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Retail Round Up

Ted Baker delivers 'excellent' Christmas performance

Retail sales at fashion specialist Ted Baker soared 15.7% over Christmas, a performance described by the retailer as “excellent”. The quirky retailer chose not to discount ahead of Christmas - and a 7.3% increase in retail square footage, a mix of new stores and concessions, helped drive sales. Ted Baker will open a new store on London’s Brompton Road in London in May. A shop will open in New York’s Fifth Avenue in the middle of the year and the retailer’s first stores in Tokyo and Beijing will open in March and June respectively.

Asda outstrips rivals over festive period

Asda was crowned ‘king of Christmas’ among the big four grocers, pipping Sainsbury’s in the contest for seasonal spend. The acquisition of Netto18 months ago, favourable comparisons and a strong mix of advertising, promotions and vouchers gave Asda the edge. Asda delivered 10.7% sales growth in the four weeks to December 24, while Sainbury’s increased 6.7%, according to Nielsen data.

'Mobile is the future', says Shop Direct boss

Home shopping giant Shop Direct, which owns the Littlewoods and Very brands, expects half of all sales to come via mobile phones in the next four years following a mobile sales surge over Christmas. Group chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said consumers had been shopping using mobile in the same way they do using computers this Christmas. Mobile accounted for 11% of Shop Direct's online sales, which account for up three quarters of its revenue.
Catalogue sales make up the remainder.

Promotions boost M&S and Debenhams

Debenhams and M&S have reported modest sales increases over the festive period, as discounting helped entice shoppers. Clothing sales increased 1.1% over the 13 weeks to 31 December while food sales increased 4.5%. Homeware sales fell 13.3% during the period, but M&S attributes this to exiting the technology market earlier in the year and expects the roll out of its expanded home range to boost performance. M&S’s online business reported a 22.4% rise in sales.

Brands sign up to Govt’s social mobility initiative

P&G, Coca-Cola and BP are among more than 100 of the UK’s top business brands to sign up to the government’s social mobility strategy Business Compact, in a bid to encourage a change in culture that rewards ability and drive above connections and privilege. Each business pledges to “open their doors to people from all walks of life” to “spread opportunities across our society and create a culture change”.

Tesco readies service changes after "disappointing" sales

Tesco is planning a raft of marketing initiatives to boost performance in the wake of “disappointing” Christmas sales from its UK stores, which analysts blame on “marketing failures”. The supermarket posted a “disappointing” 1.3% fall in like-for-like sales growth in the seven weeks to 7 January while total sales increased 1.7%. The figures are in stark contrast to Sainsbury’s which yesterday hailed its “best ever” Christmas and a 4.8% rise in like-for-like sales in the final 14 weeks of the year.

Pilgrims Choice targets the 'choosiest' of fans

Adams Foods is giving Pilgrims Choice a £5m overhaul in a bid to reposition it as ‘the choosiest cheese company’ and boost sales. The relaunch campaign will focus on turning Pilgrims Choice’s status as a cheese trader rather than manufacturer into a unique selling point - stressing to consumers that Pilgrims Choice is free to choose the best cheese from third-party producers. There will be a national TV campaign to support the relaunch, with details to be announced over the coming months.

Krispy Kreme goes halal

Krispy Kreme has launched a campaign promoting the fact that its doughnuts are now halal-certified. The company, which has 43 standalone stores and 250 cabinets at retailers across the country, has had 16 doughnut varieties certified by the Halal Food Authority. 'Dozen' boxes will carry the HFA logo from this week. It will also be displayed on on-counter promotions in-store.

Yoghurt sales soaring as shoppers opt for health

The yoghurt category has seen huge growth over the past year as a marketing push coupled with growing demand for healthier snacks brought new consumers to the fixture. Sales value has risen 10.4% to a record £1.2bn over the past year. Health remains the key driver of consumption, with half of all yoghurts eaten for that reason, according to TNS analyst Eddy Coates.