UK luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason closes its Dubai store

The multi-level store in Downtown Dubai was opened in 2014

British luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason has closed down its store in Dubai, it confirmed on Thursday.

Located in Downtown Dubai, the multi-level store was opened in 2014 as Fortnum & Mason’s first location outside London.

However, the brand said in a brief statement that the slowdown in the economy had led to the outlet’s closure last month.

“Due to the well-documented ongoing challenges with market conditions in Dubai, we have made the considered decision with our partner Al Khayyat Investments (AKI) that we will cease trading on the 9th of July,” it said.

“Fortnum’s will continue to be an English brand with a global palate. Our products are available to our customers in Dubai and around the world as part of our offer on fortnumandmason.com,” it added.

The British brand started in London in the early 1700s, and is most famous for its tea, confectionery and hampers.

In a statement, AKI also confirmed the news but added that it will continue to be a “key market leader for our other international brands”.

According to its website, the other food and beverage brands in the company’s retail portfolio include Il Caffe di Roma, Espressions – that also features Lavazza products and Burger Fuel.

Despite the softening in regional economic conditions, consumer spending in the UAE is growing strongly, according to recent research released by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Spending is expected to exceed $261bn in 2021, compared to nearly $183bn in 2016, the report found.

The research, based on recent data from Euromonitor International, revealed that consumer expenditure per household during 2016 in the UAE (around $103,000) was the highest when compared to other GCC countries.

Looking at consumer spending in the UAE in 2016, while housing was identified as the top category with $75.7bn, food and non-alcoholic beverages came second with $24.8bn worth of spending during the year.

Argos among firms named and shamed for underpaying workers

Argos has been named and shamed by the government as one of more than 200 employers to underpay their workers.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has highlighted 233 firms which failed to pay their employees the minimum wage and national living wage.

More than 13,000 members of staff were underpaid by these firms and each will receive back pay from their employer.

A total of £2 million is due to be paid to workers and the government has also issued additional fines totalling £1.9 million to these businesses. Employees will be contacted by their employer regarding the underpayment.

The government says retail, hairdressing, and hospitality businesses were some of the most prolific offenders. A list of all 233 employers is available to {view online}.

Argos was by far the biggest firm named on the list of 233 companies. The retailer failed to pay £1,461,881.78 to 12,176 of its workers, according to the government.

Moneywise reported in February that 37,000 current and former Argos staff had been underpaid by their employer. That 37,000 figure includes the 12,176 workers announced today, as the government has only counted current employees of

‘The government will come down hard on those who break the law’

Business minister Margot James says: “It is against the law to pay workers less than legal minimum wage rates, short-changing ordinary working people and undercutting honest employers.

“Today’s naming round identifies a record £2 million of back pay for workers and sends the clear message to employers that the government will come down hard on those who break the law.

“Common errors made by employers in this round included deducting money from pay packets to pay for uniforms, failure to account for overtime hours, and wrongly paying apprentice rates to workers.”

John Rogers, chief executive of Argos – which is now owned by Sainsbury’s, adds: “Shortly after we [Sainsbury’s] acquired the Argos business last year it was brought to my attention that, as part of a routine visit, HMRC had uncovered an issue with some Argos store systems and processes, which meant that some colleagues had been paid below the national living wage.

“Sainsbury’s prides itself on being a trusted brand where people love to work and I was, therefore, very disappointed to hear this and launched an immediate investigation. I am pleased to say the issue was resolved quickly and processes have been updated to ensure this cannot happen again.”

Marks & Spencer’s flagship store has re-opened in Dubai

New dining options and food hall at British retailer in Dubai Festival City Mall

Following a major revamp, Marks & Spencer’s flagship store in Dubai Festival City Mall has re-opened. For the first time in the UAE, you can now take a swift break from shopping at M&S and experience what the retailer is calling a premium, table-waited dining experience at the M&S Café.

The new dining experience is offering up a range of mid-retail therapy goodies, including pastries, smoothies, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and even British favourites including fish and chips (see Pierchic’s claims to the world’s poshest fish and chips here) and afternoon tea.

But the relaunch hasn’t just focused on the café alone. M&S has also launched its Food Hall, showcasing more than 1,200 premium grocery brands and lines. From fresh fruit and veggies to oven meals and daily staples, M&S is bringing its signature British quality to Dubai Festival City.

There’s also a brand-new M&S Home department, with the widest range of the brand’s homewares in the UAE. Expect new bedding and towel ranges, crockery and crystal glassware, for example. All of which will go alongside the store’s existing range of fashion for men, women and kids.

We’re hoping the M&S Food Hall will be stocking its bottles of Belgian chocolate milkshake – they are unbelievable.

Open Sun-Wed 10am-1pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Dubai Festival City Mall, www.marksandspencerme.com (04 206 6466).

Subway opens 2,500th UK store in Keynsham

Following the global launch of the new format in Manchester in March, the store near Bristol is the second pilot featuring the design to open in the UK.
The shop will create seven full-time and two part-time local jobs. Earlier this year, the Subway brand announced plans to increase the number of stores in the UK and Ireland to 3,000 by 2020, creating around 5,000 new jobs.

Owned by family franchisees Stephen and Sue Pasco, the Keynsham store is one of 16 Subway stores they operate. The stores employ 145 people across Bristol, Gloucester, Somerset and Wiltshire.
Commenting on the new opening, Sue Pasco explained “We’re hugely proud to be able to open the brand’s 2,500th store and that it is one of the first UK stores featuring the new look design. The modern design will offer customers more of what they love about Subway stores – highlighting our bread baked in store daily, cookies and some of our veggies in modern displays – whilst offering great value and fresh, varied menu options.”
Brought to life with input from franchisees and customers from around the world, the Subway Fresh Forward design is expected to be seen in eight stores in the UK by Christmas, with all existing Subway stores to be refurbished in the new décor style over the next few years.

Weird Fish unveils new store design

The town centre unit, previously occupied by Costa, covers a ground floor sales area of approximately 1,200 square feet and is the brand’s 14th shop.

In keeping with Weird Fish’s coastal-inspired roots, the design of the store features a fun nautical theme and tranquil colours.
John Stockton, managing director at Weird Fish, said: “We have worked hard to bring our new store vision to life, it is a real move on for us and we are delighted to have opened it in the fantastic seaside town of Scarborough.”
Many Weird Fish stores are situated in popular holiday destinations in counties such as Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Yorkshire. Stockists include Debenhams, Cotswold Outdoor and Blacks. The opening of the Scarborough store coincides with the start of the brand’s busy holiday retail season.
Stockton added: “We are really excited about opening our second store in Yorkshire and feel that Scarborough is a great location for us. We can’t wait to show off our new store.”

Tesco now the largest contactless retailer in Ireland


Geraldine Casey, people & IT director at Tesco Ireland joins Philip Konopik, country manager Ireland, Visa as Tesco is named the largest contactless retailer in Ireland with over 2,200 contactless payment terminals in its stores across the country

With over 2,200 contactless payment terminals across the country, Tesco has become the largest contactless retailer in Ireland. The retailer completed the national roll out of contactless technology to all its 149 stores earlier this year, offering consumers the fastest transaction times.
In fact, the average number of contactless Visa transactions is reaching over 330,000 every week.
“Customers are responding well to this offering,” says Geraldine Casey, people & IT director at Tesco Ireland, “with transactions in our stores now accounting for 10% of all Visa contactless transactions.”
Philip Konopik, country manager, Ireland, Visa, praised Tesco for  “enabling their customers to benefit from a faster and easier checkout experience.
“That Tesco customers have been so quick to adapt to using contactless technology is a testament to the quality of Tesco’s implementation and in-store communication at the point of sale,” Konopik added.
The increasing popularity of contactless technology among Tesco customers is in line with the rest of the Irish retail sector. According to Visa, over three million contactless transactions are made each week across Ireland, growing from a standing start just over two years ago. As a result, contactless now accounts for one in three of all face-to-face Visa payments.
The increase in the contactless payment threshold from €15 to €30 has had a significant impact on the growth in popularity of contactless payments.

