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This week’s top stories in Retail - November 19th 2010

The Grocer

 

French rival beats Tesco to it in Asia

 

Tesco has missed out on the opportunity to boost its Asian business after Carrefour opted to sell a number of stores in Thailand to a local rival. Analysts have said that the deal added uncertainty to Carrefour’s long-term strategy with the sale “reinforcing Carrefour’s exposure to lower-growth and arguably less attractive markets in Western Europe.”

Jamie Oliver adds the stardust for Sainsbury’s fairytale Christmas

 

Jamie Oliver will once again be the Sainsbury’s Christmas star in its festive ad campaign. The campaign will feature both a 60-second ad as well as a series of shorter commercials. Saying that he believes it to be “one of the best ads [he] has ever done for Sainsbury’s”, Oliver hopes that the ads will get everyone in the spirit of Christmas.

Co-op to be in every UK postcode by February

 

The Co-op Group is to have a store in every postcode in the UK by the time its latest outlet in February. The move is part of the brand’s drive to add 300 new stores over the next 3 years as well as double the size of its Food Acquisition team in 2011.

Retail Week

 

Marks & Spencer celebrates achievement of 70 Plan A targets

Marks & Spencer has now achieved 70 of its 180 Plan A sustainability targets and expects to complete another 20 by April 2011. In its half-yearly update on the project, Marks & Spencer said highlights in the last six months include an increase in the amount of operational waste recycled in its stores, offices and distribution centres to 92% from 53% in June.

 

Tesco to sell £16 copy of Kate Middleton’s engagement dress

Excited brides-to-be can snap up a similar dress to the one Kate Middleton wore to announce her engagement to Prince William for the bargain price of just £16. Tesco is to put the blue F&F dress, which is a copy of Middleton’s dress by designer Issa, on sale on Monday in stores and online..

 

Contactless payment trial in 50 Clinton Cards stores

Clinton Cards is to trial contactless payment in 50 of its stores in London and Liverpool from this month. In a deal with RBS WorldPay, the Visa PayWave contactless technology allows shoppers to touch the reader with their cards, with payments of up to £15 taking less than a second. It is expected to help reduce queues. Other retailers such as Boots and Co-op are also trialing contactless payment.

 

Marketing Week

 

Unilever names laundry marketing chief

 

Unilever has appointed Petra Hangweier to lead marketing for its laundry brands in the UK and Ireland. She will handle brand building and commercial marketing for the Persil, Surf and Comfort brands and report to Matt Close, Unilever UK & Ireland vice-president of marketing for home and personal care. Her appointment follows the departure of former category marketing director Batyr Bulat who recently left to take over the marketing director role at Samsung Mobile UK. Chief marketing officer Keith Weed has recently expanded the marketing team with three global roles, including a global vice president of agency relations and a global vice president for marketing services.

Dixons introduces “fundamental shift” in service approach

 

Dixons is overhauling its service business by introducing Knowhow, a new service brand that aims to help customers of its PC World and Currys stores get the best out of their purchases. Dixons says that Knowhow is not just a “relabelling” of its service programme but a “fundamental shift” in how it does business. Knowhow will replace its existing service proposition Tech Guys, which will be axed and rebranded under the new banner. Katie Bickerstaffe, Dixons group director of marketing, people and property, told Marketing Week: “In the past two years we have done an enormous amount of work to drive our service proposition forward. Now we’re taking it to another level.”

Topshop owner posts 6.4% profit lift

 

Retail group Arcadia, owner of the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and BHS brands, says profit increased 6.4% in its last financial year. The company, led by Sir Philip Green, says that pre-tax profit in the year to 28 August was £213.16m, up from £200.3m a year earlier. Turnover reached £2.8bn, up from £1.9bn last year, driven, the company says, by a “strong year” from Topshop and Topman. Despite the gains, Sir Philip says that January’s increase in VAT, wage inflation and the increasing cost of raw materials leave him “cautious” over the company’s prospects for the current year.