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Retail Round-Up July 29th 2011

by Keri Link August 25, 2011

​Clinton cards hires Starbucks boss as CEO

Clinton Cards has hired the current managing director of Starbucks UK and Ireland to be its new chief executive. Darcy Willson-Rymer will join in October, while Don Lewin, founder, chairman and chief executive, will become non-executive chairman from August 1, ahead of becoming life president in March 2012.

Banks eye Robert Dyas Sale

Hardware chain Robert Dyas is to be put up for sale by the banks which own it. A beauty parade was held by Lloyds Banking Group and Allied Irish Banks (AIB), which own the majority of the retailer, to find an adviser to oversee the a review of potential sale options according to Sky News. The chain, which operates 100 shops, is understood to have a price-tag of just £25m.

Forever 21 boss spells out strategy for UK offensive

US fashion boss vows to have a Forever 21 store in ‘every major city, mall and high street’
Forever 21 chief executive Larry Meyer has vowed that the US fast-fashion retailer will have stores in “every major city, every mall and every major high street” in the UK within the next five years as he gears up for a full-scale entry here with the opening of a flagship Oxford Street store. The US giant, which has 500 stores worldwide, wants 100 shops in the UK. Meyer said the UK is key to his international strategy. Currently its overseas business, which also includes 36 shops in Asia and two stores in Austria, accounts for between 10% and 15% of total sales and he wants to up that to a third.

Tesco steps in to court snubbed Ocado bargain hunters

Tesco has stepped in to offer a discount on group buying website Crowdity to Ocado shoppers left disappointed when a deal fell through last month. Crowdity and Ocado were forced to axe an offer of a £20 voucher for shoppers that spent more than £40, citing “overwhelming take-up”. Now Tesco has teamed up with Crowdity to offer those shoppers £20 off a £40 shop at its online store.

Diamond Foods gets OFT backing for Pringles buy

The Office of Fair Trading has given its approval for the $2.35bn acquisition of Pringles by Diamond Foods. The US company revealed back in April that it had signed a deal to buy the global crisp brand from Proctor & Gamble. Adding Pringles to the Diamond portfolio, which includes the Kettle Chips crisp brand, would triple the size of its snack business.

Campbell’s Condensed Soups return to shelves

Campbell’s Condensed canned soups will be back on shelf in the UK next week for the first time in more than three years. The range, which rolls out to Tesco from 1 August and other retailers later in the summer, will feature flavours from the original line-up Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Tomato, Cream of Chicken and Cream of Celery alongside new varieties Low Fat Chicken and Low Fat Mushroom. Campbell’s Condensed Soups immortalised by artist Andy Warhol in 1962 have been absent from British supermarkets since March 2008, when Premier Foods opted not to renew its licence to use the brand in the UK.
Retailers defend plastic bag reductions
Supermarkets have defended their efforts to reduce carrier bag use after being slammed by the Government for a 5% rise in plastic bags used at checkouts in the past year. The figures, released by WRAP reveal that 6.4 billion single-use bags were used by supermarket customers in the UK in 2010.

DFS seeks first CMO to build brand

Furniture retailer DFS is looking to hire its first chief marketing officer with a brief to bolster brand building activity. The retailer, which spent £90m on advertising its 75 stores in 2010, according to The Nielsen Company, currently focuses its marketing on promotional activity designed to increase footfall. Plans to launch more brand building campaigns, however, are being developed, and the firm wants to hire a marketer with “more classical brand” experience to come on board in the next 12 months.

Store strategy boosts Starbucks UK

Starbucks says its strategy to open stores in non-traditional locations helped boost UK performance in the last quarter, despite tough conditions on the high street. The news comes as the global chain reports an 8% rise in like for like sales and a 12% increase in revenue to $2.9bn (£1.8bn), for the three months to 3 July.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim team

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