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Established 1996
Wednesday 10 February 2016



Retail off to a flyer as stores beat online

UK retailers made a good start to 2016, as sales rose by 2.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis from January 2015, when they had increased 0.2 per cent from the preceding year. The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor shows that, on a total basis, sales were up 3.3 per cent, against a 1.6 per cent rise in January 2015, the best growth since September. The strong performance was driven by big ticket items, in particular furniture, whilst clothing and footwear were boosted by the New Year sales. On the down side, after seeing a slight recovery in December, food sales were once again slightly down in January. And competition is set to intensify even further as Brits continue the trend for shopping little and often.

ONS to boost retail data collection for CPI

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is partnering with global trend forecaster WGSN to enhance the collection of information used to calculate the Consumer Price Index (CPI). WGSN tracks the performance of fashion retail through its Instock tool, which reports on the stock status and pricing of individual items across the industry. The data is gathered through its sophisticated online system, which monitors and analyses e-commerce sites.

Paym slowly catching on

There were 1.46 million Paym payments in the second half of 2015, compared to 774,628 in the first six months. More than £146 million has been sent using the British bank-backed person-to-person mobile payments service since it launched in April 2014. The average transaction value dipped below £50 for the first time in the last three months of 2015, with £49.48 being sent on average, with petrol money, splitting bills, IOUs and other household costs amongst the most popular reasons to use the offering. 3.2 million people had registered for the service with one of the 17 participating banks and building societies by the end of December.

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Black cabs to accept card payments

From October 2016, it will become a requirement for each of London’s 22,500 black cabs to accept card payments for their fares. The move was approved by the board of Transport for London (TfL) following a consultation in which 86 per cent of respondents supported the move. Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer for surface transport, said: “We believe the acceptance of card and contactless payments will be a huge plus for both taxi drivers and their passengers. The TfL network is seeing more and more contactless payments so this would bring the taxi trade into line with other transport services in the capital.”

UK retailers ‘failing to capitalise on China’

The multi-trillion dollar e-commerce market in China is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, but UK retailers are failing to cash in, according to a new study. Research conducted by e-commerce specialist Global-e has revealed that although 71 per cent of the UK’s largest online retailers are selling internationally, just 55 per cent offer shipping to China. Expected to rise by 50 per cent to reach $6.5 trillion by 2020, the Chinese e-commerce market should be “unmissable” for retailers, with online transactions accounting for almost half of that growth, it said. China’s Centre for International Economic Exchanges has also predicted that the nation’s international online retail will account for 30-40 per cent of its total world trade by 2025.

Punch installs video technology in UK pubs

As part of a major refurbishment programme, Punch – one of the largest leased pub and bar operators in the UK – has teamed up with ZeeVee (Zv) to implement the firm’s coax video encoding products in their pubs across the UK. Zv’s technology will be used by Punch to enhance their pubs’ customer experience by adding a network of screens and projectors to show live video from Sky Sports and FreeView channels, whilst also having camera feeds from local games, including darts and pool tournaments. To deliver a “wow factor” in their pubs, Punch has also commissioned integrator TVC to provide high quality audio visual equipment.

Mobile loyalty cards to double over five years

More than three billion loyalty cards will operate as mobile-only or be integrated into apps by 2020, up from 1.4 billion last year, according to Juniper Research. It says that brands and retailers are increasingly offering customers the opportunity to store their loyalty cards within a dedicated digital wallet. And the improved targeting and personalisation that comes of this is leading to greater activity rates.


Doddle to launch Neighbour parcel collection

Doddle, the network of purple parcel stores across the UK, has announced that it will be launching Doddle Neighbour, a service where individuals and businesses can earn an income by using their homes or premises as a parcel collection point for their local community. Speaking about alleviating the growing congestion on city streets, London’s mayor Boris Johnson recently made calls for more click and collect hubs in residential areas, stating: “We need to work with operators to build up a more sensible system whereby click and collect stores and hubs are in people’s neighbourhoods.”


Multi-channel fulfillment
Multi-channel fulfillment

Deputy Editor Michelle Stevens chats to Doddle CEO Tim Robinson about the firm’s click and collect service & 2015’s peak

FStech/Retail Systems Videocast
Retail Systems/FStech videocast

Deputy Editor Michelle Stevens highlights the upcoming Payments Conference hosted by Retail Systems and FStech

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