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Retail Round-Up March 11th 2011

Tesco to ramp up clubcard with personalised offers

Tesco is set to personalise Clubcard recommendations for every one of its members as it In one of the first initiatives to come to fruition since Phil Clarke took the helm at the retailer, Tesco is “very close” to personalising its Clubcard recommendations by tailoring offers for every one of its’ members, rather than for groups of customers as is the case at the moment. Tesco is also gearing up to make the loyalty card more interactive, taking advantage of the ability to generate offers digitally.

Mulberry profits to ‘exceed expectations’

Upmarket handbag brand Mulberry has announced that sales and profits for the year to 31 March are going to “exceed market expectations”. In a stock exchange announcement this morning, the company said that due to strong UK and export sales during January and February, the company’s performance for the full year will be better than previously guided.

French Connection launches iPhone app

French Connection has launched an iPhone app that provides a rich social media experience for its users. The transactional app, created by mobile technology company Answer, showcases the entire range of French Connection products. Using the app has the experience of flicking through the pages of a glossy magazine. Customers can consult a ‘look book’ for outfit combinations and integration with Facebook and Twitter allows them to communicate about the fashion showcased.

Morrisons buys stake in online grocer as profits grow 13%

Morrisons has bought a 10% stake in US-based online grocer FreshDirect for £32m to boost its own online ambitions. Speaking as Morrisons unveiled a 13% increase in pre-tax profits to £869m for the year to 30 January, chief executive Dalton Philips announced the retailer would launch an online shopping operation within two years.

Holland and Barrett unveils ‘penny sale’ promotion

Holland & Barrett has launched a ‘buy one, get one for a penny’ promotion to convince its shoppers to try new products. The nutrition and health foods chain is running the ‘penny sale’ campaign from today until 7 April. Hundreds of selected products are included in the promotion, across food, nutrition, vitamins and beauty lines.

Waitrose grows profits despite picking up promotions habit

Waitrose has defied the economic gloom with a 3% jump in annual profits. Operating profits were up £8.1m to £274.9m for the 12 months to the end of January, with like-for-like sales up 4%.Overall sales were up by 9.8% to £4.1bn, as new stores, greater use of promotions and the retailer’s most high-profile marketing push to date helped draw an extra 300,000 shoppers a week.

The Perfume Shop plans loyalty scheme

The Perfume Shop is preparing to launch its first loyalty programme as part of an overhaul of its brand communications strategy. The retailer is planning a brand campaign at the end of the year to build deeper brand engagement. Previous activity has focused on price promotions and products. The retail chain will focus more on communicating its “accessible luxury” proposition delivered by in-store fragrance experts.

Condé Nast readies further iPad app launches

Condé Nast is releasing a raft of new iPad apps across its most popular titles this year as it looks to grow digital advertising revenue. The publisher plans to unveil 21 apps in 2011 after being buoyed by the response to applications for titles such as Wired and Vogue. Technology magazine Wired is to publish monthly iPad issues from May, using Apple’s new digital billing subscription service.

Travel company Black Tomato looks to beach bonanza

Internet travel company Black Tomato is launching new brands to cater for growing premium segments of the travel market and to tap into luxury fashion sales. The company, co-founded by entrepreneur Tom Marchant, is launching the brands Beach Tomato and Epic Tomato.
Beach Tomato is designed to be an authority on beach culture and will offer both holidays and the opportunity to purchase beach fashion items online. The brand’s website will offer relevant and up to date information on the best of beach culture from emerging designers and trend-setters.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim team at FreshMinds