Clothing, Footwear & Accessories
- Austin Reed have announced plans to close all 120 stores in June 2016 after falling into administration. (Source: The Guardian)
- Cath Kidston have announced that their Non-Executive Director, Cath Kidston, has decided to step down from the role, with immediate effect. (Source: Drapers)
- US retail group Gap’s like-for-like sales were down 6% year on year in May, as all three of its main brands experienced a difficult month of trading. (Source: Drapers)
- The Hut Group have acquired Salu Beauty from Walgreens Boots Alliance, as a part of their strategy to improve their beauty proposition. (Source: Retail Gazette)
- M&S have announced plans to not play background music in their major stores following feedback from customers. (Source: The Telegraph)
According to data from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking, the percentage of online retail sales made through mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) declined to 49.6% in Q1 2016 (January to March) compared with 51.3% in Q4 2015. This is the first decline recorded since 2010. There was also a slight decline in the percentage of visits to online retail sites through mobile devices to 64.6% in Q1 2016, down from 65.6% in Q4 2015. This fall is likely to have been influenced by a marked split that has been recorded in growth rates on tablets and smartphones recently. While sales through smartphones were up 83% in April 2016, growth in sales through tablet devices slowed down to a record low of just +3% for the same period. Keeping in line with recent trends, the percentage of click & collect orders for multichannel retailers remained steady at 22% in Q1 2016, unchanged from Q4 2015.
Electrical & Entertainment
- Maplin have been announced as the first HyperX peripherals retail partner in the UK for PC gaming hardware brand, HyperX. (Source: PCR Online)
- WH Smith have launched The Big Readcycle initiative in partnership with Marie Curie foundation to help support people living with a terminal illness. (Source: Company Press Release)
Lifestyle was marginally up on last week, but failed to buck the trend, posting its sixth negative week in a row (-4.81%). Results were mixed amongst gift retailers, with some notable positives finally emerging from outdoor goods retailers.
Fashion dipped further this week with LFL sales down by -8.27% on the same week last year, its weakest result in five weeks. The disappointing performance was avoided by some of the budget fashion retailers, but the prevailing performance was significantly down on a year ago, with 77% of fashion respondents reporting negative LFL figures for bricks and mortar sales. Footfall remains challenging on high streets, but retailers with stores within shopping centres and retail parks were hit further with a year-on-year drop in footfall this week of -5.2% and -2.4% respectively.
Homewares was the stellar performer this week with LFL sales up by +20.90%, its highest uplift for seven weeks. The positive result was held up by strong returns posted in furniture and home furnishings.
Non-store LFLs came in at a positive +10.28%, well below the +20% LFL figure, and its lowest figure in nine weeks. Strong results were seen for lifestyle retailers, while online fashion saw mixed results, with 59% of respondents recording positive non-store LFL results compared to this week last year.
Food & Drink
- The Co-operative Group have sold their crematoria operations to funeral services group Dignity. (Source: Company Press Release)
- Morrisons have launched Morrisons More loyalty card, offering extra points for cafe customers and rewards on fuel to the cardholders. (Source: Company Press Release)
- Morrisons have also announced plans to launch more higher-priced premium products range Cream for Farmers, in order to supply extra benefit to the farmers. (Source: The Telegraph)
- Heineken has launched a “multi-million pound” advertising campaign for its Old Mout cider, as it looks to drive consumer awareness of the brand in the UK. (Source: Just Drinks)
- Sainsbury’s have announced plans to introduce a two-year apprenticeship scheme for software developers to work at their digital lab in Central London. (Source: Company Press Release)
- T2, a tea specialist, have opened a new 1,063 sq. ft. store at Centre:mk shopping centre in Milton Keynes. (Source: Insider Media)
- Halfords have announced plans for trials of bulbs and battery servicing of scooters in their 30 stores across London and South East. (Source: Verdict)
- Home Décor have acquired Optiplan Kitchens and Manor Cabinet Company. (Source: Insider Media)
- Superdrug have entered into a sponsorship deal with TV programme Love Island, providing holiday essentials for the show contestants. (Source: Retail Bulletin)
- West Elm, the furniture and home accessories retailer, have opened three new concessions in John Lewis stores in Wycombe, Milton Keynes and Southampton. (Source: Retail Bulletin)