Shop price deflation accelerated to 1.2 per cent year-on-year in July, compared to the previous month’s decline of 0.7 per cent. But this was a slower rate of decline than the 12 and six month average price decreases of 1.6 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC.)
The Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub in Singapore has published a proposed blueprint for enhancing global payments network connectivity. The blueprint, also supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), aims to improve network connectivity via multilateral linkages of countries’ national retail payment systems.
Total retail sales have more than doubled in volume terms since 1989, ONS research has found. This compares with a 17 per cent rise in UK population and a 68 per cent rise in household disposable income per capita.
The total volume of contactless transactions is set to hit $2.5 trillion in 2021, up from $1.7 trillion in 2020, according to new research from analyst house Juniper Research. Card payments will still account for most contactless transactions – 79 per cent - in 2021 according to Juniper.
35 per cent of online shoppers in the UK will only associate with responsible brands, including those that treat staff fairly, source goods ethically, and do not misuse consumer data, according to new research. A study into online shopping behaviour and ethics from Empathy.co, based on a Censuswide survey of more than 4,000 UK digital consumers, found that 47 per cent of shoppers prefer to shop with brands they trust.
Like-for-like sales at French luxury conglomerate LVMH have increased 53 per cent to hit 28.7 billion for the first part of its financial year. The Paris-headquartered company owns brands such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, and Bulgari and is currently Europe’s most valuable company by market capitalisation.
Barclaycard has announed a new cashback programme with Visa, giving shoppers automatic cashback when spending at a range of High Street and e-commerce retailers.
eBay has announced the rollout of a new end-to-end fulfilment service for UK sellers. British businesses operating on the online marketplace will now have access to fulfilment centres in Leicester and Birmingham, where goods can be stored, packed, and delivered.
UK banks have welcomed the extension to implement Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for e-commerce transactions, with 42 per cent planning to use the extra time to improve and enhance the sophistication of their SCA roll out plans.
On Tuesday womenswear brand LK Bennett is launching a new monthly rental subscription service. According to a report from Drapers, consumers will be able to rent two items at once for £79 per month.
Almost 3000 lorry drivers are planning to go on strike next month according to sources reported by The Observer, potentially disrupting the UK retail supply chain. The lorry drivers are reportedly planning a “stay at home” order on August 23, on allegations of poor pay and working conditions.
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is reportedly planning on becoming the first large retailer to launch a nationwide same-day clothing delivery service. The company’s chief executive Steve Rowe announced the plans in an interview with The Times on Monday.
Retail workers – including those at essential outlets such as supermarkets - are not part of the keyworkers who will be exempt from the government’s Covid-19 self-isolation rules. However, 10,000 people employed in the food supply chain, including workers at supermarket depots and at manufacturing plants, will be exempt from the rules according to new government guidance released today.
The owner of Poundland, Pepco, and Dealz is planning to create around 13,000 net new jobs across Europe in the next three years as it opens more stores across the region.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is examining competition and consumer concerns with general online retail marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon. The investigation is part of the watchdog’s wider inquiry into digital platform services in Australia.
Waitrose has announced plans to install up to 800 Shell electric vehicle charging points at over 100 UK supermarkets by 2025. Each site is expected to have six 22kW and two 50kW rapid charging points so customers can charge their vehicles while they shop.
Retail sales volumes increased by 0.5 per cent between May and June 2021 and were up 9.5 per cent compared to pre-coronavirus levels over the same period. According to the latest ONS figures, the largest contribution to the monthly increase in June 2021 came from food stores where sales volumes rose by 4.2 per cent.
Gym King has reportedly received a multi-million-pound investment from JD Sports. JD Sports, as part of the deal, has acquired a minority stake in the brand.
Iceland has said that it will recruit 2000 additional staff to address a staff shortage triggered by employees having to self-isolate after being 'pinged' by the NHS Covid App.
New research has found that up to 17,000 High Street stores could open in the next year. Data from Barclays Corporate Banking shows that consumers have returned to physical stores with confidence since restrictions started to ease, with 68 per cent saying they have felt safe to return to the High Street.
Gen Z are three times more likely to start their online product search on social media than any other group. According to research from supercharged commerce, 18 per cent of Gen Z are likely to begin their e-commerce shopping search on these platforms compared to the 6 per cent average.
E-commerce giant eBay has recorded a 237 per cent increase in small shops setting up on its marketplace in the last year. The company said the new generation of “pandemic startups” was equivalent to a new business registering every 2 minutes as it announced a new support package for small businesses.
Royal Mail parcel volumes decreased 13 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. But versus to pre-pandemic levels, volumes were up 19 per cent.
Next sales in the second quarter were ahead of expectations, resulting in an increase in the retailer’s profit guidance for the full year. The fashion retailer reported full price online sales growth of 44 per cent in the 11 weeks to 17 July.
The government is to hand the competition regulator new powers to tackle subscription traps and fake reviews to protect online consumers.Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the government would change the law to ensure that prepayment schemes like Christmas savings clubs have to safeguard customers’ money.
The use of chatbots in marketing more than doubled during the pandemic, research has found. According to a new report from Hubspot, the findings are part of a wider trend in the use of automation in the industry.
Six of the UK’s leading retailers have called for urgent action to address the future of British and Northern Ireland trade following the end of the grace period in October.
Take-home grocery sales are significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, despite falling by 5.1 per cent over the past three months. According to the latest Kantar retail sales, shoppers spent £3 billion more on groceries than they did during the same period in 2019.
Morrisons has opened a till-free store enabling customers to pick up their groceries and walk out. The supermarket chain is testing the till-free concept at a pilot store for staff outside its head office in Bradford, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Doubling the use of augmented and virtual reality technologies in retail environments could result in $66 billion of additional sales growth, according to a new report from Accenture. A study from the professional services firm estimates that just one per cent of retailers are using augmented and virtual reality technologies to improve consumer experience, but that increasing this to 2 per cent could translate into better returns in the coming years.
Ocado has said that a fire that took place at its Erith customer fulfilment centre on Friday appeared to have been caused by a collision of three robots on its grid system.
M&S has added its voice to warnings from industry, including the UK’s leading business group, that the government’s Covid-19 self-isolation policy could lead to shortages. Steve Rowe, chief executive of Marks & Spencer warned on Sunday that the “pingdemic” of staff being told to isolate by the NHS app could lead to shortages of goods and could force the retailer to reduce its operations.
The communities secretary has called on local authorities to be flexible about late-night deliveries in light of the driver shortage. Robert Jenrick has asked councils to take a more relaxed approach to rules around delivery timings over the next six months.
The government has launched its long-term plan to boost the High Street. The High Street strategy is part of the prime minister’s plan to deliver visible changes to local communities across England by transforming derelict buildings and “cleaning up streets.”
Asos shares have slid 15 per cent on news of reduced sales growth and increased Brexit and supply chain costs, pushing shares to their lowest value in a year. The slide comes despite a worldwide sales rise of 31 per cent to £1.29 billion, and a 60 per cent UK sales rise to £526.4 million.
Facebook’s payment system is to extend to online businesses next month. Facebook Pay is currently used across the company’s apps and services to send money, shop, and donate.
The retail industry is “dangerously underestimating” the role technology will play in building a sustainable operation that can thrive in future pandemics, the climate crisis, and economic and political instability, new research has found.
Kingfisher has said it anticipates first half sales and pre-tax profit to be ahead of previous expectations following strong performance in the quarter to date.
Asos sales grew by more than a quarter in the four months ended 30 June. The online fashion retailer reported total revenue of £1.28 billion across the same period, up from £1.01 billion in the previous year, representing an increase of 27 per cent.
John Lewis Partnership, the owner of John Lewis and Waitrose, is set to cut 1000 in-store management roles. The retailer said the move comes as part of efforts to save £300 million by 2022 by streamlining its store management.
UK homewares retailer Dunelm has announced that total sales across the 13 weeks to 26 June hit £380.1 million. During the three-month period, revenue growth jumped by 43.9 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels and by 101.7 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.
British SMEs selling on Amazon Business made more than £300 million collectively last year.
DIY retailer ManoMano is now valued at $2.6 billion after raising $355 million in a Series F funding round. The Paris-based retailer was launched in 2013 by Philippe de Chanville and Christian Raisson, and provides an online marketplace for DIY, home improvement, and gardening products.
E-commerce sales declined by 14.1 per cent in June, a record low according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index. Last month saw the steepest drop in sales in the history of the Index for the second month running.
UK parcel carrier Yodel has announced the launch of its new consumer-to-consumer service. Customers will be able to ship parcels up to 60x50x50cm and weighing up to 10kg.
Vaayu, a retail carbon tracking company, has raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by CapitalIT, supported by a number of angel investors including Atomico’s Angel Program, Planet Positive LP, Saarbrücker 21, Expedite Ventures, and NP-Hard Ventures.
Maternity focused brand Seraphine was valued at over £150 million in its London initial public offering (IPO). The London-based company was founded in 2002 by French-born designer Cecile Reinaud, and now has physical outlets in more than ten locations worldwide.
The British retail market saw sales increase by 13.1 per cent in June, compared to a decline of 1.3 per cent in 2019. On a like-for-like basis, UK sales jumped 17 per cent in comparison to two years ago, when they had dropped 1.6 per cent from the preceding year.
ASICS has announced the release of a new NFT collection. The sporting goods company said that it would be a “first of its kind footwear release” available via digital action on 15 July.
TikTok is to open its own physical retail space at Westfield London. UK consumers will be able to experience the short-form video platform’s ‘For You’ page in real life in a house format, with different activities taking place there over the summer.
Lidl GB has pledged to become carbon neutral by next year. The budget supermarket aims to reduce CO2 emissions from its own operations (Scope 1 & 2), aligned to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Klarna is set to buy social shopping platform Hero. Founded in 2015, the platform connects retail workers with online shoppers, allowing them to offer reviews and real-time advice via text messages, videos, and online chat rooms.
PayPoint has announced a £6.6 million investment in the Snappy Group home delivery business. The deal will see PayPoint acquire a stake in the Dundee-based firm with PayPoint Group’s chief executive, Nick Wiles, joining the Snappy Group board.
Co-op has launched what it describes as Europe’s most extensive in-store collection and recycling scheme for plastic bags, crisp packets, and food wrapping.
Zara has launched an app feature that enables UK customers to browse items in a specific store to find out which garments are in stock before arriving. The new feature also lets shoppers buy clothes in advance for collection in half an hour, in-store fitting room booking, and location of items they’ve seen online in store.
Sainsbury’s has introduced fully electric refrigerators for its delivery fleet as part of its £1 billion green push. The supermarket claims the electric fridges do not produce carbon emissions, dirt and smoke particles, and that they are noise free.
The government has extended the legal limit for HGV drivers’ hours to address the current driver shortage.
WH Smith has announced that it is opening 18 technology and accessories stores across major UK airports. The retailer, which currently has over 1,700 stores in more than 30 countries, will open stores at London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, London Luton, Birmingham, East Midlands, as well as others.
