High Court rejects Debenhams CVA challenge
The High Court has rejected Debenhams’ legal challenge over its recent Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA). The department store was taken to court by Combined Property Control Group (CPC) - the landlord of six Debenhams stores in England - which argued that the CVA was “designed to create a situation in which the company’s general body of unsecured creditors is paid in full at the expense of certain landlords and local authorities”.
Gen Z demand more choice at the checkout
Generation Z (16 to 24 year-olds) consumers in the UK are causing a generation divide when it comes to online payment preferences, according to Paysafe. The payments provider surveyed 6,197 consumers across six different age groups and a variety of professions from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria.
El Corte Inglés pilots Alibaba cloud tech
Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence side of Alibaba Group, and El Corte Inglés, the biggest department store group in Europe, are working together on artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-driven retail solutions. Alibaba Cloud’s Image Search and Recommendation Engine will be piloted by El Corte Inglés to personalise the customer experience online. Customers will be able to search more accurately for items using an image, rather than by typing in a keyword into the search box.
August retail sales plateau: ONS
In the three months to August, moderate retail sales growth continued at 0.6 per cent when compared with the previous quarter, with non-store retailing being the main contributor to the increase. The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed that year-on-year sales increased by 2.7 per cent last month, while internet sales increased by 11.6 per cent year-on-year.
BRC calls for card fee regulation
The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) latest Payment Survey has revealed that credit card spending overtook cash spending in 2018, with debit cards remaining the most popular method of payment, accounting for almost three-in-five transactions. The use of cash payments has been falling steadily. Over the past five years cash use has dropped from over half of all transactions in 2013 to under 40 per cent in 2018. The value of those cash transactions fell from 28 per cent to 20 per cent during the same period.
Over 30% of e-commerce site traffic is bots
New research has suggested that 30.8 per cent of retail website and mobile app traffic actually comes from automated bots. Cyber security firm Imperva analysed 16.4 billion requests from 231 domains internationally, finding that some e-commerce sites see over 90 per cent of their traffic coming from bots.
Spar details international tech push
Spar is in the midst of a global technology push, testing and implementing everything from checkout-free stores to digital signage, employee gamification and sensors in refrigerators. Tom Rose, head of international operations for Spar International, laid out the strategy at yesterday’s Xcelerate Symphony Retail Forum in Paris, noting that last year there were a total of 13,112 stores across 48 countries.
CMA raises JD Sports/Footasylum merger concerns
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns that the loss of competition brought about by the merger of JD Sports and Footasylum could result in a worse deal for customers, both in-store and online, through higher prices, worse choice in stores or reductions in service quality. JD Sports must now address the concerns identified or face a more in-depth Phase 2 investigation.
Next sales boost driven by online growth
Full price sales at Next were up 4.3 per cent in its half year results, driven by 12.6 per cent growth in online sales, to more than £1 billion. The High Street stalwart reported brand total sales up 3.8 per cent in the six months to 31 July, compared to the same period last year, with declining footfall making for a drop in store sales of 5.5 per cent to £874.3 million.
Threekit launches into EMEA with London office
Threekit has launched into Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with the opening of new offices in Paris and London. The visual customer experience company's EMEA push will be led by director Franck Devaux, who joins after having contributed to establishing Salesforce France.
Musgrave counts the cost of Brexit
Brexit is a “massive deal” for Irish supermarket chain Musgrave Group, with extra warehousing and stockpiling of goods just some of the many headaches being dealt with. Speaking at the Xcelerate Symphony Retail Forum today, the retailer’s head of commercial IT Ger O'Flynn described the UK’s impending exit from the EU as “this comedy soap opera we tune into every night”.