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Retail News

by Keri Link July 16, 2012

Ocado’s 'virtual wall' at the Birmingham Bullring

Ocado will next week unveil a virtual shopping wall at the Bullring complex in Birmingham. By scanning the barcode next to product images on the wall with their smartphones, passers-by using Ocado’s ‘on the go’ app will be able to shop for their groceries – and some of Ocado’s new non-food items, including the racy bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. The wall will be live for one month from today (16 July). Last year, Ocado launched its first wall at the One New Change shopping centre in London. Earlier this year, it built another at Bristol’s Cabot Circus.

Now Carlsberg enters cider with global brand Somersby

Carlsberg is making its first foray into UK cider with the launch of the Somersby brand. Somersby Cider - originally launched in Denmark and Norway in 2008 - rolls out to retailers this month before expanding into the on-trade early next year. Described as a “crisp, refreshing cider”, the 4.5% abv drink has no artificial sweeteners, flavours, preservatives or added sulphites and will initially be available in 440ml cans (four and 12-packs) and 500ml bottles from Tesco before rolling out more widely.

Innocent Kids push checks into Club Penguin

Smoothie brand Innocent has teamed up with kids’ online community Club Penguin to offer exclusive virtual items. The push kicks off on 8 August and will be supported with online, TV and social media activity, giving kids the chance to claim three items for use on Club Penguin using codes found on packs of Innocent Smoothies for Kids and Fruit Tubes. Twenty-four items are up for grabs, including a strawberry costume for players’ penguins, an orange MP3 player and kiwi armchairs for their penguins' igloos. Once all 24 items have been collected, each player will be awarded the extra special prize of an exclusive pineapple igloo.

Arcadia tycoon Green ties up Topshop deal with US retailer Nordstrom.                  

Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green has struck an agreement to open Topshop and Topman departments in legendary US retailer Nordstrom’s department stores. The Topshop and Topman departments will open in 14 Nordstrom stores across the US from the week beginning September 10. The Arcadia brands will be located in high profile locations in the men’s and women’s departments. Mannequins, visual merchandising and fixturing will be supplied from the UK.

John Lewis posts weekly sales rise of 15.3%                                                                     

Sales at John Lewis department stores climbed 15.3% to £71.6m last week, helped by wet weather and strong technology sales. Electricals and home technology revenues climbed 34.1% year-on-year in the period to July 7. The vision category continued its strong run as the Euro 2012 trade seemed to be replaced by a building anticipation of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Holland & Barrett launches in China

Health food specialist Holland & Barrett has begun a store opening programme in China and aims to have 300 shops in the country within five years. Holland & Barrett opened its first Chinese shop in Shanghai yesterday and intends to open another 10 this year as it taps into a vitamins and supplements market estimated to be worth about £1.6bn and growing. The debut came as problems such as obesity and stress rise in China as lifestyles change.

Iceland turns to social brand advocates 

Iceland is making its biggest investment into social media, as part of a wider strategy to move beyond price-led marketing. It's introducing GoRecommend, a social media tool that monitors customer recommendations made on channels such as Facebook and Twitter - they hope customers will recommend new products they would like to see on Iceland's shelves.

Nectar to launch daily deals

Nectar is preparing to launch a daily deals site in a bid to leverage the trust in its brand in the increasingly competitive deals market - The Mirror launched Happli earlier this year, while Groupon, Living Social, Wowcher and KGB Deals continue to grow.

Superdrug to open in-store beauty bars

In a move to add value services to its core retail offering, Superdrug has partnered with cosmetic brand Bourjois to open its first in-store beauty bars. The beauty bars will launch in five trial stores on the weekend of 25 July, and may be rolled out across additional stores if successful.

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