Nine in ten - 90% - of the world’s top publicly traded online retailers reported double digit revenue growth in 2020. The top retailers – measured by overall revenue - were US-based Amazon, eBay, and Wayfair; China’s Alibaba, JD, and Pinduoduo; Japan’s Rakuten; South Korea’s Coupang, and Germany’s Zalando.
E-commerce giant Amazon accounts for more than a quarter of all UK online spend, according to a new report from Wunderman Thompson Commerce. The research found that a total of 27 per cent of e-commerce spending in Britain takes place via Amazon.
UK consumers want a connected shopping experience, a global survey of 20,000 shoppers has revealed.
Four of the world’s biggest retailers have launched a new climate change initiative. H&M Group, Ikea-owner Ingka Group, Kingfisher, and Walmart have established the Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign.
The John Lewis Partnership, which owns John Lewis and Waitrose, has introduced a flexible working policy for all its head office staff. The news comes after Asda announced last week that staff will be able to work from the “location best suited to their job.”
Tesco is reportedly planning to hit suppliers with extra transport costs due to an ongoing driver shortage.
Two-thirds of the UK’s transportation and logistics leaders say that mobile-first tech will be crucial to deliveries in five-years’ time, according to new research. A report from mobile and IoT management provider SOTI found that as the pace of technological change picks up, 50 per cent of global leaders think that mobile-first technology will increase the speed of the delivery process.
Casino Group is collaborating with Accenture and Google Cloud to accelerate its digital strategy. The French mass-market retailer plans to use a number of new digital solutions at its stores and on its e-commerce sites to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency.
Asda has hired Meghan Farren, chief marketing officer at KFC, as its new chief customer officer. Farren initially started as an innovation director at the fast-food chain in November 2011, where she has also held the role of marketing director.
Ocado has reported group revenue growth of 21.4 per cent to £1.3 billion in the first six months of the year, compared to £1.08 billion in 2020. During the same period, the company’s retail business saw a 19.8 per cent increase to £1.2 billion, up from £1.02 billion in the previous year.
Clearpay, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider, is launching a rewards programme for customers who pay back on time.The Pulse Rewards programme is aimed at acknowledging customers who adopt a responsible approach to spending with benefits for on-time payments.
John Lewis has announced plans to expand its furniture rental service, doubling the range to offer more than 200 lines. The retailer partnered with peer-to-peer rental platform Fat Llama for a trial last year.
Prosecutors in France have begun an investigation into four fashion retailers suspected of hiding “crimes against humanity” in China, according to a report by Reuters.
Morrisons has agreed to a £6.3 billion offer from a group of investors including Fortress Investment Group on Saturday, topping last month’s unsolicited £5.5 billion takeover bid from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) by £1.2 billion. The deal must be ratified by shareholders and could yet be overtaken by a rival bid, but the supermarket group's directors are recommending it is accepted.
100 of the UK’s leading retailers have written to the prime minister to demand new laws against violence in stores.
43 per cent of UK shoppers would pay more for a product or service if they knew it was ethically or sustainably sourced, according to new research. A report from supercharged commerce found that 33 per cent of the 2000 UK shoppers surveyed 33 per cent have already paid more in practice.
Zipline has doubled its valuation to $2.75 billion, following a $250 million funding round. The drone delivery company said the money will be invested in accelerating the development of a new model for instant logistics.
Tesco has announced plans to open an autonomous store following a successful trial. The supermarket retailer has been trialling the frictionless checkout technology, developed by Israeli company Trigo, at its Tesco Express store in Welwyn Garden City, where the company has its headquarters.
Almost a quarter of Brits – 22 per cent - used e-commerce to fight stress and loneliness over the pandemic according to YouGov. The research, commissioned by digital advertising firm Digidip, said there was a clear link between mental wellbeing and e-commerce habits.
Primark has reached record sales of £1.6 billion in the third quarter of the year after all of its stores reopened. Revenue was well ahead of the same period last year, when sales only reached £0.6 billion. During this time lockdowns meant that on average Primark stores had been shut for 12 weeks.
H&M has revealed plans to close 350 stores and open 100 new stores over the next year, resulting in a net decrease of 250 stores worldwide. The fast-fashion retailer said that most of the new openings will be in growth markets while closures will mainly be in established markets.
Amazon has attributed a 19 per cent rise in its carbon emissions to the significant growth of the business in the last year. This week the e-commerce giant published its carbon footprint, reporting the emission of 60.4 million metric tons of CO2, up from 51.17 million in the previous year.
Gap is set to close all its brick-and-mortar stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland and move its operations fully online by the end of September. The closures will take place across its 81 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland gradually from the end of August.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed a new report on retail violence from the Home Affairs Select Committee, which calls on the government to urgently consult on a new criminal offense.
Etsy has announced that it will buy Brazil-based Elo7, a privately held marketplace for handmade items, for $217 million. Elo7 has been ranked as one of the top e-commerce sites in Brazil.
Almost three quarters – 72 per cent - of frontline workers would feel more connected if communications were delivered via their smartphone or tablet, according to research from software-as-a-service vendor YOOBIC. The category of “frontline workers” includes retail employees and any other workers, such as those in hospitality, who must interact directly with customers in person.
Asda has become the first UK supermarket to launch an express one-hour delivery service for its full online range. The service is available at three Asda stores this week following a successful trial. Customers will have access to over 30,000 grocery items for delivery in 60 minutes.
New research has found that UK retailers will lose an estimated £8 billion in profits by 2025, triggered by the dramatic shift to e-commerce seen over the past 18 months.
E-commerce advertising platform CitrusAd has expanded its partnership with Ocado Retail, in a move it says will help suppliers grow their business on the Ocado website. Ocado Retail is a joint venture between Marks & Spencer Group and Ocado Group, which is responsible for Ocado.com and Ocado Zoom.
Screwfix has partnered with delivery courier service Gophr to trial 30-minute product deliveries in Bristol. The service, named Screwfix Sprint, is aimed at tradespeople and DIY consumers in urgent need of goods.
Klarna has partnered with business finance platform Liberis to offer pre-approved revenue-based financing for its global merchant base. Klarna currently provides 250,000 merchants across 17 countries with its Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service for shoppers.
Three quarters - 74 per cent - of merchants are planning to offer instant bank payments, via Open Banking, as part of their long-term strategy according to research carried out by YouGov. The research, commissioned by UK Open Banking FinTech TrueLayer, found almost 63 per cent of shoppers would be comfortable paying by Open Banking, particularly for vehicles, car rentals, flight tickets, and sporting equipment.
Vodafone will become the exclusive mobile network partner for Dixons Carphone, which owns Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse. The exclusive, multi-year deal will see Vodafone mobile plans sold across Dixons Carphone’s 300 stores.
English businesses owe local councils almost £2.5 billion in unpaid business rates, according to research from real estate software provider Altus. The news comes after the business rates holiday in England, which was originally due to finalise at the end of this month, was extended by the government until 30 June on March 3.
Asda cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent last year, according to figures published by the supermarket for the first time.
The chief executive of Nike has defended its business in China following a consumer boycott in the country.
JD Sports has announced it will acquire an 80 per cent share of Spanish e-commerce sports brand Deporvillage for €140 million. Deporvillage is an online only retailer focussing on the sale of specialist sports equipment for cycling, running, and outdoor.
Asos is set to cut 38 jobs at the Topshop, Topman, and Miss Selfridge brands according to sources reported by Drapers. The cuts will impact roles in senior buying, established buying, and design and merchandising.
GOAT Group, a US-based fashion marketplace, has hit a $3.7 billion valuation after raising $195 million in a Series F funding round. The LA-based retailer said it will use the capital to invest in its core sneaker business, as well as its apparel and accessories verticals.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a formal investigation into Amazon and Google over concerns they have not been doing enough to combat fake reviews on their sites.
International sportswear brand Nike has reported revenue growth of 96 per cent to $12.3 billion in the final quarter of 2020. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, revenues were up by 21 per cent.
The 2021 Retail Systems Awards took place yesterday evening, in a ceremony at The Waldorf Hilton in the West End.
Pepco Group, which owns budget retailer Poundland, has reported a 47 per cent increase in profits for the first half of the year. Profits jumped to €112 million, while underlying EBITA surged 16.8 per cent to €324 million.
Over a third of UK shoppers say they are more motivated to buy things based on ethics, new research has found. This number rises to 45 per cent for the demographic of 18-35 year olds and 47 per cent for consumers in Greater London.
Homebase has partnered with Checkout.com to expand its range of digital payment methods. The retailer now offers online customers the option to pay via PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Europe is leading the world in terms of checkout free technology according to analyst house RBR, with 18,000 stores in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) allowing customers to scan items via their mobiles as they shop. The report highlighted the UK, France, and the Netherlands as being particularly far ahead in terms of rolling out mobile self-scanning technology.
Clothing retailer Joules has reported a revenue increase of 4 per cent, beating analyst expectations to hit approximately £199 million for its financial year. Joules attributed the performance to strong e-commerce sales and its £9 million February acquisition of digital-led garden and outdoor furniture retailer Garden Trading.
Superdrug has launched a new digital technology that will connect online users to its in-store staff for support when buying fragrance and make up. The ‘Superdrug Store Insider’ technology is being trialled in four Superdrug stores.
55 per cent of UK adults will interact with brands more through digital and virtual channels than face-to-face post-pandemic, according to new research.
Facebook is expanding its shopping feature to WhatsApp and Marketplace. Last year the technology giant launched Facebook Shops on Facebook and Instagram. The feature enables businesses to set up single online stores on the social media platforms.
The quick commerce channel – which delivers food and groceries to consumers in less than one hour and often sub-30 minutes – is predicted to grow to £3.3 billion in the UK alone. The research, from analyst house IGD, found the market is currently worth £1.4 billion.
Amazon destroys millions of items of unsold stock every year, much of which is new and unused, according to an investigation by ITV News. Undercover footage showed millions of products being destroyed in the e-commerce giant’s Dunfermline warehouse, just one of 24 fulfilment centres operating in the UK.
Almost three-quarters – 73 per cent – of Brits think Amazon should be legally required to recognise and engage with trade unions representing their employees. The research, commissioned by UK-based trade union Unite, also found 68 per cent of Brits believe trade union recognition should be a prerequisite for companies securing public sector contracts.
A shortfall of up to 70,000 HGV drivers in the UK could lead to delays, empty shelves, and higher prices, according to ParcelHero. The home delivery company said that food wholesalers are now demanding that army drivers are put on standby to fill the gap.
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched a live-video service that connects in-store staff to customers shopping online at home. M&S Video Expert enables staff working in beauty and furniture departments to have one-on-one consultations with online shoppers, which will be available on demand via product pages on the retailer’s website.
Retail sales volumes dropped by 1.4 per cent between April and May 2021, according to ONS data. Despite the monthly decline across the period, average sales numbers were still 7.7. per cent higher than in March. They were also 9.1 per cent higher than in February 2020.
