Labour promises to fix retail business rates
The shadow business secretary has promised to save the High Street from “a slow and agonising death” with a five-point plan of reforms. Speaking at the party’s conference in Liverpool, Rebecca Long-Bailey said that to rebuild Britain and breathe life back into communities, “Labour will scrap ATM charges, deliver free WiFi to town centres, introduce a register of empty properties, provide free bus travel for under 25s and overhaul the broken business rates system which is hammering retail”.
Boohoo revenue rises 50% to almost £400m
Boohoo’s group revenue rose by 50 per cent to £395.3 million during the first half of this year, with pre-tax profits up 22 per cent to £24.7 million. Over the six months to 31 August, the online fashion retailer’s UK revenue was up 43 per cent, while international sales increased by 62 per cent and now account for 41 per cent of group revenue. Sales grew by 15 per cent to £209 million, as the brand benefited from particularly strong growth in northern Europe.
Amazon visual search trialled on Snapchat
Snapchat parent company Snap has revealed it is testing a new way to search for products on Amazon using the camera on mobile phones. The feature will be rolled-out slowly in the US to begin with, according to a statement, and enables users to point the Snapchat camera at a physical product or barcode, which takes them to an Amazon link if it is recognised.
Monsoon’s omnichannel stock tech drives sales
Monsoon has pinned an extra £1.4 million in online sales to new technology which turns stores into virtual warehouses when items have run out online. The High Street fashion retailer said it has seen an instant boost in sales during the first month of its Fashion Finder service, which is built on smart inventory software from OneStock.
Apple and Salesforce partner for enterprise apps
Apple and Salesforce have announced a broad strategic partnership aimed at growing software as a service (SaaS) offerings to businesses. The alliance, announced ahead of customer relationship management (CRM) platform Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce developer conference in San Francisco today, comes as consumer technology company Apple looks to expand its enterprise strategy and access more corporate sales through online apps.
Online sales prop up Next’s long hot summer
Next’s total retail sales fell 6.9 per cent year-on-year to £925.1 million, although online retail sales were up 16.8 per cent to £892.3 million. This meant that during the half year - to the end of July - retail profit dropped 23 per cent to £73.2 million, whilst online profit rose 21.1 per cent to £163.3 million. The clothing and homewares retailer saw full price sales up 4.5 per cent, ahead of the one per cent guidance given at the start of the year.
Oasis and Warehouse update apps with Poq
Oasis and Warehouse are gearing up to launch mobile new apps to enable customers to shop more easily.The High Street fashion brands are partnering with Poq, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform behind the shopping apps of e-commerce retailers Missguided, PrettyLittleThing and Quiz, which have also launched apps for iOS and Android.
Jo Malone scents Chinese opportunity with Tmall
British perfume maker Jo Malone London has become the latest British retailer to become available to Chinese consumers through Tmall. Aside from its website, the Alibaba-owned marketplace is Jo Malone’s only other e-commerce channel in China.
Victoria Beckham launches AR chatbot
Victoria Beckham has launched a chat bot for Facebook Messenger, allowing fans of her fashion brand to virtually try on pieces from her latest capsule collection with the help of Augmented Reality (AR).The fashion designer’s bot allowed fans to track the launch of the Victoria Beckham spring/summer 2019 capsule at London Fashion Week last week with real time updates of her day and behind-the-scenes video which channelled her voice.
Companies spend $52bn on MarTech
Spending on digital marketing grew by 44 per cent in Britain and the US to a combined spend of $52 billion last year, reflecting a booming trend for search optimisation and personalised advertising among retailers and service providers.A survey of more than 500 brands carried out by UK accountancy firm Moore Stephens and US-based media firm WARC found that marketing technology (MarTech), which allows companies to target customers directly through social media or voice-activated assistants such as the Amazon Alexa, achieved a global outlay of $100 billion in 2017.
Tiffany’s installs UK’s first luxury vending machine
Tiffany & Co has installed the UK’s first luxury vending machine at its Covent Garden store, in partnership with Worldline. The unattended VALINA payment terminal lets customers purchase the new Tiffany perfume using a quick and easy transaction.