What's fresh

Retail Round-Up February 25th 2011

Marketing Week


Asda launches premium non-food brand

Asda is launching a premium homeware brand to extend its non-food range and compete with high-street quality. The “Elegant Living” range includes bedding, bath, cookery and dining products and has been jointly sourced with parent group Wal-Mart. Asda says the premium brand allows it to “match the quality and style found on the high

Clarins targets younger women

Clarins is launching its first age-specific skin care range targeting younger women. The Daily Energizer range has been developed specifically for women from 18 into their late 20s. The range will be launched with a pop-up shop in London offering beauty advice and facials as well as a juice and cappuccino Bar.

Pizza Express rolls out fresh formats after successful trial

Pizza Express is preparing a next generation of restaurants by introducing a programme of “brand signatures” across its portfolio. The restaurant chain says it is adapting its layouts to make more of the theatre and performance of its chefs and is improving the in-store acoustics to remove unwanted noise. The roll-out of the new-look restaurants follows research based on a trial concept restaurant - dubbed the Living Lab, in Richmond - which reported a 20% rise in like-for-like sales since its launch and a 93% customer satisfaction score.

The Grocer


Morrisons plans to double women on top management team

Morrisons plans to double the number of women in senior management roles over the next three years. Women currently represent just 13% of the supermarket’s senior management group – a proportion Morrisons aims to grow to 30% by 2014. The Bradford-based retailer has set up a steering group to identify opportunities for women to move up the business and is providing mentoring for 300 female staff.

M&S hires Heere to head up international push

Marks & Spencer has appointed Jan Heere as the new head of its overseas business. Heere joins M&S as director of international and will head up the high street giant’s expansion overseas. He switches from Spanish fashion retailer Inditex, where he was general manager for Russia. During his time at Inditex, Heere grew its Russian presence from around 20 stores to more than 170.

Plastics costs hit Britvic’s bottom line

Robinsons Drinks and J20 maker, Britvic, has warned its profits could be stifled by a “rapid and unprecedented” hike in raw material costs.  Prices of polyethylene terephthalate, used in its plastic bottles have increased by 20% in the last month alone. Full-year input cost inflation was likely to be between 9% and 11%, up from the 5%-6% previously forecast.

Retail Week

Sales fall at John Lewis but Waitrose continues strong run

Sales fell at John Lewis last week, with the department store chain blaming the timing of school half-term for the decline. Total sales in the week to 19 February were down 0.4%, and by 2.1% excluding VAT. Sister supermarket chain Waitrose fared much better, with sales up 13.3%, although this was much slower growth than last year when sales rose 29% in the same week. Seafood and sparkling wine were strong performing categories, while last minute Valentine’s shoppers helped flower sales rise 37%.

Ocado signs for new distribution spoke in Wimbledon

Online grocer Ocado has signed for a new distribution spoke in south west London with capacity for 14,200 orders per week. Ocado will lease a two-acre site in Wimbledon featuring two warehouses totalling 38,500 sq ft. It will create up to 190 new jobs.

Co-op disposals  spark convenience space race

The Co-operative Group has put 40 shops up for sale, sparking a space race among grocery giants desperate to expand their convenience estates. Big grocers including Tesco and Sainsbury’s are thought to be eyeing the stores as they jockey for greater exposure to a £32.1bn market. Waitrose is also hunting for smaller stores for its fledgling convenience chain, and Morrisons aims to kick-start a convenience store trial this year. The fast-growing convenience market is expected to continue to outperform the rest of the food and grocery sector, excluding online, according to industry body IGD.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim team at FreshMinds