Smartphone measurement developer MySize has announced it is developing an AI-driven sizing platform for pre-owned clothing retailers. The new app is designed to help online shoppers find their correct size in second-hand fashion.
Injuries to Amazon workers spike in the build-up to key sales dates like Prime Day, according to research from GMB. An analysis of ambulance call outs to Amazon warehouses reveals an increase before Black Friday, Christmas, and Prime Day, which is today.
Morrisons has rejected a £5.5 billion takeover bid from New York based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). CD&R is no stranger to British retail deals; the group made £1 billion in 2018 from the sale of its stake in discount retailer B&M.
Tesco has reported a sales increase of 1.3 per cent to £12.4 billion in the first quarter of the year across its UK and Ireland market. The supermarket retailer saw total UK sales rise by 0.5 per cent year-on-year to £10 billion and by 9.3 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The number of people buying Father’s Day gifts online is growing, despite restrictions easing in the UK. According to data from Yodel, 18 per cent of those answering a feedback form said that they had bought their dad a gift online over the past week.
Google has opened its first ever physical retail store in New York City. The software giant said that the new space would give customers an “immersive” experience and enable hands-on interaction with the company’s devices and services – including Pixel phones, Nest products, Fitbit wearables, and Pixelbooks.
Online furniture retailer Made.com’s shares fell 8 per cent in early trading after its initial public offering (IPO), giving it a valuation of £775 million. Made.com sold 50 million shares raising £100 million, though the valuation fell short of the £1 billion the company had been targeting.
eBay has plans to sell its South Korean business for around $3.6 billion (4 trillion won), according to Korea Economic Daily. The local newspaper said that the online marketplace is selling eBay Korea to Shinsegae Group’s E-Mart and web portal company Naver.
Amazon’s Prime Day sale is predicted to hit record online spending of more than $11 billion, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index forecast. Last year the technology giant made $10.4 billion on its sale day, which takes place next week.
Halfords has reported a pre-tax profits increase of 72 per cent for its latest financial year. The retailer’s profits skyrocketed to £96.3 million, up from £40.4 million in the previous year.
Carrefour is expanding a partnership with LiveRamp to provide data collaboration, analytics, and innovation through its platform. The platform will give the retail company insights into campaign performance, category management, and shopper analytics.
Unilever is expanding refillable packaging trials across the UK, including in selected Asda and Co-op convenience stores. The trials include testing ‘return on the go’ refill and reuse products, where shoppers can pick up a pre-filled reusable bottle and return in-store once used.
Luxury goods company LVMH has partnered with Google Cloud to develop new cloud-based AI technology that will help personalise customer experiences. The tech will support LVMH’s Maisons, the company’s individual luxury brands, in improving demand forecasting and inventory optimisation.
Ikea France has been fined €1 million by a French court after being found guilty of spying on employees illegally. Ikea employs 10,000 people in France across 36 locations and is the Swedish furniture giant’s third biggest market behind Germany and the United States.
The number of UK retail jobs has increased by 1,000 in the first quarter, compared to the same period in 2020. According to the latest ONS job figures, there were 3.4 million retail jobs in Britain across the first part of the year.
H&M has reported a group net sales increase of 75 per cent in the second quarter of the year. The international clothing retailer said that sales development has been “continuously affected by the pandemic.”
Irish e-commerce software provider Scurri has raised €9 million in its latest funding round. Founded in 2010, Scurri provides solutions which aim to help retailers optimise ordering, shipping, and delivery processes.
Laybuy has launched a new digital Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) card in the UK. Customers will now be able to buy goods and services across six instalments in stores using the digital card, which is accessed on a smartphone.
The total value of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) transactions is set to hit almost a trillion - $995 billion - in 2026, up from $266 billion in 2021. The study, by UK-based analyst house Juniper Research, said this 274 per cent growth will be fuelled by greater consumer demand for credit to spread costs, because of the pandemic’s financial pressures on consumers.
Instagram is introducing a new native affiliate tool that will allow creators and influencers to discover new products available on checkout, share them with their followers, and earn commissions for the purchases they drive.
The John Lewis Partnership is to become the first UK retailer to launch six-months’ equal parenthood paid leave and two weeks paid leave for any employee who experiences the loss of a pregnancy.
Amazon could face an EU privacy fine of more than €350 million over alleged violations of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.
Russian discount grocery chain Mere is set to open 300 stores in the UK over the next eight to ten years, according to sources originally reported by The Grocer.
Mere, which trades as Svetoforin in Russia, claims its prices will be up to 30 per cent lower than other discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl.
A study from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has found that the vast majority of UK fast fashion contains new plastics. The RSA analysed more than 10,000 items of clothing from across some of the UK’s leading fast fashion brands, finding that as much of 88 per cent of recently listed items contain new plastics on some websites.
Netflix has announced that it is launching a new e-shop combining curated products with storytelling. Netflix.shop will drop exclusive and limited editions of ‘high-quality’ apparel and lifestyle products linked to the content platform’s shows and brand.
The H&M Foundation has launched a new virtual fashion collection that showcases designs from 10 sustainable start-ups.
Department store chain Selfridges is reportedly seeking buyers at a valuation of over £4 billion. The decision, which Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse is advising on, follows an unsolicited approach from an unknown potential buyer, according to React News.
Buy Now, Pay Later company Klarna has announced new equity funding of $639 million. The money will be spent on the business’ international expansion and to “further capture global retail growth.”
Card Factory has reported a pre-tax profit loss of £16.4 million in its final year results. The retailer, which made £65.2 million in the previous year, saw profits before tax decline by 122.7 per cent year-on-year.
Home improvement retailer Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, has announced new carbon reduction targets for 2025. The new targets, which are consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, have now been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.
Seven in ten – 70.69 per cent – of retail assistants face the possibility of automation taking their jobs, according to research from electrical goods retailer Electrical Direct. Retail assistants are set to be less impacted than waiting staff or shelf stackers according to the research, who face a 72.81 per cent and a 71.70 per cent risk of being automated, respectively.
Address verification company Swiftcomplete has announced a new partnership with what3words. Swiftcomplete is the first to offer what3words as a standard, built-in feature, which can be switched on anytime an address finder is added to an e-commerce checkout page.
Consumer spending grew by 7.6 per cent last month, as easing of restrictions saw more Brits hit the shops. According to research from Barclaycard, spending at supermarkets saw strong growth across the month of 17.7 per cent.
US fashion retailer Gap plans to close 19 of its UK and Republic of Ireland stores. Gap did not disclose the location of the impacted stores, but the move will take effect on July 31 when the existing leases are set to expire.
Zara-owner Inditex saw sales skyrocket by 50 per cent in the first quarter of the year. The multinational clothing retailer, which also owns Bershka, Pull&Bear, and Stradivarius, as well as a number of other brands, saw sales hit €4.9 billion over the period.
A major outage impacted much of the internet on Tuesday, temporarily knocking high-profile retailers like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay offline. According to ParcelHero, with Amazon making around $950,000 a minute, the hour-long outage could have lost the global retail market up to $1 billion.
Royal Mail has revealed it will offer timed delivery slots next year, competing with market rival Amazon. Customers using the service, first reported by the Mail on Sunday, will need to pay a premium.
Following a year of rising e-commerce sales Lush has announced the relaunch of its website and app. The move comes just a day after the British cosmetics retailer announced it was partnering with ASOS.
eBay UK is launching a new graduate scheme and a ‘Shadow Board’ to help stay ahead of customer trends. eBay UK’s general manager Murray Lambell said that the online marketplace’s new and rising talent will be “vital” to understanding changing market trends.
The Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that the UK Government is set to create a new watchdog that will crack down on the abuse of workers’ rights in retail and other sectors. BEIS said the new body will be responsible for tackling modern slavery, enforcing the minimum wage, and protecting agency workers and will act as a “single, recognisable port of call for workers so they know their rights and can blow the whistle on bad behaviour”.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is lobbying the UK government to extend the scheme which guarantees trade credit insurance. The industry body argued in a letter to business minister Paul Scully that many retailers would be left without coverage when the scheme, originally introduced in May 2020 to blunt the impact of the pandemic on the retail sector, ends.
Carrefour and Tesco have today announced that they will not extend their purchasing alliance beyond a three-year operational framework agreed in 2018.
Euro zone retail sales dropped more than expected in April, according to research from Reuters. The numbers were dragged down by a decline in sales of non-food products.
Klarna has launched a shopping app which enables consumers to access Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) at any online retailer, regardless whether the brand is partnered with the payments company or not.
Istanbul-based grocery delivery app Getir has raised $550 million in a Series D funding round, giving it a total valuation of $7.5 billion. The start-up, founded in 2015, offers consumers “ultra-fast” deliveries in under 15 minutes.
European e-commerce is risking a €12 billion loss due to excessive transaction friction, according to a new report. The research from Riskified looks at how PSD2 impacts fraudulent activity and fraud prevention.
British consumers remain cautious about the return to normality for stores and venues, according to new research. A study by Paysafe collected responses from 1,000 UK consumers on their expected payments and lifestyle habits post Covid-19.
UK retail footfall improved last month, but was still much lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC.) Research from the trade association found that total footfall in the UK decreased by 27.7 per cent in May compared to 2019, representing a 12.3 per cent improvement on the previous month.
Poundland will now allow over 1.8 million consumers to order more than 2500 of its products online. The shoppers from Birmingham, Derby, Dudley, Stoke on Trent, Walsall and Wolverhampton will be able to buy food and drink, entertainment, DIY, and health and beauty items.
Instagram has chosen Genesys to provide API support for its messenger feature. The cloud customer experience company said that businesses will now be able to interact with consumers via private Instagram messaging, to deliver personalised experiences, answer product questions, and address concerns.
JD Sports has announced that it is selling Sports Unlimited Retail for £14 million (€16.5 million.) Sports Unlimited Retail, a wholly owned company based in the Netherlands, will be sold to Iberian Sports Retail Group (ISRG), its 50.02 per cent subsidiary based in Spain.
Discount retailer B&M has reported a 108 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits, beating analyst expectations to hit £525 million for the financial year. The FSTE 100 listed retailer's revenues also jumped 26 per cent to £4.8 billion, with March being the strongest month in the retailer’s history.
Online marketplace Etsy has announced plans to acquire London-based Depop for $1.62 billion. Founded in 2011, Depop is a British peer-to-peer fashion marketplace. The company reported gross merchandise sales of $650 million and $70 million revenue in 2020.
Almost 8 out of 10 merchants have seen an increase in ‘friendly fraud’ over the past three years. Chargeback fraud, also known as ‘friendly fraud,’ is when a customer makes an e-commerce purchase with their credit card and then asks for a chargeback from the issuing bank following receiving the product.
Shop prices fell by 0.6 per cent last month, a slower decline than April’s decrease of 1.3 per cent. According to research from the British Retail Consortium, this is below the 12 and six month average price declines of 1.7 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively. This represents the slowest rate of decline since February 2020.
