What's fresh

Retail Round Up

International bidder enters the race to acquire Wiggle

Cycles etailer Wiggle has attracted international interest, as Swedish private equity firm EQT enters the bidding race to acquire the retailer. EQT – which has investments in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the US – has joined bidders Bridgepoint and Advent in entering second-round bids. There has been speculation that Warburg Pincus is also in the running, while further parties are also believed to be interested.

 

Snow + Rock hires multichannel boss

Snow + Rock has recruited former Waterstone’s head of ecommerce, David Kohn, to a newly created role of head of multichannel. Kohn has been brought on board to lead its multichannel assault as the sportswear retailer ramps up its bricks-and-clicks offer. Snow + Rock managing director Dion Taylor said the retailer is planning a range of delivery options including click-and-collect and next day delivery in 2012.

 

Sainsbury’s plans first standalone pharmacy

Sainsbury’s is to open its first separate pharmacy outside its supermarkets as the grocer looks beyond traditional retailing and expands its healthcare services business. The supermarket has teamed up with clinical homecare company Healthcare at Home to provide services for The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Scheduled to open by early 2012, it represents a shift in strategy for Sainsbury’s which until now has focused on opening 250 pharmacies within its stores.

 

Google launched iTunes rival Google Music

Google has unveiled its cloud-based music service, Android's answer to Apple's iTunes. The online giant has signed content deals with more than 20 music labels, including EMI, Universal and Sony Music Entertainment, building a library of over 13 million songs to be purchased and instantly downloaded to Android devices or Google TV.

 

Tesco’s Christmas ad to focus in on ‘real’ customers

Tesco will highlight how cash-strapped customers can still have a “special” Christmas in what it claims is its biggest ever festive brand campaign. “Real” customers and Tesco staff in 12 UK cities will be shown preparing for Christmas in a series of ads created by The Red Brick Road.

 

Visa ramps up data services to “redefine” retailer loyalty

Visa Europe plans to us data gleaned from the 11 billion transactions made using its services to provide retailers with insight on what customers are spending with rivals. The move is one of a raft of measures planned as part of an acceleration of its data service offering that it claims will become the most extensive offered by a payment services operator.

 

Oddbins Customers to choose festive plonk

Oddbins are letting the public decide which 12 bottles it includes in its 2011 Christmas case. Each weekend from tomorrow until 11 December customers at its 37 stores will have a chance to vote on three pairs of wine for inclusion in final case. Customers who take part in the vote will be entered into a draw to win a case from their local branch.

 

‘Zero Growth’ predicted for retailers this Christmas

A flat Christmas is the most positive outcome UK retailers can expect. That’s the gloomy prediction from Deloitte, which has predicted zero growth in retail sales this Christmas. “Christmas 2011 promises to be the most important moment in retail trading we have seen for many years,” said Richard Hyman, strategic retail adviser to Deloitte.

 

Boots goes global for new cosmetics range

Coca-Cola branded cosmetics feature in a new collection of international beauty products launched at Boots. The high-street retailer has installed ‘Latest Finds’ stands in its stores to stock interesting and unusual products from around the world. The products, which are also being sold on Boots.com, include seven flavours of retro designed Coca-Cola lip balm and gloss products as well as a Canadian anti-ageing cream called Nanoblur that Boots claims uses “optical prism technology” to blur wrinkles.