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Retail Round-Up May 13th 2011

Tesco courts fashion brands

Tesco is to start selling mainstream fashion brands on its clothing website, as it aims to build its credibility in non-food online. Tesco has invited mainstream fashion brands to an event at the end of June hosted by clothing chief Richard Jones and UK chief executive Richard Brasher. The event is designed to showcase the changes Tesco has made to its clothing website, and share its online plans. Tesco aims to woo high street names such as Wonderbra and Playtex and the site will also link with Tesco’s global marketplace, which group chief executive Phil Clarke said would launch in late 2011 or early 2012. Brands will be able to wholesale to Tesco or become a seller on the marketplace, or both.

Sainsbury’s to go ‘beyond food’ in search for growth

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King expects the grocer’s sales outside its core food offer will grow from 25% of its business to 45% by 2020 as it ploughs ahead with development plans. King said its “beyond food” sales – the majority of which is non-food, but also includes online, convenience, services, its Fresh Kitchen sandwich shop trial and international expansion – will accelerate.

Debenhams suppliers bid to offer highest discounts

Debenhams has offered to pay some of its suppliers early after they competed in an auction-style bidding war to offer discounts in return for shorter terms. It forms part of an innovative scheme by Debenhams in response to supplier cash flow issues caused by rocketing commodity prices.

Greggs goes healthy with salads and pasta pots

Greggs will debut a new line of healthy food options for shoppers by June to appeal to a wider audience. The new range, which has yet to be named, will comprise salad with French dressing, a tropical fruit mix, pasta and yoghurt pots alongside its current product portfolio. The flavours of the pasta and yoghurt choices are yet to be decided.

Superdrug battles Boots with Beautycard loyalty debut

Superdrug is looking to turn up pressure on high street rival Boots with the launch of its first-ever loyalty card. The Beautycard offers shoppers 1 point for every £1 spent at the till and includes a mirror. Shoppers will earn £1 to spend in-store with every 100 points collected on the card. The health and beauty retailer will offer 10 points per £1 to customers shopping online at Superdrug.com.

British is champion for seasonal Waitrose push

Heston Blumenthal and Delia Smith are back for a new Waitrose campaign pushing British produce. The Championing British campaign begins with a 60-second TV advert airing tonight featuring Blumenthal visiting an asparagus grower in West Sussex. The retailer will slash a third off the price of ingredients for the celebrity chef’s asparagus egg dippers with smoked salmon recipe, which be will promoted in TV and press ads. The spotlight will also be on seasonal products and recipes in its customer publications.

Dixons reports sales slide

Dixons Retail has reported a fall in sales but says the business is trading ahead of the market. Group sales across its European operations fell 2% during the year to 30 April but suffered a worse performance in the second half of the year, down 4%.
In the UK its PC World, Curry’s and Dixons.co.uk chains reported a 3% fall in like for like sales, which exclude new stores, for the year.

Sky Media bolsters team as new tech deployed

Sky Media, the media sales arm of BSkyB, has created the new role of head of brand strategy as it introduces innovations such as the targeted AdSmart ad-serving proposition. Sky Media has recruited the former IDS sales house insight chief Andrew McIntosh for the position. He was previously research director at UKTV sales house IDS, where he was responsible for communications strategy, trade marketing and insight. AdSmart technology has allowed Sky to serve targeted ads to viewers via the Sky Player and will be fully rolled out across TV sets in the coming year. Sky is also working on content recommendation and other interactive offerings for its subscribers.

Tesco CEO outlines “new vision”

Tesco’s CEO Philip Clarke has outlined his 7-point “new vision” for the global supermarket chain. As part of his vision, recently appointed, Clarke outlines the need for Tesco to become a “creator of brands” to give customers more reason to be loyal to the supermarket chain. He points to its fashion brand F&F and electronics brand Technika as examples of the kind of brands Tesco will build on.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim team