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Retail Round Up - 20th April

John Lewis sales surge as wet weather pulls in shoppers

John Lewis sales surged 13.9% to £61.1m in the week to April 14 as wet weather over the Bank Holiday weekend drove footfall to stores.
John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “The post-Easter week proved to be almost as good as the pre-Easter week to give us a cracking fortnight’s trade.”
Street said that taking into account the timing of Easter against last year, “a truer comparison with the six days following Easter 2011 reveals a 25% advance”.
Street said John Lewis benefited from the “miserable bank holiday weather on Easter Monday which got the week off to a flying start”.

Holland & Barrett merges its channels

Health and beauty retailer Holland & Barrett is taking its first steps towards becoming an omni-channel retailer in an effort to allow customers to shop how they want.
The retailer plans to introduce kiosks, enabling customers to order in store using iPads. Chief executive Peter Aldis said that would work particularly well in smaller stores, giving customers access to the full product range.
Aldis believes enhancing the retailer’s service offering will help keep more shoppers on the high street. It also hopes to introduce click-and-collect.

Tesco takes on Amazon as Clarke poised to unveil strategy

Tesco has begun its attempt to take on Amazon Market Place as the City is poised to hear the grocer’s UK strategy.
The retailer has begun selling plants and garden equipment from horticultural etailer Crocus, in the first of what is expected to be a string of third-party deals.
Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke will unveil his strategy to improve in-store experience and service at the UK’s largest retailer.
The Financial Times claims Clarke has between a year and 18 months to prove himself to shareholders or his future will be in doubt.

Costa partners with Kraft for ‘At Home’ range

A range of three Costa branded coffee pods for use in Kraft’s Tassimo coffee machines will launch in national retailers and in Costa stores this September. Jim Slater, Costa Enterprise managing director, told Marketing Week: “Every day, our customers ask us why they cannot buy Costa coffee to drink at home. We felt it was about time we solved this problem.“The Kraft collaboration is a natural step for Costa. We aim to grow Costa beyond the coffee shop, and this is a significant strategic move in our mission.”

Sainsbury's eyes mobile and TV integration

Sainsbury’s is mulling a mobile initiative to integrate its TV advertising and video content with smartphone technology to drive shoppers in-store with rewards and offers. It would integrate TV advertising, smartphone, GPS technology and Sainsbury’s Nectar programme in a bid to drive engagement and bring shoppers into stores. An app would recognise the audio and video content in its TV ads and make it interactive to unlock vouchers to redeem in store. When the voucher is then redeemed in store, the shopper would be further rewarded with 100 additional Nectar points. Once in store, the shopper could then be directed towards specific offers or products in store tailored according to the individual’s previous purchases to receive additional discounts, or loyalty point bonuses.

EBay aims to double fashion business

EBay aims to double the size of its Fashion Outlet business by expanding the number of brands that sell direct via its ecommerce platform. The move will be backed by an ad campaign in a bid to encourage shoppers to regard it as a credible fashion destination.Melanie Smallwood, UK head of fashion brands, told Marketing Week that the ‘MyMix’ campaign has been developed to show that eBay offers a place for UK fashion fans to buy a mix of vintage, new and second-hand from other consumers and small businesses and directly from high street brands.

Tesco tells suppliers: work harder to cut carbon

Tesco expects to see “more concrete action” from its suppliers to help it meet its carbon emission reduction targets.
The retailer told The Grocer it was seeking to treble the number of companies involved in a collaborative programme, launched last year, to find ways to save energy and reduce waste.
Tesco aims to slash its environmental footprint by 30% by 2020 but said the success depended on a more collective effort across its supply chain.

Cost-cutting helps WH Smith defy falling sales

WH Smith has posted another increase in profits, as it continues to cut costs at the expense of sales.
The high street retailer said pre-tax profits rose 3% to £66m in the six months to 29 February. It said it had delivered cost savings of £2m ahead of plan in its high street stores division and was now targeting £3m of savings for the second half of the year.

Nestlé ahead of the game in first quarter

Nestlé has beaten market expectations for first-quarter sales, reporting a 7.2% jump in like-for-likes.
The Swiss food giant grew global sales to £21.4bn, boosted by 13% growth in emerging markets and price increases in developed markets