A petition from retail trade union Usdaw, which calls for stricter rules to protect shopworkers from violence and abuse, is set to be debated in parliament on June 7. Since it was originally launched in August 2020, the petition has been signed by over 100,000 people and is also backed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Co-op Food, and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).
Kingfisher, which owns home improvement brands B&Q and Screwfix, has entered a £550 million three-year credit facility agreement linked to its sustainability and community-based targets.
Footfall across UK retail destinations grew by 6.7 per cent last week compared to the previous week. But it was the average uplift in activity from Thursday to Saturday of 15.2 per cent that drove the increase for the week compared with an average rise in footfall of just 0.8 per cent between Sunday and Wednesday, according to new research from Springboard.
Klarna has launched a new guide for influencers and brands to advertise online responsibly. The company’s Influencer Council, launched in March, was established to provide greater clarity on influencer marketing guidelines following research which revealed that only 27 per cent of UK consumers understood the use of advertising hashtags on influencers’ posts.
Sellpy, a second-hand clothes retailer majority owned by H&M, is set to expand to more than 20 EU countries. The start-up, founded in 2014, collects clothes from sellers’ homes, handling the process of selling and photographing the goods themselves.
Two thirds of UK retailers could face legal action in July when the moratorium on debt collection from commercial landlords ends, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC.)
Retailers in Northern Ireland are set to be paid £72.3 million in subsidies to support their economic recovery from Covid-19. Businesses in the region who were permitted to open during lockdown, but who suffered lost revenue because of decreased footfall, will be elegible.
Waitrose has announced plans to roll out a new trial that give customers the opportunity to return hard to recycle flexible plastics at their local store. The scheme goes live this week across 37 branches serviced by the supermarket’s Leyland distribution centre in the North of England.
Jeff Bezos has announced that he is formally stepping down from the role of chief executive at Amazon on 7 July. "We chose that date because it's sentimental for me, the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago."
90 per cent of shoppers think that supermarkets can help them make more sustainable decisions, according to new research. The study from tcc surveyed 2,000 consumers across Germany, France, Russia, China, and Italy.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Klarna doubled its gross merchandise volume (GMV) – the overall value of all the transactions on its platform - to $18.9 billion between January and March. The news comes as the Swedish FinTech is close to securing a new round of funding from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank that will give it a valuation of $40 billion, according to sources close to the matter.
Pets at Home saw retail revenue surge by 8.7 per cent to £1 billion last year. The company, deemed an essential retailer, saw total group revenue jump 7.9 per cent to £1.14 billion.
Klarna has announced plans to open a new technology hub in Madrid, creating 500 new jobs in the city.The global payments and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company has over 4,000 employees across the world, 1,500 of those focused on engineering.
Ikea has launched Finance Services, a new interest free financing option for purchases between £99 and £15,000. The new Buy Now, Pay Later service will be available across all Ikea home categories.
Tesco is set to launch “Whoosh”, a rapid delivery service it says will allow consumers to receive goods in less than one hour.The scheme will first be trailed at Wolverhampton’s Willenhall Tesco Express store before the supermarket chain evaluates its potential for a wider rollout.
Sensei has opened its first autonomous store for the largest food retailer in Portugal. The move comes after the company announced a $6.5 million seed funding round last month.
E-commerce fraud prevention company Forter has raised $300 million in Series F funding, valuing the company at $3 billion. The announcement comes six-months after the business completed a $125 million Series E round.
84 per cent of online shoppers would turn their back on a retailer after a bad returns experience, according to new research from Klarna. A further 83 per cent of consumers that shop online and return items get frustrated by companies that have an inefficient returns process, while 82 per cent agree that retailers need to improve their returns capabilities.
Marks & Spencer has reported a full-year loss of £201.2 million in the 52 weeks to 27 March. The multinational retailer saw pre-tax profits drop from £403 million to just £41.6 million last year.
There were 455 incidents of violence or abuse towards retail staff each day during the 2019/20 financial year, a 7 per cent increase from 2018/19, according to statistics from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). This figure includes 114 incidents of violence each day, which means that over a 9-hour shopping day there would be one incident of abuse every minute, and an incident of violence every five minutes.
Immensus Holdings, the Netherland’s largest pizza franchise, now offers employees the option of receiving their salaries in Bitcoin. The franchise has over 1,000 internal and external employees who are legible for the scheme.
Shopping on Tik Tok has surged by 553 per cent over the past 12 months, according to new research. The growth was nearly three times higher than on Instagram, which saw shopping increase by 189 per cent.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) urged the government to encourage the take up of green technologies and reduce emissions from goods vehicles.
More than one in three UK businesses (37 per cent) have lost revenue from cross-border card payments post-Brexit, according to new research. The analysis by payment service provider ECOMMPAY based on surveys of 1,002 UK consumers and 500 business leaders in the UK, in collaboration with Censuswide found that average revenue lost from cross-border card payments post-Brexit is £66,812.
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider Openpay is partnering with e-commerce platform Aero Commerce.The Aero platform provides merchants with tailored e-commerce solutions.
British shoppers spent an additional £3.8 billion at supermarkets over the past three months compared with the same period last year. Overall sales dropped by 0.4 per cent during the 12 weeks to 16 May 2021 compared to last year, but this is in comparison to exceptionally high sales during the first three months of the pandemic.
Online furniture retailer Made.com intends to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at an expected valuation of £1 billion. The retailer was launched in 2010 by Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman and social network Bebo co-founder Michael Birch and currently sells its goods in eight countries.
The majority of UK and US consumers say that they would be more receptive to a brand’s messaging if they knew their values. Research from Iterable found that 88 per cent of respondents would be more likely to consider a retailer if they are aware of its belief system.
British supermarkets are starting to abandon 24/7 opening and are instead utilising the downtime to pick for online orders. At a recent Financial Times forum, Tesco’s former chief executive Sir David Lewis said that larger hypermarkets don’t sell much during the night and so closing stores at midnight had little financial impact.
It has been revealed that Inditex, which owns Zara, Bershka and Pull & Bear, plans to shut all of its stores in Venezuela. A deal between the retailer and local partner Phoenix World Trade, which took over operation of the Venezuelan stores in 2007, has come under review – according to a report by Reuters.
Snapchat has branched out into the retail market with its new Augmented Reality (AR) try-on experiences for fashion brands. The messaging platform also revealed that users will be able to place orders directly from its app.
77 per cent of global shoppers have reduced their digital footprint for fear they are losing control over their privacy, according to research. A report from data analytics business Trūata found that nearly half of consumers have lost control over how much data is stored about them, while a further 49 per cent feel that coronavirus restrictions forced them to expand their digital footprint this year.
UK retail sales volumes jumped by 9.2 per cent in April, largely driven by a strong increase in sales across non-food stores, particularly in the clothing market.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has extended the deadline for implementing Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for e-commerce transactions by six months.
Google is set to join other BigTech players like Apple and Amazon by opening a brick-and-mortar outlet. The new store will be in New York City’s Chelsea neighbourhood in Manhattan, which already houses 11,000 Google employees.
Amazon is facing lawsuits from five women who accuse the company of both racial and gender bias. The women have accused the e-commerce giant of favouring men over women in career growth, allowing supervisors to belittle them, and retaliating after they complained, according to a report by Reuters.
Boohoo has complied with pressure from shareholders and MPs to link its bonus scheme to improvements in its supply chain. The move comes as part of the Manchester-based retailer’s “Agenda For Change” programme, implemented after criticism from the House of Commons' Environmental Audit Committee.
B&Q has reported a huge year-on-year sales boost of 82.7 per cent to £1.2 billion in the first quarter of the year. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, the British company still experienced a 42.3 per cent sales surge across the same period.
Google has expanded its partnership with Shopify, introducing a simplified process that lets Shopify’s 1.7 million merchants advertise their products across Google. The integration will allow Shopify’s merchants to increase their visibility on Google’s Search, Maps, Images, Lens, and YouTube.
Amazon has opened its fourth cashierless UK supermarket in Canary Warf, which will operate under its “Amazon Fresh” brand. The supermarket uses the e-commerce giant’s “Just Walk Out Shopping” technology, which uses a combination of cameras, sensors, and machine learning to detect when a customer puts items in their basket, and then automatically charges their account when they walk out.
Amazon has partnered with IoT and AI powered consumer engagement platform Adrich to boost the company’s smart reorder feature. Smart reorder enables a connected device to automatically reorder products from the e-commerce giant.
UK homewares retailer Dunelm has reported a 59 per cent boost to sales across a two-year period compared to pre-pandemic levels. The company said that sales growth had been “very strong” since the majority of its stores re-opened on 12 April.
Footfall in UK retail destinations increased by 4.1 per cent on Monday between 5pm and 12am, compared to the previous week. Up to 5pm on the first day of the reopening of indoor hospitality, footfall across all retail destinations actually declined by 3 per cent from the same period seven days before. But from 5pm onwards it increased.
eBay has announced that thousands of sellers offering personalised products in the UK will benefit from lower fees and new promotions until March 2022. In 2020 eBay UK recorded over 600 searches a day for personalised items, with personalised mugs and glasses some of the most sought after customised and engraved products, with searches up 111 per cent and 113 per cent respectively.
The German Federal Cartel Office has announced the initiation of proceedings against Amazon based on new rules for BigTech companies.
The global luxury goods market has returned to growth in the first quarter of the year, with signs that the industry could recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2021. The market grew by 0 to 1 per cent compared to the same period of 2019, according to research from consultancy Bain.
Boohoo has relaunched Burton, Dorothy Perkins, and Wallis as digital only brands, just three months after purchasing them. The online fashion retailer acquired the brands from Arcadia’s administrator Deloitte for £25.3 million in February after the company fell into administration in November 2020.
PayPal has bought returns business Happy Returns, the latest move in the company’s expansion beyond payments. Happy Returns offers a “box-free, in-person return process” for e-commerce purchases, with a network of over 2,600 drop-off locations in more than 1,200 metro areas across every state of the US.
Walmart has announced plans to acquire Zeekit, a start-up tech company that enables shoppers to try on clothes virtually.
JD Logistics is set to raise $3.4 billion in a Hong Kong listing that will see it float 10 per cent of its shares. The logistics company will sell 609.1 million shares at a price between HK$39.36 and HK$43.36, in a deal expected to be one of Hong Kong’s largest for the year.
UK footfall increased by 0.5 per cent last week, but this was wholly driven by a rise of 3.9 per cent on High Streets. Retail park footfall declined by 3.4 per cent during the same period, while the number of UK shoppers visiting retail parks dropped by 2.4 per cent, according to new data from Springboard.
Farfetch has reported revenue growth of 46 per cent to $485 million (£344 million) in the first quarter of 2021. The online luxury fashion platform saw post-tax profits of $517 million (£367 million.)
Over a third - 36 per cent - of UK consumers have committed “friendly fraud” regarding missing packages, according to research from fraud prevention software provider Signifyd. “Friendly fraud” is when you make a false claim that an e-commerce order was never delivered to keep the product and land a refund.
Amazon has announced it will create over 10,000 new permanent jobs in 2021, taking its total UK workforce to more than 55,000 people. The company said it will also invest £10 million over three years to train up to 5,000 employees in new skills.
Lyst, a UK based portal that enables high fashion brands and stores to sell directly to users, has raised $85 million. The company, founded in 2020, said it currently has 150 million users browsing a catalogue of 17,000 brands and retailers.
TikTok has started trialling in-app sales with several European brands, according to sources originally reported by Bloomberg. TikTok for Business, the video apps marketing solutions division, claim that one in four Britons use TikTok every month, and that 17 million spend over an hour a day on the app.
Amazon has won a legal appeal in the European General Court over an order it had to pay €250 million worth of back taxes to Luxembourg.
By the end of April, customer spending returned to pre-pandemic levels in 35 cities compared to less than five in July of last year. But larger city centres are still lagging behind.
Thousands of UK supermarkets and shops across the country have committed to continuing to accept cash after signing up to Which?’s cash-friendly pledge.The Which? initiative is designed to ensure millions of consumers who rely on cash are not excluded by the transition to digital payments.
eBay has become the first e-commerce platform to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs.)
Revolut has launched a range of new features for retail customers, including the ability to track price movements, set limits and stop orders with cryptocurrencies and commodities.
Mattel has launched a new toy takeback programme that will see customers return products to be recycled once they are no longer in use. The programme will recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys to create new products.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) clothing platform Vinted has hit a €3.5 billion valuation following a €250 million Series F funding round.Vinted, which currently reports 45 million users, allows consumers to upload their own clothes to sell or to buy those of others.
The Hut Group (THG) has announced plans to take over US-based skincare and haircare manufacturer Bentley Laboratories for $255 million. The British e-commerce company said that the United States is an important growth market for the business.
Almost half of millennials - 44 per cent - feel guilty after Amazon purchases, the highest of any demographic, according to research from digital experience management firm Sitecore. The research, which surveyed 2,000 consumers, found 32 per cent of consumers overall feel guilty after they have shopped on Amazon, with Generation Z being the second most guilty with 42 per cent feeling remorse.
The number of people hitting UK shops last week dropped by 4.1 per cent compared to the previous week. The decline was largely due to a drop in activity across High Streets of 6.6 per cent, according to the latest research from Springboard.
Total sales for the month of April increased by 7.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, according to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) research. The spike in sales was above the three-month average growth of 6 per cent.
Cotton Traders has chosen Dynamic Yield’s experience optimisation platform to provide more tailored customer journeys online. The clothing and footwear retailer is deploying Dynamic Yield’s A/B testing and personalisation technology as it aims to streamline its online customer experience.
The Hut Group (THG) is set to receive a £1.6 billion investment from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. The Manchester-based company operates over 100 websites, including Lookfantastic and Myprotein, and provides e-commerce technology to other firms such as Unilever.
Morrisons has revealed £27 million worth of direct pandemic-related costs in the first quarter of the year. The money was largely lost to an absence of employees and an increased number of marshals during the first few weeks of 2021, when coronavirus case numbers were high, and the country was still in lockdown.
Morrisons has launched a digital loyalty scheme called “My Morrisons: Make Good Things Happen” which will allow consumers to access their savings in pounds that can be spent immediately, rather than points or vouchers. The rewards scheme, which replaces the supermarket’s old ‘More’ cards, will be accompanied by a new mobile app that will replace the need to carry a plastic card.
Royal Mail has announced that it will trial the first autonomous scheduled drone flights between the UK mainland and an island this week. The trial will see the parcel delivery company use uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) flights to deliver PPE, covid-19 testing kits, and other mail to the Isles of Scilly.
52 per cent of UK shoppers would choose to shop online only if they had to choose between online and in-store shopping, according to new research from Klarna.
UK retailers have cut their carbon emissions 49 per cent since 2005, exceeding their target of 25 per cent, according to statistics released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The BRC’s research found that carbon emissions fell 46 per cent in-store and 84 per cent for store deliveries, when adjusted for growth.
Amazon has released figures that reveal the retail giant blocked over 10 billion suspected bad listings last year. The online platform’s verification processes also prevented more than six million attempts to create selling accounts, stopping bad actors before they published products for sale.
Paula Nickolds, formerly managing director of John Lewis, is set to take on leadership of Sainsbury’s £7.8 billion general merchandise and clothing business.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said that while footfall begins, it does not expect pre-covid levels to return in the near future. As stores reopened last month, total UK footfall decreased by 40 per cent compared to 2019, a 28.7 per cent improvement on the previous month.
More than 39 per cent of British importers have been struggling with new customs duties or levies over the past two weeks, according to new ONS figures. A further 41.9 per cent of UK importers said that additional paperwork has been a challenge during the same period, while 38.6 per cent identified a change in transportation costs as an issue.
Fashion, lifestyle, and homeware all achieved record sales following the reopening of retail stores.
Major British supermarkets have warned the Brazilian government that they will stop importing goods from the country if it passes a law that will cause further damage to the Amazon.
British fashion retailer Next has increased its central guidance for full year pre-tax profits by £20 million to £270 million, following the reopening of UK retail shops in April.
Retailers have lost out on more than £39.4bn in potential sales over the last 12 months, according to new research from Barclaycard Payments.Surveys of 400 retailers and 2,000 consumers for the payments processor also found that high delivery costs added at the last minute are to blame for 37 per cent of abandoned purchases, with cyber window shopping (26 per cent) and lengthy payment authentication processes (24 per cent) also increasing the likelihood of customers dropping out at the checkout stage.
More than eight in ten consumers (86 per cent) say that their payments habits have changed since the start of the pandemic as adoption of digital and contactless methods rises. A survey of 8,000 consumers from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Italy on behalf of payments platform PaySafe found that 59 per cent had tried a new payment method for the first time in past 12 months, with that number rising to 77 per cent of 18-24 year olds.
April footfall saw significant growth but was still nearly a third lower than pre-covid levels, according to new research. Figures from Springboard show that last month the number of retail visitors was 32.7 per cent lower than in 2019.
68 per cent of consumers expect to spend less online after the pandemic passes, according to new research. A survey from Lambda Test discovered that over the past 12 months the average monthly online spend has surged 198 per cent.
Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of UK online shoppers regularly use guest accounts to purchase goods to avoid handing over personal data, according to new research.
British department store Debenhams has confirmed that its remaining stores will close for good on either 12th or 15th May. The company is dishing out 80 per cent discounts across its existing stores over the next 10 days.
UK retailers are not concerned about UK incoming Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements, despite nearly half of customers saying it could cause them to give up on transactions. A survey by Upwave on behalf of commerce protection provider Signifyd, found that just 12 per cent of retail professionals consider the two-factor authentication required by the EEA’s SCA regulation to be their top post-pandemic concern.
IKEA has launched a recycling scheme which encourages UK customers to sell back furniture that they no longer need in return for IKEA vouchers. The Swedish retail giant said the scheme will prevent useable materials from entering landfills unnecessarily and comes as part of a wider push for a circular approach to the economy.
Online fashion retailer Boohoo has reported a pre-tax profit increase of 35 per cent to £1.2 billion.
Klarna has announced plans to double its UK headcount in the coming year and expand office space in London and Manchester. The Buy Now Pay Later giant has taken an 11,000 sq. ft. space at WeWork’s Aviation House building in Holborn and has expanded existing office space at its Northern hub in Manchester.
45 per cent of UK consumers would recommend a retailer if it had a world-class mobile experience, according to new research. 41 per cent said they would be more loyal to the brand, while 28 per cent said they would spend more money.
71 per cent of British shoppers have said they will make a concious effort to shop in-store now that retail has reopened, according to new research. A survey of 1,000 UK shoppers by Sensormatic also revealed that 66 per cent of respondents had missed the High Street during lockdowns.
eBay has said it’s open to the idea of accepting cryptocurrency payments in the future.
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has announced it will begin a new share buyback programme worth £60 million, which will run between now and July.
Supermarket chain Tesco has said it will become the first ever UK retailer to offer sustainability-linked supply chain finance. The retailer said that it hopes the move will encourage more suppliers to sign up to science-based emissions reduction targets.
There are roughly 5,000 less stores open since the start of the pandemic, meaning one in seven shops are now empty, according to research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC.)
Co-op is set to end the sale of plastic bags for life from all its 2,600 stores, to be replaced by tear-resistant paper bags. The measures will come fully into effect by the end of the summer.
Amazon profits more than tripled in the first quarter of the year, as it reaped the benefits of increased demand for online delivery prompted by the pandemic. The e-commerce and technology giant’s net income increased to $8.1 billion in the first three months of 2021, driven largely by 44 per cent growth in sales.
Mobile marketplace Shpock has appointed Royal Mail as a delivery partner in the UK. Shpock customers will now have access to a number of shipping options via Royal Mail’s Click&Drop service.
Online fashion retailer In The Style has reported a rise in annual turnover of 130% to £44.5 million. The recently floated company said that over the 12 month period, customer generation had increased by 19 per cent to 420,000, which it attributed largely to its influencer partners.
WHSmith is set to raise £325m as part of plans to capitalise on travel returning to 2019 levels.The FSTE 250 listed retailer reported revenue of £1.02 billion and net losses of £239 million across its 1,700 locations during the 2020 financial year and currently derives more than half its revenue from its travel focused outlets.
Sainsbury’s has reported an annual loss of £261 million, despite strong grocery sales. The supermarket retailer attributed the decline to £485 million worth of direct coronavirus-related costs, which was spent on “keeping colleagues and customers safe during the pandemic.”
Now in their 9th year, the 2021 Payments Awards are now open for entries. The awards recognise and celebrate companies which have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the rapidly changing payments space. The deadline for entries is 16 July 2021.
Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify, currently Canada’s most valuable company, has beat Wall Street estimates to report a 110 per cent increase in year-on-year revenue for its first quarter. The e-commerce platform’s first quarter revenue was $988.6 million, comfortably above analyst house Refinitiv’s estimate of $865.5 million.
Lisbon-based Sensei, a computer vision start-up providing autonomous store tech for check-out-free purchasing, has announced that it has raised $6.5 million in funding. The company’s technology rivals that of Amazon, which has also developed in-store “Just Walk Out Shopping.”
Brits lost around £625 million to fraud and cyber-crime in the first three months of the year, according to new research. A report from Money.co.uk found that there were 137,695 fraud and cyber-crime related police reports issued between January and March this year.
Amazon has announced that it is expanding its in-garage grocery delivery services to Prime members across 5,000 US cities and towns.The service enables Prime members to have their Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market groceries delivered inside their garages.
Marks and Spencer (M&S) has begun the implementation of AI-driven tools for forecasting, ordering, and allocation management across its 1,050 food stores.
Waitrose is to expand its Deliveroo service to 110 new shops across the country as part of a new two-year deal with the delivery service.
Retail staff are facing a digital training gap, with store employees reporting a lack of digital training formats, according to new research. A study of 1,000 frontline staff by YOOBIC found that 47 per cent wanted training to be delivered digitally, while 74 per cent said they would welcome mobile training.
Online platform Zalando has launched a new browsing feature which enables consumers to pick clothes based on the values they care about. The move follows the publication of a report by the retailer that investigates the gap between attitudes and behaviours when it comes to sustainability in fashion.
Take-home grocery sales increased by 5.7 per cent in the three months to 18 April, according to new research from Kantar.
The UK government could introduce a garment trade adjudicator to tackle the exploitation of vulnerable workers and drive up standards.
Amazon has joined the LEAF Coalition, a public-private initiative to protect tropical forests. The Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF), which was announced at the recent Leaders Summit on Climate Change, aims to accumulate more than $1 billion in financing.
LMVH, Prada, and Cartier have launched the Aura Blockchain Consortium to address common issues across the luxury goods industry like proving authenticity, responsible sourcing, and sustainability.
Boohoo chairman Mahmud Kamani has said that the company’s board is exploring whether it can link senior executive bonuses to Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) improvements.
Justin King, who was chief executive of Sainsbury's between 2004 and 2014, has joined The Snappy Group as a senior advisor and made a significant personal investment. The Snappy Group is a Dundee-based company behind the Snappy Shopper app which delivers goods from local convenience stores, such as Spar, Nisa, and Costcutter, in around 30 minutes.
Co-op is changing its management structure across 300 stores, which will reportedly impact around 2000 employees. The food retail business said that it has been trialling and implementing a three-tier store management structure across the stores.
The majority of British consumers will continue to shop online after the reopening of retail, according to new research.
Which? has urged supermarkets and manufacturers to do more to make refillable products widely available and clearly labelled. The consumer watchdog said that while refillable products are increasingly popular, shoppers are struggling to find these products on supermarket shelves.
UK retail sales volumes continued to recover in March, with clothing experiencing a particularly strong month. Non-food stores had the biggest contribution to the monthly growth in sales volumes, with clothing stores increasing sales by 17.5 per cent, according to the latest research from ONS.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Affirm are set to acquire online returns business Returnly in a $300 million cash and equity deal. Returnly enables consumers to receive instant store credit at the start of the return process instead of waiting for the return to be processed and takes on the risk of that transaction.
The UK is the hardest hit country in Europe for online scams, with one in nine Brits falling victim to card fraud.
New Look and Schuh have become the latest retailers to offer customers instant returns via QR code as a result of a partnership with InPost. The e-commerce delivery company’s Instant Returns service allows shoppers to send back items by using a QR code on their phone.
Dixons Carphone has announced the closure of all 81 Carphone Warehouse stores in Ireland. The company said that the closure of Carphone Warehouse Ireland is a necessary step in its mobile transformation plans.
51 per cent of UK shoppers would prefer a more autonomous and technology-enabled shopping experience in order to avoid store assistants, according to new research.
Marks and Spencer has appointed Fiona Dawson, currently global president of Mars Food, to its board as a non-executive director.Dawson, who is currently part of Mars’ incorporated leadership team, will begin the appointment on 25 May 2021.
Online shopping sales remained strong as brick-and-mortar shops reopened last Monday. In fact, e-commerce revenues increased by 2.5 per cent last week.
Argos is to close its Bridgwater depot as part of plans to integrate the company’s logistics network with owner Sainsbury's. Unite has said that the closure, expected to take place next year, will impact around 230 jobs.
Amazon is rolling out biometric technology that enables customers to pay with a swipe of their palms at its Whole Foods stores in Seattle.
The end of standard nine to five office hours could create a surge in failed deliveries, resulting in “dramatically” increased delivery costs worth £2 billion.
Klarna has announced the launch of a new CO2 insights feature which enables users to track their shopping carbon footprint via the company’s app. The FinTech has partnered with Doconomy, a carbon calculation tools provider, to enable banks and brands to display the carbon footprint of transactions and provides shoppers with an average kgCO2 value for every purchase.
The Hut Group (THG) has partnered with Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Zip to provide customers with the option to pay for items across four instalments. Zip will be a payment option at checkouts across THG’s sites in the UK, the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
Marks & Spencer has announced that its existing Bradford distribution centre will house a new automated warehouse as part of the retailer’s online expansion.
Primark-owner Associated British Foods (AB Foods) has reported a 90 per cent drop in adjusted operating profit for the budget retailer. In the six months to 27 February, profits slumped to £43 million, compared to £441 million in the previous year.
Nike has told retailers that it will restrict the supply of limited-edition trainers in stores if they don’t stop staff offering them to resellers, according to a report by The Times.
The fashion industry has been hit with a rise in online fraud during the pandemic, largely triggered by the growth of e-commerce over the past 12 months. Research by fraud detection and payment acceptance company Ravelin, found that 32 per cent of fashion retailers have experienced an increase in online payment fraud in the past year.
Yandex has announced it will launch its express e-grocery delivery in Paris and London. The Russian company said that after its successful roll-out in Russia and Israel, it now plans to expand to France in the second quarter under the Yango Deli brand.
Footfall across UK retail increased by 87.8 per cent last week after the reopening of non-essential stores. The number of High Street visitors grew by 93 per cent, while in shopping centres footfall was even higher with a 126.6 per cent increase. Retail parks saw shopper activity rise by 35.3 per cent.
In the UK, digital commerce has increased by 91 per cent in the past year, with the pandemic and resultant lockdowns boosting the industry.
More than half of electric car drivers visit shops that offer charging, even if they’re not actively looking to charge their car, according to new research. A further 59 per cent of electric vehicle drivers said that they spend more money at shops that offer charging.
British e-commerce company The Hut Group reported revenue growth of 42 per cent to £1.6 billion in 2020. Underlying profits grew by 35 per cent to £152 million after £2.6 million of self-funded furlough costs.
Research and data analytics group YouGov has announced the launch of YouGov Safe, an online marketplace that rewards consumers for sharing data. The marketplace is designed to help brands, media owners, and agencies have a “transparent” view of consumers’ verified online behaviours and transactions.
Ocado Group is investing £10 million in self-driving vehicle business Oxbotica. The companies will collaborate on hardware and software interfaces for autonomous vehicles and integrate Oxbotica’s autonomy software platform into a number of vehicles.
61 per cent of Gen Z shoppers are less loyal to the brands they usually shop at than before the pandemic, according to research that surveyed 1000 young people aged 18 to 24.
Ocado has revealed the shopping habits of the nation following the easing of restrictions and the long-awaited reopening of non-essential retail stores. According to the online grocery store, Brits have been buying in-garden entertainment and picnic items.
AO World revenues have jumped by 62 per cent to £1.66 billion in the year ending 31 March 2021. The company’s UK arm AO.com saw year-on-year revenues surge by 88 per cent in the final quarter.
Amazon has opened the latest of its ‘just walk out’ Amazon Fresh grocery stores in London’s White City today. The store is the e-commerce giant’s third to open in the capital as it seeks to make inroads into the bricks-and-mortar retail market.
Asda is set to cut up to 1,200 jobs as it moves its focus away from traditional bread loaves. The supermarket said it intends re-deploy as many employees as possible to other roles, with redundancy being “the last option”.
Missguided has chosen cloud and devops consultancy Steamhaus to provide technical support. The company will work with Missguided’s IT teams on its digital platforms and help advise on the latest industry innovations.
Online grocery is now profitable for supermarkets with total costs reduced to levels recoverable from customer charges, according to new research from Atrato.
Sainsbury’s and Deliveroo have announced the expansion of their delivery service to roughly 100 stores across the UK as part of a new two-year contract.
Tesco reported a 20 per cent decline in pre-tax profits to £825 million in 2020, compared to £1.03 billion in the previous year. Profits dropped despite sales increasing by 7.1 per cent to £53.4 billion, up from £49.9 billion.
Yesterday footfall increased by 155.2 per cent as non-essential retail opened its doors for the first time in months. Shopping centres saw a huge surge in visitors, with footfall rising by 225.2 per cent compared to the same day last week, according to research from Springboard.
eBay Ads UK has launched a new automated campaigns feature which it said allows its sellers to launch promoted listings campaigns. eBay currently has 22 million active users in the UK, and 80 per cent of products sold on the platform are new according to statistics for the Department for International Trade.
Although many British companies are “cautiously optimistic” about complying with the EU’s proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA), 92 per cent are concerned about the new regulations.
Consumer spending declined by 7.2 per cent in March, while hospitality and leisure showed signs of recovery, according to research from Barclaycard. But spend on essential items demonstrated the opposite, jumping by 7.7 per cent compared to 2019.
Sports fashion brand JD Sports has said while it must recognise the substantial level of temporary store closures, it is confident that its pre-tax profit for the year ahead will be between £475 million to £500 million.
Monsoon has announced the opening of a new boutique store concept on Marylebone High Street, London, as part of the retailer’s plans to refresh its shops. The location will be the first in a series of new boutiques, with more than 30 planned across the UK and Ireland.
Footfall across the UK has increased by 218.2 per cent week-on-week, according to research which has tracked the number of people entering retail stores up until 10am today.
Homebase and Next are partnering to open garden centres in six Next stores around the UK from today. As the lockdown restrictions on non-essential retail ease from today, Homebase is providing a selection of its gardening and outdoor improvement products to Next stores in Shoreham, Ipswich, Warrington, Camberley, Bristol and Sheffield.
E-commerce spend around the world increased by over $900 billion during the pandemic, according to research from Mastercard.
Asos has announced that it is raising £500 million to fund its global growth strategy and to refinance the acquisition of Topshop brands.
In March total UK footfall decreased by 68.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, which represents a 4.9 per cent improvement on the previous month, according to research from The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic Solutions.
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has forecast a £200 million loss triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, double the amount the company previously predicted.
Clearpay, a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service is partnering payments platform Adyen in a bit to allow more retailers to access Clearpay’s pay-by-instalments service.
The partnership will allow customers to pay in four instalments, with footwear and lifestyle brand Hunter the first brand to rollout Clearpay through Adyen.
Almost two-thirds - 65 per cent - of finance, procurement and supply chain professionals said the pandemic has increased the importance of supply chain agility, according to research commissioned by Ivalua. Ivalua are a California-based provider of cloud-based spend management solutions.
Footfall appeared to recover strongly last month, with an annual decline of 28.1 per cent from a 61 per cent drop in the previous month, according to research by Springboard.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) start-up Zilch has launched a new service which enables customers to ‘pay-over-time’ in store with just a tap. According to the London-based company, this will be the “first-ever” product of its kind in the UK and Europe.
Online fashion retailer Asos has seen pre-tax profits more than triple to £106 million in half a year. Profits accumulated in the six months to 28 February 2021 rose by 253 per cent compared to the previous year.
The retail industry has rejected government plans that would require shoppers to show certificates showing vaccination, test, or immunity status before entering stores.
DHL Parcel UK is teaming up with post-purchase tech company HelloDone to offer accessibility options via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for customers with disabilities.
Peacocks has been saved from administration following a bid from a private investment consortium, but the company will still lose at least half of its stores.
