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Retail Round-Up April 8th 2011

Tesco chips in £20k to London drinking scheme

Tesco has ploughed £20,000 into a scheme designed to tackle underage drinking in central London. The supermarket has joined forces with Islington council, local police and other retailers in an initiative known as the Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP), which aims to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour caused by young drinkers. The investment will help fund education programmes and support services for young people through the council’s mobile youth service, the Y Truck, and through school drama workshops discussing the dangers of excessive drinking.

Retailers welcome the red tape challenge

The Association of Convenience Stores and the British Retail Consortium backed the launch this week of the red tape consortium challenge, which gives businesses and members of the public a forum to highlight badly designed regulations they believe create an unnecessary burden. The campaign began with a focus on the retail sector. Every few weeks a new set of regulations, organised around different themes, will be open for comment. Once the theme is closed to the public, ministers will have three months to explain why a regulation is still required or it will be scrapped.

Sainsbury’s plots new Braintree hub after £4.75m property deal

Sainsbury’s is poised to develop a new logistics hub in the southeast after buying an Esseex industrial estate. The supermarket has reportedly paid £4.75m the Broomhills Industrial Estate in Braintree. An additional fee will be payable to the seller, Valad, subject to Sainsbury’s gaining planning permission. “Having carefully considered the options for Broomhills Industrial Estate, we recommended that a sale to Sainsbury’s was in the best interests of investors,” said a spokesman for the selling trust.

P&G readies beauty magazine launch

Procter & Gamble is launching a free monthly digital beauty magazine to promote interest in its beauty portfolio. Beauty Recommended will be the first digital magazine that P&G has sent out to consumers. It will be sent to 1 million people who registered on a microsite.

Unilever looks to boost global websites

Unilever is looking to bolster its online platforms for brands including Lynx, Dove and Magnum, in a bid to strengthen its global digital presence. The FMCG company has appointed digital agency Amaze to ensure the brand message is consistent across its global web platforms.

Dove ditches ‘Real Beauty’ in favour of ‘Body Language’

Dove is ditching its long-running ’real beauty’ campaign, which pioneered the use of real women in advertsing, and will replace it with activity under the “Body Language” strapline. Code named ’Darwin’, the Unilever-owned brand will launch the new strategy in the next few weeks.

Harvey Nics to trial new formats as market slows

Luxury department store chain Harvey Nichols is to open a beauty-only standalone store and is considering other new store concepts in an attempt to maintain growth in the stagnant UK market. Harvey Nichols chief executive Joseph Wan said it will open a beauty-only store, called Beauty Bazaar by Harvey Nichols, in a “prime retail site” at an undisclosed date. It follows the success of a similar store that opened in Hong Kong in December.

Morrisons picks upmarket towns for c-store pilot

Morrisons is to target well-heeled customers with its new convenience store format, with the first to open in the affluent Yorkshire town of Ilkley. Morrisons is on course to open in the town, which boasts some of the most expensive houses in the north of England and direct commuter links to Leeds and Bradford, in July. The shop will focus on fresh foods supplied by nearby larger stores, or direct from Morrisons’ manufacturing businesses.

WH Smith launches legal services in store

WH Smith has teamed up with legal firm QualitySolicitors to open legal access points in its stores. The desks, staffed by the local office of QualitySolicitors, will include conveyancing quotes, will packages and fixed-fee advice. The service, which launches in the summer, comes after the retailer trialled the scheme in Bristol.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim team at FreshMinds