What's fresh

Retail Round-Up January 7th 2011

JD Sports’ profits to beat expectations after strong Christmas

Fashion group JD Sports will make higher full-year profits than expected after Christmas trading beat expectations. Group like-for-like sales, excluding French business Chausport, rose 2.5% in the five weeks to January 1, bringing the increase for the 48 weeks to that date to 3.1%. However the retailer also warned of “significant challenges” in its new financial year, which begins at the end of this month, because of the VAT rise “and inflationary pressures arising particularly but not only from increased raw material prices”. Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “The Christmas trading performance from the group’s main retail fascias has again been pleasing and in excess of our expectations.

BrightHouse reveals strong Christmas and remains confident for 2011

Rent to own electricals and furniture retailer BrightHouse has revealed a strong Christmas trading period and feels confident of sustaining “robust” growth in 2011. Like-for-likes increased 9.8% in the 13 weeks to December 31 and sales were up 13.7% to £57.4m on the back of a “surge” in demand for games consoles, mobile phones, laptops and flat screens TVs. The retailer said it is “on track” to open 30 stores during the current financial year, which will take the total to 228.

Waitrose expansion to create 3000 jobs

Waitrose has announced plans to open 39 new stores in the year ahead, creating up to 3,000 jobs. The figures include plans for 12 full-size supermarkets, including five in the Channel Islands, with the remainder being convenience stores. Waitrose unveiled its expansion plans as it announced a rise in like-for-like sales of almost 6% for the five-day period immediately after Christmas. “Our strong Christmas trading figures give us confidence for the year ahead, when we will be continuing to invest in the future growth of our business,” said managing director Mark Price.

Majestic Wine drinks to festive sales boost

Wine warehouse chain Majestic Wine is toasting strong sales over the Christmas period with like-for-like sales in the nine weeks to 3 January increasing 3.7%, excluding VAT. Total UK store sales, excluding VAT, were up 6.4% over the same period. “We are very pleased with our sales growth over the Christmas period,” said Majestic chef executive Steve Lewis.

Ocado shares hit post-float high amid bid talk

Shares in Ocado rose above their initial flotation price for the first time yesterday. The online retailer floated last year with its stock valued at 180p, a price that later slipped significantly. However, its shares were worth 196.7p at the close of trading yesterday, up 18.4p for the day. The rise comes amid continued speculation over a possible takeover approach for the business.

Starbucks drops name from logo

Starbucks has dropped its name from its logo as the company prepares to expand its product range.

The Starbucks Coffee name that encircled the green mermaid has been replaced in favour of a larger image. Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ chief executive, says the new logo “is more suitable” for the future of the business but still “embraces and respects” the company’s 40-year heritage.

“We’ve allowed [the siren] to come out of the circle in a way that I think gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee,” he says.

Tesco creates UK board ahead of new CEO

Tesco has created a dedicated UK management board with two new commercial appointees ahead of Richard Brasher taking over as UK CEO in March.

As part of the management overhaul, Tesco has made eight appointments including new commercial directors for its food and non food arms. Tesco said it would to create a “new group commercial role” which has yet to be revealed.

Morrisons overhauls senior marketing team

Morrisons has created a raft of new senior roles, including strategy and brand directors, as part of an overhaul of its management team designed to “strengthen the Morrisons’ brand”. The appointments, which also include a marketing director and a commercial director for its ambient and frozen business, have been made to implement the strategy outlined by new CEO in September last year.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim team at FreshMinds