Sunglass Hut Opens New Store In Hangzhou

International sunglasses retailer Sunglass Hut opened a new store in Hangzhou's Intime Wulin store, which is the brand's third store in the city following the ones in Hangzhou Kerry Centre and Hangzhou Bailian Outlets.
Sunglass Hut has reached cooperation with many first-tier brands, including Ray-Ban, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., and Coach.
It started as a small independent store in Miami in 1971 and it developed 100 chain stores in Miami by 1986, reaching annual sales of USD24 million. By 1991, Sunglass Hut's annual sales exceeded USD100 million and by 1996, the company seized 30% share of the American sunglasses market.
By the end of 2016, Sunglass Hut already opened 3,269 retail stores in 28 countries and regions around the world, including 3,104 retail stores in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, South Africa, and Latin America; and 165 authorized retail stores in Middle East and India.
For the Greater China region, Sunglass Hut had nearly 40 retail stores, including 13 in Hong Kong, seven in Shanghai, and three in Beijing.

Wilko warns nearly 4,000 staff could lose jobs

Homeware retailer is third British high street chain after Sainsbury’s and Asda to announce redundancy plans


Wilko has reported an 80% drop in full-year profits. Photograph: Alamy
Wilko, the high street homewares and households goods chain, has warned almost 4,000 of its employees that they could lose their jobs in a shake-up that will strip out a layer of management.
The potential job losses cap a brutal week for British retail workers, with Asda placing 3,257 employees into consultation and Sainsbury’s announcing plans to axe more than 1,000 head office jobs.
Wilko, which recorded an 80% drop in full-year profits last month, said it had placed 3,900 staff working as stock supervisors, till supervisors and assistant managers, into consultation, which could lead to redundancy. However, the family-run business said the changes to its structure would also allow it to create about 1,000 new senior supervisor roles.
The company said its new “simplified retail team structure” would “ensure it is best placed to continue to thrive within an ever-changing retail landscape and to ensure it can operate successfully and competitively”.
The job cuts come soon after the company announced that the government’s “imposition” of a minimum living wage had hit profits. Despite the 80% decline in its pre-tax profits to £5.2m, Wilko’s board still paid the company’s multimillionaire family owners a £3m dividend.
Antony Houghton, the chain’s retail director, said that independent studies had found a “legacy of retail structures” that “created complexity to manage which aren’t simple, fair or transparent for our team members”.
He said the company was “committed to the future growth of the business and reviewing how we stay relevant to our customers. We do this by making sure all retail operations are fit for the future in order to provide customers with the best possible service.
“As a family-run business, we care greatly about team members and know that change is never easy. We are working with our recognised trade union the GMB, listening to team members and offering support at all levels. We are entering into a long period of consultation and wherever possible are aiming to redeploy team members into new roles and offering help and support to those seeking new opportunities.”
The company, founded by James Kemsey Wilkinson – known as JK – in Leicester in 1930 has grown to employ 20,000 people working in 406 stores across the country, but has struggled to compete with the rise of other discount chains such as B&M and Poundland.
Wilko, which recently shortened its name from Wilkinson, is 100% owned by the Wilkinson family and is one of the biggest privately-owned companies in Britain. It describes its mission as “Todobilation” – which it says describes the “jubilation in a to do. Either the excitement and anticipation of starting something or the sense of achievement when it’s done.”
In its annual accounts, the company hit out at George Osborne’s introduction of the national living wage, which starts at £7.50 an hour for over-25s. “Chancellor Osborne’s final austerity budget surprised the industry by its unilateral imposition of a statutory minimum living wage at well above expected levels,” the company said.
Lisa Wilkinson, a lawyer and grandchild of the founder, is chairwoman of the company and bought out the shares of her cousin Karin Swann, who was co-chair, for £63m in 2015.
This week Asda, Britain’s third-largest supermarket, singled out 3,257 employees in 18 underperforming and overstaffed stores, and is also understood to also be looking at staffing levels in a further 59 of its supermarkets.
The 18 stores facing staff cuts include branches in Halifax in West Yorkshire, Broadstairs in Kent and the Basildon Eastgate store in Essex. Staff will face a series of one-to-one meetings over the next three weeks. The eventual job-loss figure is expected to be in the hundreds.
Asda recently posted its worst annual figures since being taken over by Walmart in 1999, as fierce competition in the UK supermarket sector took its toll.
The supermarket industry is going through massive change as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons cut costs to respond to the threat posed by the fast-growing discounters Aldi and Lidl, as well as grocery sales moving online.
Sainsbury’s is cutting more than 1,000 jobs at its head office as part of an efficiency drive designed to save £500m. The UK’s second-largest supermarket chain has drafted in McKinsey, the management consultancy, to draw up a headcount reduction plan. It comes on top of 400 job cuts in March.
Tesco, the country’s biggest supermarket, announced in June that it was cutting 1,200 jobs at its head office and 1,100 at a call centre.

