B&Q owner looks for new CEO after profits slump
B&Q owner Kingfisher has announced that its chief executive Veronique Laury is to step down following 53 per cent fall in profits. The group said she would remain in her role until a successor could be found to lead the final two years of a five year turnaround plan for the business.
Warm weather brings six month online sales high
February’s unexpectedly warm weather inspired a revival in online retail sales last month, as the industry recorded its strongest growth - up 9.4 per cent year-on-year - in six months, according to the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index. Despite falling below the five-year average of 10.6 per cent year-on-year for February, the growth provided some relief for online retailers after recent struggles.
German e-commerce tech firm enters UK market
German software provider Commercetools is expanding into the UK market with a new office and team located in London. Led by Steven Fockema Andreae, head of sales Western Europe, the company is targeting UK retailers looking to replace legacy e-commerce platforms with cloud-based alternatives.
Department stores ‘risk extinction without radical rethink’
A new report from Forrester has warned that department stores risk being a thing of the past if they do not embrace the future. The consultancy firm argued that while such retail outlets used to be showcases for brands, now brands can sell directly to consumers now and have less need for showcases that don’t materially enhance the customer’s experience.
ASOS sales up 13% despite European challenges
Sales at online fashion retailer ASOS were up by 13 per cent in the three months to the end of February.The latest quarterly report showed total revenue had risen to £658.5 million in the three months to 28 February, with total retail sales across markets also up 13 per cent at £641.3 million.
Asia Pacific tourists boost European retailers
Tourists from the Asia Pacific region gave a much-needed boost to European retailers in the first quarter of 2019, according to data from Planet. The payments firm found that Europe’s shopper market made a slow recovery in the last quarter, with consumers from China and Vietnam leading the field.
Government’s strategy ‘must not neglect retail’
The government’s Industrial Strategy must honour its ‘open door’ offer to industry and do more to engage with sectors such as retail, which risk being left behind, according to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee. A new report has criticised the government’s development of its Industrial Strategy through sector deals, stating that a focus on hi-tech sectors such as offshore wind has ignored productivity boosts for retail and hospitality.
Instagram adds in-app checkout
Instagram has introduced a new feature which allows users to buy items without leaving the app. When people tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, they will see the Checkout on Instagram button on the product page. This lets them select from various options, such as size or colour, and proceed to payment.
Ocado revenues up 11.2% after warehouse blaze
Ocado has reported an 11.2 per cent rise in revenues, despite a blaze at its Andover warehouse which took its toll on sales. First quarter results for the online grocery delivery company showed that revenue rose to £404 million.
Co-op launches fog cannons to deter thieves
The Co-op has developed fog cannons to help catch criminals in their tracks as part of a multi-million pound programme of investment in innovative retail technology. The grocery chain said that the forensic fog cannon system, designed by SmartWater and security fog specialists Protect, would initially be rolled out in food stores in South Wales, Greater Manchester and London as part of a ‘forensic first’ for a UK retailer.
Sales 'more dependent on tech than location' by 2022
Only a third of retail decision-makers believe a physical location will be a key method of customer access in 2022, outweighed by chatbots (51 per cent), voice (48 per cent) and augmented reality (32 per cent). This is according to a survey of 279 senior retail staff in November by independent tech leader community Nimbus Ninety, which also revealed that 70 per cent are expecting to see their digital budget increase this year, up from 67 per cent last year and 54 per cent the year before.