What's fresh

Retail Round-Up July 22nd 2011

John Lewis encouraged by demand for new season’s product

Department store chain John Lewis has reported strong demand for new season’s lines as it moved out of the Sale period. John Lewis posted a sales rise of 3.7% to £59.9m in the week to July 16, its final week of clearance. Fashion sales rose 4.5% in the period, when “trade was impacted by unpredictable weather”. Electricals and home technology sales rose 8.5% and turnover in the home category was up 1%.

Former Comet director Lousada joins Buy It Direct

Former Comet director Toby Lousada has joined online retailer Buy It Direct as non-executive chairman. Lousada left Kesa-owned Comet, where he was services director and had previously held operations and commercial roles, at the start of this year.

Wade-Gery appoints number two to bolster online business

Former Dixons and John Lewis man David Walmsley joins M&S to spearhead multichannel sales drive. Marks & Spencer has bolstered its multichannel team, headed by Laura Wade-Gery, with the appointment of David Walmsley, formerly electricals giant Dixons’ecommerce director.

Rainy June puts dampener on soft drink sales

Poor weather – including the coolest June in a decade – took its toll on soft drink sales in the past quarter. Britvic said low temperatures and rain caused overall UK soft drinks volumes to fall 8.2% over June, making Q3 the first quarter of volume decline in the past two years. It admitted the conditions had dented its promotional activity for the Robinsons brand during Wimbledon.

Pepsico toasts European sales rise

PepsiCo has posted an 18% rise in European sales in the second quarter. Organic volumes increased 5% in both snacks and beverages in the 12 weeks to 11 June, driven by double-digit growth in snacks in Turkey and South Africa, which is included in PepsiCo¹s European operations. Beverages growth was boosted by strong performances in Turkey, Germany and France.

Starbucks hands reins to former Clinton press man

Starbucks has named Kris Engskov as its new UK boss. A former press assistant to US president Bill Clinton, Engskov takes over from Darcy Willson-Rymer as managing director of the UK business. Engskov joined Starbucks nine years ago and has previously headed up the coffee chain’s Swiss and Austrian arms. Most recently he oversaw the Pacific Northwest region of the company’s US business.

John Lewis to launch small store format

John Lewis is to launch a smaller, more “flexible” store format to accelerate growth. The department store chain says the new format will give it more reach across the UK by allowing it to open in locations not suitable for a traditional John Lewis store. The format will offer John Lewis’ full range but the concept has been designed to encourage consumers to take advantage of its multi-channel business through online kiosks and click and collect.

Innocent faces consumer backlash after carton resize

Innocent has received backlash from its customers after reducing the size of one of its smoothie products, meaning the product costs more per mililitre. The drinks maker recently introduced two different sized smoothie cartons - a 750ml carton with a recommended selling price (RSP) of £2.79 and a larger “value” pack of 1.25 litres, with a RSP - to replace its old 1 litre smoothie cartons.

Microsoft’s marketing lifts sales

Microsoft says that an increase in marketing activity for its Xbox 360 console helped lift group revenue 8% in the latest quarter. The company registered $17.3bn (£10.6bn) in revenue for the three months to 30 June. Net profit rose to $5.9bn (£3.6bn). Gains in the entertainment and devices division - which houses Kinect, Xbox Live and Windows Phone as well as the Xbox 360 - drove the increase, the company says, with revenue up 30% in the quarter.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim Team