The Fragrance Shop posts bumper trading figures

Operating 183 stores nationwide, the retailer’s online operation also grew with sales rising by 34%.
Meanwhile, EBITDA rose by 7.6% to £15.1 million and net profit increased by 16.3% to £10.2 million year-on-year.

Sanjay Vadera, chief executive of The Fragrance Shop, said: “We have achieved outstanding like for like sales growth for another year as a result of listening to our customers and giving them what they are asking for; an expanding range of accessibly-priced luxury fragrances, being first to market with exclusives, the best possible retail experience and an expanding store portfolio."
The Fragrance Shop is on track to open its 200th store this year as well as a concession store format in partnership with House of Fraser across 28 sites. It also plans to unveil its new ‘Scentaddict’ subscription service, currently in BETA testing, which will allow customers to try luxury scents monthly with no commitment.

New Look sales nosedive in ‘disappointing’ first quarter

• Underlying operating profit slumped 60%
• UK like-for-like sales dropped 7.5%
• Overall revenue down 4.4%
The fashion retailer recorded a 4.4% drop in revenue to £338.7m in the 13 weeks to June 24, exacerbated by a 7.5% plummet in UK like-for-like sales.
The retailer’s underlying operating profit plunged 60% to £12.1m whilst EBITDA fell 37% to £27.2m, which the business attributed to a “challenging UK sales performance and investment in strategic initiatives.”
New Look posted declines in its own-brand like-for-like sales and own-website sales of 8.2% and 0.6% respectively, while its third-party ecommerce sales rose 15.7%.
Chinese expansion
The fast-fashion retailer opened 17 new stores in China during the period, taking its bricks-and-mortar footprint in the country to 127.
The retailer, which posted a slump in full-year profits in June, also trialled a new store concept in the UK during the period.
Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: “As expected, the UK market has remained difficult, which has resulted in a disappointing quarter of trading. We have managed the business accordingly by controlling costs, tactical investment in our strategic initiatives and enhancing our product proposition.
“We remain committed to our long-term strategy of diversifying the business and reducing our dependence on the UK high street, and are confident that we will see improvements, but expect these to take time.
“Looking ahead, we expect the consumer economy to remain fragile and challenging market conditions to persist into 2018. We will continue to manage our business prudently and focus on providing our customers with exceptional product and real value for money.”
The fashion retailer’s latest results come shortly after a raft of changes to its senior team.
The retailer’s menswear boss Christopher Englinde and footwear director Amanda Wain exited the business in June.
Shortly afterwards, New Look appointed former Zara Basic head of product Paula Dumont Lopez as its new chief creative officer, succeeding Roger Wightman.
Dumont will join the retailer in September.
The fast fashion retailer also poached Mango womenswear director Rosa Gutierrez Sanchez to bolster its buying, merchandising and design departments, although she has joined the business on a contract basis.