Visa has handled one billion additional European touch-free payments less than a year since contactless limits across 29 countries were increased in response to the pandemic. 400 million of the contactless transactions were made in Britain.
Almost two thirds of UK shop workers - 64 per cent - said they fear abuse from customers if they try to implement Covid-19-related regulations, according to research by Reveal. Reveal are a UK-based manufacturer of front-facing body cameras used by UK police forces.
Footfall across UK retail jumped by 8.5 per cent last week, fuelled primarily by the warm weather, according to research by Springboard. The study found that High Street activity rose by 9 per cent, while retail parks saw an increase of 9.7 per cent.
SoftBank are set to invest $2.8 billion for a 40 per cent stake in Autostore, a Norway-based warehouse automation specialist. AutoStore, founded in 1996, develops a product it terms “cube storage automation” which enables robots to maximize storage space in warehouses.
Fashion chain H&M reported a sales decline of 21 per cent in the three months to 28 February 2021. The retailer announced a pre-tax loss of $160 million ( 1.39 billion kronor.)
Health and beauty retailer Boots is to implement a mobile platform for task management, communication, and training across its 2,500 stores.
The top technology purchases of 2020 included stand mixers and smart home devices, according to Currys PC World. The technology retailer also reported huge growth in entertainment tech, with sales of the Google Chromecast TV surging by more than 900 per cent in April 2020.
US president Joe Biden has called out Amazon for not paying federal taxes. At an address in Pittsburgh, Biden talked about increasing taxes on multinational companies and raising corporate tax rates.
Over half of UK businesses want to remove the option of cash payments, according to a study of more than 1,200 British companies.
Next saw pre-tax profits cut by 54 per cent to £342 million in 2020, compared to £729 million in the previous year. Total group sales for the year dropped by 17 per cent to £3.6 billion, a significant decline from £4.4 billion in 2019.
Retailers are increasing their fraud teams and budgets due to a marked rise in online fraud during the pandemic, according to research by Ravelin. The fraud detection and payment acceptance company found that 72 per cent of retail brands around the world expect to grow their fraud team in the next year.
Deliveroo shares declined by 30 per cent in the company’s London debut on Wednesday, with the sharp drop cutting company value by £2 billion. The disappointing listing comes days after several important investors decided to shun the offering.
eBay, Etsy, Mercari, Offerup, and Poshmarket have formed a coalition to address a new act in the US that would force online marketplaces to disclose personal information about its sellers.
Shop prices have fallen by 2.4 per cent this month, echoing the same rate of decline demonstrated in February. The figures are below the 12 and six month average price decrease of 1.8 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, according to the latest British Retail Consortium-Nielsen shop price index.
PayPal has announced the launch of its new cryptocurrency checkout service ‘Checkout with Crypto.’ The feature enables consumers pay for select purchases at millions of online businesses with their cryptocurrency of choice.
Take-home grocery sales rose by 7.4 per cent in the 12 weeks to 21 March, a significant slowdown compared to previous months. New research from Kantar show that sales over the most recent four-week period were down by 3 per cent compared to this time last year.
Half of UK and EU retailers say that managing international expansion is the most important element for trading online over the next 12 months, according to research by Mollie.
The US government has threatened to impose a 25 per cent tariff on British exports over the UK’s digital services tax on BigTech companies.
Footfall across UK retail destinations jumped by 6.6 per cent last week compared to the previous one, which saw a marginal rise of 0.5 per cent. Last week, the anniversary of the first lockdown, footfall was 68 per cent higher than the same week in 2020.
71 per cent of retail staff say communication, either with HQ or other colleagues, is their greatest challenge at work. Research from YOOBIC, which surveyed 1,000 frontline workers, also found that 32 per cent of retail workers lack recognition in their jobs. A further 24 per cent of retail respondents said they felt unempowered in their role.
The government has announced that non-essential retailers will be able to extend their opening hours when they re-open their doors next month. Communities secretary Robert Jenrick MP confirmed that shops will have the flexibility to open until 10pm Monday to Saturday once restrictions are eased on 12 April.
Online shopping will account for half of all global retail growth by 2025. Research by Euromonitor International found that e-commerce will expand by around £1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) in the next four years.
The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of 40,000 Asda shop floor workers who called for equal pay with warehouse staff. The employees, who are predominantly women, argued that their roles were just as valuable as the male-dominated Asda warehouse jobs.
Deliveroo has lost another important investor for its upcoming public offering as the company faces backlash over workers’ rights.
Amazon is facing backlash after leaked memos revealed that the company knew about its drivers urinating in bottles. The documents, uncovered by The Intercept, were made public after the retail giant denied allegations made by US Republican Mark Pocan on Twitter.
Retail sales volumes partially recovered last month, with an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to the 8.2 per cent drop in January, according to the latest ONS retail figures.
In anticipation of the easing of lockdown restrictions next Monday, eBay Ads UK has called on brands to get ready for a “surge in spending.” Consumer research carried out by the company found that 20 per cent of consumers have more disposable income compared to pre-pandemic, while 69 per cent already have a priority purchase in mind for when the lockdown lifts.
Missguided has partnered with e-commerce delivery company Inpost to launch a QR-code returns service. The label-free returns service called Instant Returns enables customers to sending items back using a QR code on their phone, without the need for printed labels.
Boohoo has cut the number of its suppliers down to 78, a significant reduction from the 200 outlined in an independent review of the online fashion retailer.
More than 50 leading retailers have signed up to a new Diversity and Inclusion charter led by the British Retail Consortium (BRC.) The companies have all pledged to take “decisive action” to improve diversity practices across the retail industry.
Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA outlets, has invested around £12 million in London-based location technology start-up what3words. Ingka, who own and operate 389 IKEA stores in 32 countries, declined to disclose the exact figure.
Amazon delivery drivers are reportedly being forced to sign biometric consent forms or risk losing their jobs. Last month the e-commerce giant announced it was installing AI-powered cameras across its delivery vans to monitor drivers.
Nearly half UK retailers are risking fines and reputational damage by not adhering to PSD2 regulation from the EU, according to new research. A report from fraud detection and payments specialist Ravelin based on a survey of 1,000 fraud and payments professionals found that a significant number believe that PSD2 legislation, which governs data sharing and electronic payments, doesn’t affect UK retailers.
The John Lewis Partnership has announced that it is not reopening eight of its 42 stores when restrictions ease next month. The company said that it would try to find alternative roles for as many of the 1,465 staff impacted as possible.
Despite mass store closures across the UK, there were still 31,405 openings of independent shops last year, according to new research by Local Data Company (LDC).
One in three Brits - 33 per cent - feel confident trying new online payment methods, according to research by American Express. The findings come ahead of non-essential brick and mortar stores starting to reopen from April 12.
Amazon is to cut its stake in Deliveroo from 15.8 per cent to 11.5 per cent after it goes public next month, according to plans outlined in the food delivery company's IPO prospectus.
International trade secretary Liz Truss has announced the creation of four new hubs across the UK to boost trade and investment. The hubs, which will be located in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, and Darlington, are part of a new strategy to boost exports.
Nearly nine in ten employees working in local shops have experienced some form of abuse, with more than 1.2 million incidents recorded in the past 12 months, according to figures from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS.)
The number of UK retail jobs declined by 67,000 in December 2020, according to the latest ONS jobs figures. The data shows that there were 3.097 million people employed and self-employed in the retail market in December 2020, compared to 3,164 million in the previous year.
Burberry has launched an interactive virtual replica of its flagship store in Ginza, Japan.The luxury fashion retailer has collaborated with ELLE Digital Japan to enable customers to browse and shop its Spring/Summer 2021 collection by orientating themselves around the virtual store using digital icons.
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, saw pre-tax profits jump by 44 per cent to £786 million in 2020. The multinational retailer’s sales grew by 7.2 per cent to £12.3 billion, compared to £11.5 billion in 2019.
Visa is to increase its interchange fees on cross-border transactions between the UK and the EU later this year, according to a report by The Financial Times (FT). People briefed on the plans told the newspaper that Visa will hike fees in October, when it will also raise scheme fees on UK-EU transactions, and increase charges for domestic payments using British company credit cards.
The communities secretary has announced a £56 million fund to help prepare High Streets and seaside resorts for summer. The funding aims to support councils in preparation for the “safe return of shoppers and tourists.”
Nearly half of millennials would be willing to share their DNA for a better shopping experience, according to new research from Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. The study, which surveyed 2000 UK shoppers and 500 retailers, found that 78 per cent of consumers are now interested in health experiences and innovations in-store, which is up by 20 per cent on the previous year.
Asda chief executive and president Roger Burnley has announced he will be stepping down next year, following the supermarket’s full transition into new ownership.
Fashion retailer H&M has launched ‘Sorted,’ a new AI-powered personal stylist app for men. The platform delivers personalised recommendations for users using AI technology.
JD Sports has announced that it has bought US sports fashion store DTLR for £355 million ($490 million.)The retailer said the acquisition would enhance its presence in the north and east of the United States.
Transport for London is to roll out sixty new InPost lockers across its network over the next three months. The roll out follows a trial installation of the company’s parcel lockers across six locations.
WHP Global has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Tru Kids, the parent company to Toys R Us (TRU.) The acquisition firm reportedly has plans to relaunch the brand in the US, which collapsed back in 2017.
Consumers are drawing up big spending plans for the post-pandemic period, with pent-up demand set to drive a bounceback for retailers later in the summer, according to survey data from EY. A survey of 1,000 UK consumers found that anxiety remains around health and returning to non-essential retailers on 12 April, suggesting that the real spending boost will come later in the summer when larger numbers of consumers have been vaccinated.
Ocado Retail, the joint venture between Ocado Group and Marks & Spencer, saw revenue surge by 40 per cent to £599 million in the 13 weeks to 28 February 2021.
Home and garden retailer Homebase has unveiled its new website which includes updated features and a more personalised shopping experience. The site now includes before and after makeovers, ‘shop the look’ content, as well as a wider a range of flexible payments including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Zip.
UK Retail IT decision-makers are accelerating digital transformation of paper-based processes because of the disruption caused by Brexit, research has found. An eFax-commissioned study found that 53 per cent of IT decision makers in retail are accelerating the speed of digital transformation as a result of the UK leaving the European Union.
Norwegian robotics company AutoStore is launching an innovation hub for testing and simulating diverse supply chain environments including earthquakes and multi-climate scenarios. The center based in Karmøy, Norway, is designed to test and replicate diverse in-store and warehouse environments.
67 per cent of UK sellers on eBay started selling pre-owned goods to make extra cash in 2020. eBay’s ‘recommerce report’ also found that 81 per cent of British customers had bought second-hand goods over the past 12 months.
Almost two thirds - 64 per cent - of total website traffic came from smartphones in 2020, according to research from experience analytics company Contentsquare.
This represents a 16 per cent increase compared to 2019, but despite this, the research said that 49 per cent of mobile users bounce after viewing one page.
The research looked at Contentsquare’s session data from over 20 billion web sessions sourced from over 900 websites globally.
