This week’s top stories in Retail - December 10th 2010
Waitrose beats snow to deliver ‘busiest day ever’
Supermarket group Waitrose beat snowy conditions to end last week “on remarkable form” after generating a sales uplift of 4.7% to £106.3m. The grocer, part of department store chain John Lewis, hailed “heroic efforts” by staff to ensure trading was maintained, making Saturday its busiest day ever excluding Christmas week.
West End stores open as normal after riots
Stores on Oxford Street and Regent Street are open as normal this morning despite rioting last night by student protesters. There was damage to the Topshop Oxford Circus flagship after a group split off from the main protests in Westminster. It is understood every window in the store was smashed, however all stores, including Topshop were open as normal this morning.
Phones4U deal likely to be valued below £700m
Private equity firm BC Partners is expected to pay less than the £700m anticipated for Phones4U by present owner Providence Equity Partners. BC Partners, the only potential buyer of the mobiles retailer, has made an offer between £655m and £680m the Daily Telegraph reported and some to-ing and fro-ing over the price is now expected.
Heinz president Woodward expands role
Heinz UK & Ireland president Dave Woodward is extending his responsibilities to Africa and the Middle East. Woodward will take on the expanded role next month as part of the company’s strategy to focus on accelerating growth in emerging markets. As a result of Woodward’s appointment, Matt Hill will become chief commercial officer of the UK business.
Ex Müller Chief joins Booker
Stewart Gilliland, who recently retired as CEO of Müller UK, has joined the board of wholesaling giant Booker as a non-executive director. Gilliland has almost 25 years experience in the food and drink industry and is also a non-executive director for Sutton and East Surrey Water and beer dispense monitoring equipment business Brulines Group.
Tesco moves banana price in line with Asda
Tesco has reduced the price of 1kg of loose bananas by 2p to 77p to match Asda’s price. The move comes after Tesco raised its price from 67p/kg to 79p/kg last week, swiftly followed by Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. But Asda, which had also been selling bananas at 67p/kg, raised to just 77p/kg, undercutting Tesco. Morrisons continues to sell at 67p/kg.
Dixons to trial design-led concept store
After unveiling a Star Wars themed advertising campaign last week, Dixons unveil their new store in Birmingham today. Dixons Retail is trialling a designer technology store under the brand name Black. The electricals group, which owns Currys, PC World and Dixons.co.uk, is aiming to target high-end shoppers with the latest designer technology. It also aims to entice more female shoppers who may find its bigger stores off-putting.
Thailand Tourism targets family market
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is developing a new marketing strategy with social media at the heart to target the family market. TAT has been trying to move the country away from the image of a student backpacker destination for some years and will increase investment in targeting upmarket tourists with a focus on weddings and honeymoons, spa and wellness and golf. The current TAT Facebook site will be made the “centre of a community and not just a corporate site”, according to specialist travel and retail agency, Fox Kalomaski.
eBay not liable for trademark infringement
Ebay should not be liable in most circumstances for trademark infringement on its website, according to a senior legal advisor to the European Court of Justice. The auction site should however be responsible for any infringement on its site from the moment it is notified of any trademark breach. It should also be liable for the content it transfers to search engines such as Google and Yahoo! L’Oreal has accused eBay of damaging its brand by using L’Oreal trademarks as sponsored links to lead users to perfumes and other cosmetics that infringe trademarks.