Posts Tagged ‘retail’
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.”
The 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.
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.
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.
But it turns out that rather than just being a trendy, half-arsed conceit pedalled by drinks brands, vintage stores and other self consciously hip companies, pop up shops are actually making money for the economy: £2.1bn, in fact.
Pop up shops are the children of the recession – temporary stores in empty properties or in town centres where rents are too high to sustain them – so it’s no surprise that they’re flourishing.
But a recent study by EE suggests they’re an economic force to be reckoned with. There are 9400 pop up shops in the UK, which employ 23,400 people – and they’re likely to grow by 8.4% in the coming year.
We’re spending money in them, too. The report predicts that the average customer spend will grow from £110 to £120 next year.
Mike Tomlinson from EE says that pop up shops are a ‘breath of fresh air’ and ‘truly embody the entrepreneurial nature of the UK.’
So think about that next time you’re in that shady branch of American Sweets, looking at a dusty box of Lucky Charms and wondering whether it’s all a front for money laundering.
Tesco are incredibly successful, which is why it is funny when they have a bit of turbulence. Their chief-executive – Philip Clarke – is now the ex-chief-exec as he’s resigned following a profits warning. He’s already been replaced by Unilever exec and non-executive director of BSkyB, Dave Lewis.
It is worth pointing out that Tesco are still making a shedload of money and that Philip Clarke is still considerably wealthier than anyone we know.
Tesco have said that trading conditions were more challenging than anticipated and that sales and trading profit in the first half of the year were below expectations. Of course, they had to say it was trading conditions, rather than holding their hands up and saying ‘we’ve kinda been crap for a while now are we’re sad that everyone has started to notice and shop elsewhere.’
During Clarke’s tenure, Tesco have seen three years of falling sales in Britain
Some of the board have backed Clarke, saying that major restructuring at Tesco has been part of the problem, as well as the advancing influence of Lidl and Aldi and online shopping. Others, meanwhile, think Clarke had an attitude problem.
Sir Richard Broadbent, the Tesco chairman, said: “Having guided Tesco through a substantial re-positioning in challenging markets, Philip Clarke agreed with the board that this is the appropriate moment to hand over to a new leader with fresh perspectives and a new profile.”
Clarke said: “Having taken the business through the huge challenges of the last few years, I think this is the right moment to hand over responsibility and I am delighted that Dave Lewis has agreed to join us.”
Hands up if you think anything’s going to noticeably change at Tesco…
In a direct attempt to wooooo middle class shoppers who would rather flagellate themselves with uncooked quinoa than set foot in a Lidl, the German budget supermarket is now offering fancy French wines alongside the off-brand dodgy cider and cans of beer with ‘BEER’ written on them.
Yes, Lidl is seriously stepping on the other supermarket’s toes here, offering wine from the Chateauneuf-de-Pape vineyards for much cheaper than anywhere else. Prices start from £4.99 for a cheeky white Cote de Gascogne (nothing to do with Gazza mercifully) to £21.99 for a 2006 Chateau La Tour.
Lidl are spending £12 million – the most they’ve ever spent – on this product launch, and are hoping to change the way the budget supermarket is seen by the middle classes – and lure them away from Waitrose.
Ben Hulme, senior buying manager for wines at Lidl, said: ‘Our choice offers extraordinary value for money for some of the best wines in the world. Our pricing is transparent and open, unlike a lot of the permanent ‘offers’ on the High Street.’
Of course, everyone knows that the middle classes secretly shop at Lidl anyway, buying up parmesan and Parma ham undercover of darkness while wearing joggy bottoms to hide their shameful privilege…
Retail growth rose by just 0.6% last month, which is the slowest growth since May 2011. Demand for big exciting things like appliances was weaker, and we didn’t spend as much money on food, either, preferring to shop cheaper and rely on offers.
And despite the healthy housing market, it seems we’re holding off on getting that new kitchen or buying accessories for our houses. David McCorquodale from KPMG, who helped to compile the figures for the BRC, said:
‘June saw the brakes applied to spending as shoppers put purchases of big ticket items on hold whilst they waited to see if the Bank of England would take action on interest rates. Even sales of home accessories and furniture flatlined, which is surprising given the UK is reportedly in the midst of a housing boom.’
So it seems like we’re putting everything in the mortgage pot for a rainy day. But Helen Dickinson from the BRC said it was OK, the UK is still on track for economic recovery. She puts it down to competitive food pricing which has changed shopper’s attitudes.
However, once interest rates do rise, we’ll be spending NOTHING. We’ll see what happens to the economic recovery then, Helen.
The end of the £1 shopping trolley coin slot is nigh – Morrisons are ditching the trolley security measure, so it can make life easier for shoppers (and for people who want to recreate the iconic Bitterwallet logo and chuck them in the river).
The trolley security device has been in existence for 20 years, and has effectively put an end to drunk people stealing them and roaming around the town centre yelling ‘I’m a happy shopper!’ while vomiting rainbows of Mad Dog 20/20.
Morrisons say that CCTV combined with bollards will be enough to halt a return to the bad old days of trolley stealing, and plan to free 150,000 trolleys from their shackles. However, the locks will remain in place in high crime areas, city centres, and in hilly areas where they might roll away.
‘Our nation is getting busier.’ Says the new CEO of Morrisons, Dalton Phillips. ‘We have less free time than previous generations and customers have told us that they want a quicker shop. The removal of trolley locks is just one of the many improvements we are making to our store – to make for a faster and easier shopping trip.’
*all trolleys are instantly nicked and melted down for £££s*
[P.S. We know the Feral Trolley Of The Week needs updating more frequently, but we're having technical issues, so stop reminding us. It's irritating us more than it is irrita... who are we kidding, no-one's as irritated as you. Ed]
Chances are, you go there to buy food or other things like socks and undercrackers. Nothing too fancy. No-one shops at M&S for fancy stuff.
Not that the company themselves have noticed, what with their protestantly sexy adverts featuring Annie Lennox, Rita Ora and someone called Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. They want their shoppers to feel like they’re coming to a vibrant place, where ‘it’ is all ‘happening’.
However, M&S has always been most successful when aiming themselves at middle-aged people. Lacy bras and fashionable clothes is not what they’ll ever be known for and, to underline all that, it has been revealed at the M&S annual meeting, that they are the country’s biggest slipper retailer for men.
It has been reported that one in five British men have been watching the World Cup in a pair of M&S slippers, and the retailer shifted a whopping 1.3m pairs of house shoes last year – not surprising when Marks & Sparks sell 40 different styles.
So while they try and modernise, maybe they should focus on the grey pound, rather than trying to muscle in on high street fashion chains. What do M&S customers want?! Comfy things! When do they want them?! Whenever you’re ready, we’ll be mooching around the house all day anyway!