less bothered about premium brands who do the same things).

Now, the budget fashion vendor is in hot water for getting all thinspo. A mannequin was spotted in one of the store’s windows and, as the photo shows, the ribs are sticking out on it.

primark ribs 500x500 Primark cause a stink with protruding ribs mannequin

Shopper Mel Fraser wasn’t happy about it after seeing it in Glasgow. She messaged Primark directly, asking: “Dear Primark, is it really necessary that these new mannequins have protruding ribs?”

She continued: “I’d just like to see mannequins in all different shapes and sizes in all stores rather than young girls thinking this is the only way to be.”

Of course, thin mannequins also represent one of the shapes and sizes a woman can be, but you get the picture.

Primark replied, saying they’d look into it and said that they are currently changing its window displays. They’ve removed the dummy and in a tweet, said: “The mannequin you describe will not be used in this way again.”

Co op 292x300 Co op stores play unsigned bands... staff unhappyThe Co-op have decided to play music from unsigned bands in their shops in a bid to make everyone think they’re the lovely, kind supermarket on the High Street. They want to improve their image after all manner of drugs and sex-work was associated with them.

The Co-op signed a deal with licensing agency Emerge, which doles out music from unsigned bands and musicians to shops like Argos and Sports Direct. Crucially, deals with Emerge cost half a much as playing music by signed-artists.

“Shops normally have to pay a public performance licence to play well-known music, but the artists we represent are emerging artists and we create a direct licence between the business and the artist,” Gideon Chain of Emerge told The Telegraph.

“We then supply their music to the businesses, which is about 50 per cent cheaper than if they wanted to pay mainstream artists,” added Chain.

However, the supermarket’s employees are not happy about the unsigned bands being played in their stores and have started griping about it online, saying that they want rid of this ”terrible” music, which they have to endure all day. The Grocer reports that staff are demanding an immediate return to recognisable artists.

“The new cooperative radio unsigned artists initiative is absolutely diabolical,” one employee posted to The Co-Op Employees’ page. “More so for staff than customers. People want familiarity and songs they know, not to mention the staff who are subjected to these songs on a loop on a daily basis.”

Another angry employee spat that “even hipsters” would not listen to the “rubbish” music being played in their branch.

Should we introduce a supermarket levy?

July 28th, 2014 7 Comments By Mof Gimmers

supermarket sweep b 300x225 Should we introduce a supermarket levy?There have been calls for local authorities to be allowed to impose ‘supermarket levies’ so they can help to revive town centres.

However, if the supermarkets get charged for existing, then they’re going to stick the price of their products up aren’t they?

These proposals has been put forward by a group of councils, led by authority in Derby. They think that these levies could generate as much as £400 million.

Anyway, those in the know about supermarkets think this is a bad idea.

“Profit margins at supermarkets are wafer thin. You cannot just continue to take money out in taxes before prices will have to rise. The business rates system needs overhauling and simplifying and this would only add more of a burden and more complexity,” said one supermarket source to the ThisIsMoney.

Derby City Council leader Ranjit Banwait said that life was being ‘sucked out of the city centre’ by out-of-town supermarkets and that, if they’re going to dominate local traders out of business, they should pay something back to the community.

The submission was made under the terms of the Sustainable Communities Act which encourages local initiatives and would apply to stores with a rateable value of £500,000 or more.

Surely there’s better ways of councils kicking some life back into their communities? If town centres are suffering, then how about going easy on the cost of parking in the community, which is just as prohibitive as anything else? Or maybe they should offer reduced business rates to independent businesses who are trying to offer something different to the hypermarkets?

Of course, one way of saving the country loads of money is to look at the expenses and budgets of local councillors too, but chances are, this union of local authorities aren’t as keen on that.

Aldi is COMING

July 22nd, 2014 3 Comments By Lucy Sweet

aldi logo 252x300 Aldi is COMING First it was Lidl. Now Aldi are looking to expand in the UK and blitzkrieg the supermarket scene like a giant budget zeppelin.

Tesco, who are currently crying into a bag of their ill-fated own brand salt and vinegar doughnuts, will be quaking at the news that the German brand is planning a £600m expansion. It’s planning to open 60 new stores and a massive distribution centre in the Venice of the North – Barnsley – and it’s also making in-roads into city centre convenience stores.

This is Aldi’s biggest investment in the UK to date, and will double its workforce to 24,000.

Unlike Tesco, confidence is running high at Aldi, and they’re expected to announce a profit jump of 25% when it releases its figures in September.

Managing Director Roman Heini said that Aldi’s business model was simple and that gave them a chance to be close to the market. ‘I’m glad we don’t have huge complex beasts with online, banking and huge ranges.’

(He means Tesco).

Joint managing director Matthew Barnes added, rather evilly: ‘We have been happy for our growth to be below the radar. We are even more happy if the other grocers are not worried about us.’

(That means they’re going to ATTACK Tesco with cheapness).

Be afraid, retailers. Be very afraid.