Xiaomi opens Mideast’s first store in Dubai

Chinese technology company, Xiaomi, is focusing on offline stores to boost sales after suffering setbacks at the hands of local competitors over the past two years.
The firm was the top seller in China in 2014 and 2015 but lost ground to Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Apple last year.
This year, the company has moved back into the top five ranking worldwide with a year-on-year growth of 58.9 per cent in the second quarter, according to research firm International Data Corporation’s (IDC) estimates.
“2017 has been a good year for us. We have become number two in India and number four in China. We initially started with an online model but one of the key principles of Xiaomi is selling at near cost. We realised that we could open our own stores and sell the products at an online price, without losing money,” Donovan Sung, director of product management and marketing at Xiaomi Global, told Gulf News on Thursday after opening its first authorised Mi store in the Middle East in partnership with its regional distributor, Task. (Mi is the abbreviation and the logo of Xiaomi Inc.)
The company also unveiled two new smartphones — Mi 6 and Mi Max 2 on Thursday.
The 1,500 square feet Mi store at BurJuman Centre in Dubai is with an initial investment of more than Dh2 million. “We open stores where there is high traffic. If we were selling only mobile phones, then customers would come every two years. Once you have more than 300 products displayed, we find that more customers come often to find out what new products we have,” Sung said.
Ravi Matthew, deputy CEO and General Manager of Task, said that step by step, Xiaomi aims to bring all its ecosystem to this region. While the company is best known for phones, it has invested in 77 start-ups and now offers air purifiers, drones, TVs, speakers, TV set-top boxes, electric cycles, robots and robot vacuum cleaners.
“We are looking for space in other malls in the UAE. We will be opening three more outlets in Dubai by end of this year. We are also planning to have stores in other emirates also,” he said.
Offline sales
He added that offline sales will be quite significant for the company. In India and China, only 30 per cent of the mobile phone sales come from online while the other 70 per cent come from offline. The percentage of online smartphone sales is much lower than that in the Gulf. So, the offline market is “very important for us”.
The Chinese company is planning to open three new offline stores in Egypt in the next two months.
Sung said that it has 140 offline Mi retail stores in China and hopes to have 1,000 shops in China and 1,000 abroad over the next three years.
“Our focus is still on smartphones but IoT [internet of Things] is important because we want to offer a full range of services to our fans. The smartphone will be the centre and everything can be managed through the phone,” Sung said.

J.C. Penney Plummets After Loss Renews Concerns About Retail

J.C. Penney is the bearer of more bad news for department-store investors.
On Friday morning, the company followed Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and Dillard’s Inc. in reporting declining sales in the second quarter. J.C. Penney also posted a deeper loss than analysts expected — hurt by clearance sales — sending the shares on their worst decline in more than four years.

The results renewed fears that there’s no end in sight for the department-store industry’s drought. J.C. Penney Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison is trying to win back customers by expanding the company’s partnership with cosmetic retailer Sephora and bolstering the assortment of high-price items, like appliances. The company is also pushing services like salons that require shoppers to come into stores. But progress has been slow.
The company also is closing about 140 underperforming stores. And the liquidation of inventory in 127 of those locations hurt profit in the period, Ellison said in a statement.
“These events were isolated to the second quarter,” he said, adding that the company expects to “deliver improved results in the back half of the year.”
But investors saw little reason for optimism. The shares tumbled as much as 18 percent to $3.85 after the report was released, the biggest intraday drop since February 2013. That followed a 43 percent decline this year through Thursday’s close, bringing the stock to a record low.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
The rout suggests investors don’t think the weak results can be attributed just to one-time liquidation sales, Citigroup Inc. analyst Paul Lejuez said in a note. J.C. Penney may need to give further assurances to investors, he said.
“They will have to provide more detail for the market to better understand what happened,” Lejuez said.
The selling frenzy weighed on other department-store stocks, including Nordstrom Inc., which had been seen as an outlier in the industry’s gloom. That company posted a surprise quarterly sales gain on Thursday evening, and its shares had gained in late trading. But the rally evaporated on Friday morning after J.C. Penney’s report. The stock fell 2.5 percent to $43.74.
Red Ink
Same-store sales at J.C. Penney fell 1.3 percent in the period, which ended July 29. That compared with the 1.2 percent decline projected by analysts, according to Consensus Metrix. The loss was 9 cents a share in the second quarter, excluding some items. Analysts estimated a 4-cent deficit on average.

Still, overall revenue came in a bit above projections. The company posted $2.96 billion in net sales, compared with an estimate of $2.85 billion.
“While broader retail remains challenged, we are encouraged by the improved performance in our total apparel business, including a significant acceleration in kids’ apparel,” Ellison said.