Digital commerce solution provider stor.ai, formerly known as Self Point, has raised $21 million in an extended Series A round. The round was led by Israeli institutional investors Meitav Dash and Mizrahi Tefahot and was supported by existing investor Kli Capital and individual investors such as Mayer Gniwisch.
Berlin-based e-commerce platform Zalando has announced revenue growth of 23.1 per cent to €8 billion in 2020.
Today Amazon is opening its second UK Amazon Fresh store at Wembley Park. The store, which sells fresh produce, meat, seafood, bakery items, and household essentials, is a “Just Walk Out Shopping” experience, using contactless payment technology.
Chocolate brand Thorntons has announced that it is shutting all of its 61 shops, putting 600 jobs at risk.
Deliveroo has confirmed its plans to float on the London Stock Exchange and has announced it will sell approximately £1 billion worth of new shares.
The UK saw the export of goods fall by £5.3 billion in January, as a result of a 40 per cent drop in exports to the EU, according to the latest figures from The Office for National Statistics (ONS.) Britain lost a total of £5.6 billion worth of exports to the EU in the first month of the year.
Trade tools retailer Screwfix has announced plans to open 50 new stores this year, creating around 600 jobs across the UK and Ireland. 40 of the new shops will be located in the UK, generating up to 500 jobs, while the remaining 10 stores will be based in Ireland, creating 100 new jobs.
The UK saw 17,532 chain store closures last year in the worst decline on record. Research from PwC and Local Data Company (LDC) found that on average 48 chain stores closed every day, with only 21 opening.
Stripe has closed a $600 million funding round which values the payments giant at $95 billion. The company said it would use the funding to fuel its European operations, in particular its Dublin headquarters and support surging demand from enterprise heavyweights across Europe while expanding its global payments and treasury network.
Royal Mail has announced that it will now deliver parcels on Sundays for major retailers. The company said it was launching its seven-day-a-week trial service to meet consumer demands, as customers increasingly expect Sunday deliveries as part of their online shopping experience.
Growing fears over shop workers’ safety are driving demand for body worn cameras, according to retail technology provider Reveal. The company said it is preparing for increased demand for body-warn cameras after 69 leading retailers wrote to the Prime Minister calling for it to become a statutory offence to assault, threaten or abuse a shopworker in England or Wales, following the introduction of similar legislation in Scotland.
British exporters could benefit from price premiums of up to £3.5 billion every year across ten key countries, according to research from Barclays Corporate Banking.
Japanese e-commerce platform Rakuten plans to raise $2.2 billion by selling shares to investors including Tencent, Walmart and Japan Post, to fight harsh competition in the space. Though the online retailer’s sales were boosted by the pandemic, they face harsh competition from Amazon, which boasts a high market share in Japan.
Barbour has partnered with e-commerce delivery technology company Metapack to lead its online shipping and returns operations. The partnership will see Barbour use Metapack’s Delivery Manager, Delivery Options and Returns Portal as the heritage brand looks to access more carriers, automate shipping and returns, and to extend more delivery options to consumers.
Morrisons saw profits slide by 50.7 per cent in 2020, following £290 million in covid-related costs. The supermarket chain reported a pre-tax and before exceptional costs profit of £201 million, dropping from £408 million in the previous year.
Russian food retailer X5 Retail Group, Visa, and Russian bank Sber have joined forces to launch ‘pay-with-a-glance’ technology in stores.The technology is already available at check outs across 52 Perekrestok supermarkets.
A third of of retailers in the UK are not reporting data breaches such as account takeover to the relevant authorities, according to new research from Ravelin. A report compiled by the fraud detection and payment acceptance specialist drew on the experiences of 1,000 fraud and payments professionals working in large businesses globally.
Nearly half (46 per cent) of retail revenue now comes from e-commerce sites as the pandemic forced bricks and mortar retailers to close their doors, according to new research. A survey of 2,500 European retailers for payments service provider Mollie also found that one of greatest challenges presented by online retail is converting shoppers to purchase, with 65 per cent citing this issue.
John Lewis recorded a pre-tax loss of £517 million in 2020, compared to a pre-tax profit of £146 million in the previous year. The retailer warned that because of significant losses, it is unlikely to reopen all of its stores once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
An advert promoting Currys PC World’s ‘buy now pay later’ service has been banned by the UK ads watchdog. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that the advertisement, which was aired in December last year, irresponsibly “encouraged the use of credit to finance excessive spending on Christmas gifts” and breached UK Code of Broadcast Advertising rules.
Evans Cycles is to cut more than 300 jobs, with many of its remaining staff switching to zero-hours contracts. Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group bought the retailer out of administration in 2018.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) payments accounted for 3.6 per cent of UK online sales last year, according to research commissioned by BNPL company Klarna.
NEXT has acquired a 25 per cent equity stake in fashion retailer Reiss in a deal worth £33m. As part of the strategic partnership, which is subject to regulatory approval, NEXT has an option to acquire an additional 26 per cent interest at pre-agreed terms which, if exercised, would take NEXT’s holding in the company to 51 per cent.
Zara-owner Inditex saw overall sales decline by 28 per cent to €20.4 billion last year, despite online sales surging by 77 per cent to €6.6 billion. In its end of year statement, the company said it had reached a net profit of €1.1 billion.
Just Eat has reported pre-tax losses of €147 million, a rise of 67 per cent year-on-year, despite its revenues increasing 54 per cent to €2.4 billion. Just Eat has been pursuing a strategy of subsidising deliveries to beat stiff competition from Uber and Deliveroo, as the pandemic has boosted the UK food delivery market.
A new sizing app powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) could cut returns on clothing items by a fifth. According to Fitly.AI, the company behind the app tech, more than a fifth of all orders are returned due to the wrong size, while a further 33 per cent of purchases are dropped because of size uncertainty.
H&M has paused new orders in Myanmar in response to deadly force used by police and the military against protestors in the region. Last week the United Nations reported that police and military had killed over 50 people to supress daily protests against a military coup that took place last month.
Jewellery brand Pandora is teaming up with retail tech company Go Instore to launch ‘Remote Shopping Assistant,’ a live video service that replicates personalised, luxury in-store shopping experiences.
The government is extending pavement licenses for a further 12 months as part of efforts to help High Streets recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has announced he intends to extend the licences for hospitality businesses once lockdown restrictions are lifted, subject to parliamentary approval.
Retail sales saw growth last month, with an increase of 1 per cent in compared to 0.1 per cent in the previous year. Sales were above the three-month average growth of 0.6 per cent and the 12-month average decline of 0.3 per cent, according to research by The British Retail Consortium and KPMG.
Dija, a new grocery delivery start-up founded by former senior Deliveroo employees, has launched its ten-minute delivery service in London. The company, which has around 50 riders on electric bikes and mopeds, is now delivering groceries in South Kensington, Fulham, and Hackney.
John Lewis has launched a new interest free credit offering for its online customers. Customers can sign up for at least £1,000 of credit with a maximum of £25,000 over a year, with credit for fitted rooms amounting up to £35,000, according to a report by This is Money.
Deliveroo has confirmed plans for a $7 billion initial public offering (IPO), the largest on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) since the Royal Mail listed in 2013. The IPO will value the food delivery giant at $7 billion, despite expectations that will still post a loss of £223.7 million pounds for 2020, a reduction from the £317.3 million 2019.
Amazon is reportedly proposing tougher terms on its grocery suppliers, including requests for lower cost prices. The new terms proposed by the retail giant, seen by The Grocer, reveal requests for lower prices, bigger marketing fees, and longer payment terms, with the option to move from 60 to 90 days or remain on 60 with a 1 per cent discount for quick payment, or 75 days with a 0.5 per cent discount.
Sporting retailer INTERSPORT has partnered with in-store technology provider Pricer to digitise the in-store experience and improve efficiencies. The Swiss-headquartered sports retailer, which operates more than 6,000 affiliated stores in 57 countries, including 131 in the UK & Ireland, and retail sales of €11.9billion in 2019.
Panasonic is set to acquire supply chain software company Blue Yonder in a deal expected to be worth $6.5 billion, according to sources originally reported by Nikkei. Blue Yonder, founded in 1985, develops software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise supply chains by predicting factors such as customer demand and delivery dates.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak has said that he is exploring new ways to tax online retail giants like Amazon, including securing international agreement on taxing the profits of multinational corporations.
UK shoppers have lost more than £558 million after they were unable to make a return due to losing or damaging a paper receipt, according to new research. More than 20 per cent of UK shoppers have been unable make a return after losing or damaging a paper receipt, leading to a total national loss of £558 million according to research from Flux.
Frasers Group has warned that it will be forced to close stores after the chancellor announced “near worthless” support measures on businesses rates in the budget.The retail group, which is controlled by Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, said that High Street retailers had been lobbying for structural reform of business rates to help the industry but “none had been forthcoming” in Wednesday’s budget.
Retail footfall remained low last month, registering a 73.5 per cent decline, as the national lockdown continues to take its toll. However, research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic Solutions also found that footfall showed a slight improvement of 3.4 per cent in February compared to January.
M&S Bank has announced it will close all of its current accounts and 29 in-store bank branches in the summer. The bank plans to move online, a decision it said was prompted largely by the acceleration of online banking during the pandemic.
UK e-commerce sales jumped by 167 per cent last month, a record high for online shopping. Although online sales propped up total like-for-like sales, according to BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker, closed High Street shops contributed to an overall 3.1 per cent sales decline for February.
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has appointed of Alastair Brass as its new retail operations director, as part of its ongoing digital transformation plans. Brass is currently customer contact director at Centrica, where he was previously transformation director, and will join M&S in April.
Chief executive of Sainsbury’s Simon Roberts has announced proposals that would see the company cut 500 office roles in a bid to fund lower prices, online shopping, and product innovation. The decision, which is still subject to consultation, is part of the supermarket retailer’s plan to adapt the business to “put food first,” with the savings created being invested back into its core food business.
Today Amazon is opening its first Amazon Fresh store outside of the US in Ealing, West London. The new grocery store, which sells fresh produce, meat, seafood, bakery items, and household essentials, is a “Just Walk Out Shopping” experience, using contactless payment technology.
eBay UK has launched its Certified Refurbished hub, which it said will allow consumers to find refurbished gadgets and products easier, in response to increased consumer demand for these as they look to shop more sustainably. The e-commerce giant said products sold on the new hub have been inspected, cleaned, and refurbished by the manufacturer or a manufacturer-approved vendor, and that discounts will be of up to 30 per cent.
Although Rishi Sunak’s spring budget has been largely welcomed by the retail industry, there have been several issues raised about caps on funding, EU state aid rules, and increased corporation tax.
The government is more than doubling the legal limit for single contactless payments from £45 to £100. According to Visa, almost 80 per cent of in-store payments in the UK are currently contactless.
Poor checkout options, like a lack of one-click or quick payment options, can lead to retailers losing online customers, a new study has found. Research by PPRO last year found that 44 per cent of UK consumers would give up on a purchase if their preferred payment option wasn’t offered at the online checkout.