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Retail Round-Up March 25th 2011

Alliance Boots boss Andy Hornby to step down from business

Alliance Boots group chief executive Andy Hornby is to step down from the business. Hornby is to leave the group with immediate effect to take a few months break after “an intense five years as CEO of two major companies”. Alliance Boots said it will now start an internal and external search for a replacement.

HMV confirms it is mulling sale of Waterstone’s and Canada business

HMV has confirmed it is mulling the sale of Waterstone’s as well as its Canadian business as part of its turnaround strategy. Parties thought to be interested in HMV Canada include restructuring firms Hilco, Gordon Brothers and GA Europe.

Burberry to boost brand with ‘statement stores’

Luxury retailer Burberry is to open a series of ‘statement stores’ to celebrate its British heritage. Burberry has snapped up a raft of high-profile locations in Regent Street and Knightsbridge to create dazzling “world of Burberry” flagships showcasing its entire range as part of an initiative thought to be part of a brand-building exercise led by chief executive Angela Ahrendts.

Coca-Cola increases Japan aid to £19m

Coca-Cola is establishing a Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund and will donate £19m over the next three years to help victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. The sum includes £4.5m in cash and distribution of more than 7 million bottles of water, tea and sports drinks to government and community groups announced previously.

Unilever swaps Sanex for Colgate’s laundry business

Unilever has agreed to sell the global Sanex business to Colgate-Palmolive and acquire the company’s laundry detergent brands. The €672m (£584m) deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, comes after the European Commission told Unilever it had to offload the Sanex brand in Europe to gain clearance for its acquisition of Sara Lee’s European personal care business.

Hovis rolls out Union Jack loaf packaging

Hovis is to roll out a Union Jack pack design to highlight its use of flour milled from British wheat.From the end of March, the brand’s Soft White range will carry bold Union Jack packaging and the tagline ‘100% British Wheat’. Hovis said the new look was particularly relevant at this time as the royal wedding meant consumers were embracing all things patriotic.

Reckitt Benckiser turns marketing efforts to attracting potential employees

Reckitt Benckiser will now be focussing their efforts on promoting the company as an employer and a career choice. The campaign will target graduates and people early on in their careers – looking to recruit “high-flyers with attitude and entrepreneurial spirit” to drive the company’s growth in years to come.

Greggs Marketers look to tactical activity to continue 2011’s growth

Following its £44million integrated marketing push in February; promoting the company’s new strapline, “The Home of Fresh Baking”, the company will now continue its brand-building push by means of tactical radio, press, social media and local store activity. Greggs are hopeful that these new marketing avenues will help them in their quest to become the UK’s biggest sandwich and savouries provider.

Blacks Leisure Group recognises value of ecommerce; their “largest store”

Having last year vowed that the Group’s emphasis will be on online sales and marketing, this year the firm seems to be going one step further; in looking to shift the focus of its business. Ecommerce Director Ralph Percival explains their mission as displaying “the largest range of outdoor clothing and products offered by any retailer online, and combine this with stores.” The  company plans to use the website to leverage the overall business.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim team at FreshMinds