Debit card payments overtake cash
The popularity of contactless payments, online shopping and smartphones has led to debit cards overtaking cash as the most frequently used payment method in the UK, according to trade association UK Finance. Its latest report showed new technology, payment innovation and changing consumer habits contributed to 13.2 billion card payments at the end of 2017, overtaking cash payments (13.1 billion) for the first time.
John Lewis pilots clothing ‘buyback’ service
John Lewis is trialling an app-based service in which customers can have any unwanted clothing bought from its 50 shops and website, collected from their home and paid for, regardless of condition. The service is currently being tested by over 100 John Lewis customers, with social enterprise Stuffstr, to help reduce the 300,000 tonnes of clothing which gets sent to landfill each year in the UK.
Google announces $550m JD.com investment
JD.com and Google have announced a strategic partnership that will see Google invest $550 million in the Chinese e-commerce firm. The two companies plan to collaborate on a range of strategic initiatives, including joint development of retail solutions in Southeast Asia, the US and Europe. By applying JD’s supply chain and logistics expertise and Google’s technology strengths, the two companies aim to explore the creation of next generation retail infrastructure solutions, with the goal of offering helpful, personalised and frictionless shopping experiences.
Millennials ‘would consider’ banking with Amazon
There is a strong appetite among younger consumers for banking services from technology firms such as Amazon, Facebook, Google or Apple, as they could offer greater convenience and more personalised services. This is according to a new report from MuleSoft, which surveyed more than 8,000 consumers across the UK, US, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and Singapore. It found that one in three global consumers would consider using the likes of Amazon for banking services; a figure which rises to 52 per cent for those aged 18-34.
N Brown to slash stores and jobs
N Brown Group, the parent company of fashion retailers JD Williams, Jacamo and Simple Be, is consulting on plans to close 20 stores, with the possible loss of around 240 jobs. The stores are being closed ahead of their lease expiry dates, with the decision being based on poor footfall figures and the fact they only generated two per cent of the group’s revenue and an earnings before tax loss of £3 million.
Tesco sees 10th consecutive quarter of growth
Tesco has published its trading results for the first quarter of 2018, revealing positive like-for-like sales growth for a tenth consecutive quarter. Group sales were up 1.8 per cent, with UK and Ireland recording 3.5 per cent growth. Since consolidating Booker on 5 March 2018, the cash and carry company has seen sales grow 14.3 per cent – driven by a strong underlying performance and new business contracts.
Fenwick hires Salesforce for e-commerce push
Fenwick has selected Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud to deliver new digital shopping experiences. At the end of April, the historic department store chain announced it was consulting with staff over a proposed structural reorganisation, with the centralising of back office operations and launch of a website that supports online shopping.
Contactless journeys now viewable on TfL app
Customers using contactless payment cards in London can now view their journey history on the go following the latest update to the Transport for London (TfL) Oyster and contactless app. Half of all tube and rail pay as you go journeys in London are now regularly made using contactless payment cards or mobile devices. More than 17 million pay as you go journeys a week are now regularly made across public transport services, providing value, flexibility and convenience.
Iceland to extend plastic reduction trial
Iceland will be extending its market-first trial of the Diebold Nixdorf reverse vending machines across England, following positive results from London locations. The Food Warehouse Wolverhampton, which is part of the Iceland Food Group, will be trialling the machine at its Peel Centre store on Stafford Street for the next six months from today. Reverse vending machines reward individuals for recycling, by providing money or vouchers in return for empty containers.
ONS figures show May retail rebound
The quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 1.3 per cent in May, compared to the previous month, with growth across all main sectors. The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) retail figures showed that the quantity bought saw a sharp increase to 3.9 per cent year-on-year growth in May, compared with 1.4 per cent in April, possibly due to a combination of warm weather and just 0.8 per cent year-on-year growth in May 2017.
A quarter of UK SMEs accept payment apps
More than a quarter (29 per cent) of UK small and medium businesses now give their customers the option to pay using an app in store – fuelled by the popularity of mobile payments apps such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. The research conducted by Verve Partners Research and commissioned by Verifone also found that almost a fifth (17 per cent) of micro businesses are also tapping into the trend and accepting payment apps.