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Retail Round Up

Primark to open concessions in Selfridges

Primark is to open menswear concessions in two Selfridges stores in the most dramatic sign yet of how the worlds of high fashion and fast fashion have come together. The Irish high street phenomenon is to open a 1,000 sq ft concession in Selfridges’ Bullring store on Monday, to be followed by another in Selfridges’ store in Manchester’s Trafford Centre in the middle of November. The tie-up is the most significant evidence yet of how shoppers are mixing the kind of exclusive brands Selfridges is renowned for with the bargain-priced fast-fashion offered by Primark. Despite operating at opposite ends of the market, both retailers have prospered through the downturn.

Burberry bolsters senior management team

Luxury retailer and brand Burberry has bolstered its senior management team with the creation of the roles of senior role vice-president, customer insight, and chief technology officer. Steve Sacks has been hired as senior vice-president, customer insight, and joins from Lloyds Banking Group where he was director of customer strategy and insight. John Douglas, formerly Burberry’s’s chief information officer, has been named chief technology officer and will now report to the retailer’s chief executive, Angela Ahrendts.

Ocado to deploy savings pass card as shoppers feel pinch

Online grocer Ocado is to offer a savings card scheme to all its customers in the latest offensive in the battle to demonstrate price competitiveness in the food sector. The Ocado Saving Pass, which has been being piloted with a small group of customers for the past month, is to be rolled out following the trial’s success. It promises shoppers discounts of at least 10% on a selection of over 600 branded products including Pepsi, Pampers and Kellogg’s Cornflakes.

Lagerfeld to launch affordable online range

Karl Lagerfeld is to launch an affordable womenswear line that will be exclusively available online, in a bid to broaden the reach of his fashion brand. The “rock chick” brand called “Karl” will be previewed on Net-a-porter.com in January ahead of a February launch. Prices will range from £52 to £261. Lagerfeld has led Chanel’s creative direction for 30 years and also leads LVMH’s Fendi fashion house.

Debenhams opens "Minority Report virtual store"

Debenhams is to launch an augmented reality app that will allow shoppers to visit a “virtual pop up store” at famous landmarks around the UK. The geo-location app, created by GoldRun, allows customers to view, “virtually try on”, and buy a range of ten Christmas party dresses, exclusively available via the app.  Debenhams is offering a 20% discount to encourage shoppers to use the app which is, says Debanhams.com director Simon Forster “the future of shopping”.

McDonald’s celebrates Coca-Cola’s 125 years with retro campaign

McDonald’s is giving away retro Coke glasses and launching a retro photo app as part of a campaign to celebrate Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary. There is also a digital campaign that allows customers to upload photos and give them a “retro-style makeover” via the McDonald’s Flashback Booth app, and publish them on Facebook. The free limited edition glasses will be available form Monday (31 October) with every purchase of a large extra value meal or premium salad.

Shoppers desperate for discounters to move in, claims IGD

Half of all shoppers would buy food at Aldi and Lidl if there was a store near them, new research from IGD claims. The survey also found that 5% of shoppers now use a discounter for their main shopping trip – almost double the amount last year. Discounters are most popular with younger shoppers and those with teenage children, the IGD said. Meanwhile, shoppers are braced for yet more price hikes in the year to come. A third (32%) said food would get “much more expensive” over the next 12 months, compared with a quarter (25%) this time last year.

Asda moves forwards with wholesaling web launch

 Asda has been quietly dipping its toe into the wholesale market with a website dedicated to supplying small care homes, nurseries and offices. Asda Business claims to offer "great value bulk products at wholesale prices" including low prices on 840g tins of Heinz beans for £1.34, a box of 30 eggs for £2.98 and 10 cucumbers for £6.50.

Toothpaste and smoking quitting aids helped drive growth at GSK.

The consumer healthcare arm of GlaxoSmithKline over the past three months found that toothpaste and smoking quitting aids helped growth, with sales up 5% in the past three months to £1.33bn, driven by strong growth for the oral healthcare business, up 10%, and the Sensodyne brand in particular. Nutritional healthcare was up 9% thanks to the Maxinutrition acquisition earlier this year, while sales of Lucozade took a hit from increased activity by rival brands.