What's fresh

Retail Round Up

Kardashian's UK footwear website to close after four months

The UK arm of Shoedazzle, the online footwear, handbag and jewellery retailer co-founded by US reality TV star Kim Kardashian, is to shut down after only four months. The members-only website, which was founded in the US in 2009 and launched in the UK on September 6 last year, is to cease trading in the UK on January 31 in order to focus on its US business. The site faced competition in the UK from rival membership-only site Stylist Pick which relaunched this autumn, offering the same £39.95 per month service.

Boots primes its multichannel offer

Boots health and beauty chief executive, Alex Gourlay, told Retail Week the retailer is “really serious” about developing its multichannel offer and opened an optimised warehouse, designed to speed up online orders, in time for Christmas. Gourlay said the new warehouse means Boots is “well set up for multichannel” and added that having a strong multichannel operation safeguards it from a fall off in demand on the high street where Boots has 2,699 shops.

Blacks set to be back in the black within a year

JD Sports Fashion chairman, Peter Cowgill, aims to turn a profit at Blacks in the next financial year. The sports retailer acquired the loss-making Blacks business out of administration earlier this month and underperforming stores are likely to be closed. Cowgill said: “We’re as confident as we can be [of turning it around]. We hope to be making a profit in the next 12 months.”

B&Q overhauls own label brands in £12m refresh

B&Q has unveiled a raft of new own label brands as part of a £12m investment to improve its products, stores and brand.Katherine Paterson, B&Q’s marketing director, says that the chain is taking a much more fashion led seasonal approach to products which means that each season it will have a range of new products launching under the own label brands. It will then peg more seasonal marketing communications on the regularly seasonal refresh of products.

Cadbury tops list of UK’s favourite food brands

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Seriously Strong Cheddar have been named the most popular food brands by UK shoppers, according to a new study by Nunwood, the customer experience specialist. The consumer experience specialist asked 2,400 UK consumers to a pick a product they had consumed over the past four weeks and then rate them out of ten according to how enjoyable they were. Both Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Seriously Strong Cheddar had an average score of 8.51.

Premier Foods to double marketing spend to £41m

Premier Foods plans to double marketing spend behind its power brands this year as part of its long term recovery plan to improve the business performance, while slashing costs in other areas.
Premier spent £19.9m in 2011, according to internal figures, and plans to invest £41.3m in 2012. The food company is mired in debt following a number of costly acquisitions in previous years and has struggled to repay its £850m debts. It’s banks recently granted the company extra time to negotiate its finances. Premier expects to double its £20m cost reduction target by 2013 by creating a stronger and more efficient business to drive its recovery and growth plans.

Grocery growth slows but sugar sweetens Associated’s numbers

Associated British Foods has reported a slowdown in growth in its grocery business, while sugar sales continue to boom thanks to high prices. Total grocery sales rose 4% in the first quarter to 7 January, having grown by 7% in the previous financial year. Associated highlighted strong global sales for Twinings Ovaltine, while describing UK sales as “encouraging”.

Emerging markets again behind SAB Miller growth

SAB Miller has reported a 3% increase in third-quarter lager volumes despite declining sales in Europe. The brewer of Peroni and Grolsch said growth in the three months to 31 December came thanks to emerging markets, where 70% of its profits are now generated. Latin America and Africa led the growth, with volumes up by 8% and 11% respectively. By contrast, lager volumes in Europe slid by 2% over the same period.

Sainsbury’s lined up as jubilee Thames bash partner

Sainsbury’s has been unveiled as the first major corporate partner of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June. The 1,000-boat tribute to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne is being billed as one of the largest public events ever held in London, stretching from Putney to Tower Bridge. The flotilla will be more than seven miles long – and including mustering, dispersal and the avenue of sail, will include some 25 miles of Thames river bank and pass under 14 bridges.