Aldo to acquire Camuto Group

The Camuto family will continue to own and operate its apparel businesses following the acquisition.
Aldo, which is also a family business, said the purchase will increase both companies' capabilities and reach, and enhance their ability to offer the widest selection of footwear, handbags, and accessories through all channels, including owned stores, franchise, online and wholesale. 

David Bensadoun, Aldo Group's chief executive, said: "We are thrilled to have found a partner that has the skills and infrastructure required to support our vision. Both of our companies are heavily product oriented, and they each evolved in different ways.
"While the Aldo Group comes from retail and has focused on international expansion, Camuto Group is an expert in wholesale and a powerful player in the US market. We are very excited about the ways the two organisations can help each other grow, leveraging each other's strengths."
Based in Connecticut in the US, Camuto was founded by Vince Camuto in 2001. Its products are sold in more than 5.400 outlets worldwide. Alex Del Cielo, Louise Camuto, and the executive team have recently led the company through a period of steady growth.  Del Cielo will remain in his role as chief executive after the acquisition and will report to Bensadoun.  
Meanwhile, Aldo was established in 1972 and has 3,000 points of sales in over 100 countries.
Bensadoun added: "A huge part of our attraction to the Camuto Group is an understanding of their amazing design skills, excellent distribution network, and sourcing capabilities. We also believe the Aldo Group's broad international and cross-channel experience will unlock Camuto Group's global potential. This is the perfect combination to drive long-term, sustainable growth and strengthen our overall platform."

Dixons opens new concept travel store at Heathrow

The 2,196 square foot store in the newly expanded section of the lounge introduces a number of new concepts and digital features for a Dixons Travel store.

These include dedicated departure screens, spaces to demonstrate the latest in home, health and sports SMART technology, and a 50 metre digital signage line along the entire internal store perimeter highlighting tailored offers and explaining the latest tech benefits.
The store also stocks improved ranges.
Ben Crowley, head of retail technology for Heathrow, said; “As part of a wider plan to revitalise the Terminal 3 experience we have worked with Dixons to create a world leading technology store which will surprise and delight our passengers. Every aspect has been meticulous designed, bringing together cutting-edge design and technology under one roof.”

Tesco to replace 5p single-use bags with 10p bags for life

Tesco is to stop selling 5p single-use carrier bags and replace them with 'bags for life' costing 10p each.
Shoppers will now have to remember to bring their own carrier bags to avoid paying double the old price.
The move comes into effect in all UK stores on Monday 28 August and is part of an environmental drive to cut plastic consumption. It follows a trial at three stores in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, which found shoppers bought 25% fewer bags when faced with a higher cost.
Tesco also says it'll be removing single-use wine-bottle carriers and lower the price of its 'carry me bottle bag' from £1 to 40p.
However, online delivery customers can still choose to receive deliveries in single-use carrier bags or opt for bagless delivery, something 57% of Tesco's online customers now do, the store says.
Tesco adds that 1.5 billion fewer single-use bags have been used since a charge for carrier bags was introduced in 2015, although it still sells over 700 million a year.

Wales was the first country in the UK to introduce a charge on carrier bags in 2011 and saw a 79% fall in plastic bags being handed out in the next three years.
Tesco's bags for life are made from 94% recycled plastic and can be replaced for free if damaged. Tesco says the money from selling bags will continue to be used to fund community projects.
Rival supermarket Sainsbury's stopped issuing single-use bags in 2015 and started to offer a 5p bag. It's 100% recycled and can be replaced for free.
We have contacted Asda and Morrisons to find out if they're making any changes to offering single-use bags and will update this story when we hear back.

Good news because Greggs are testing out home deliveries in the UK

They're also creating even more drive-throughs across the UK.
Great news for anyone that loves sausage rolls, steak bakes and every other pasty under the sun because Greggs have announced that they're planning on introducing a nationwide drive-through service.
As you may remember, the Newcastle baker had recently launched their first drive-through service at Irlam, Greater Manchester.
Well, you can thank all those hungry Mancunians for the latest news because the company were so happy with that service that they plan on rolling it out across the UK.

Speaking with The Guardian, Greggs boss Roger Whiteside has said: "It’s all about convenience and the most convenient thing is not having to get out of your car. You can just drive up and order a coffee, sausage roll or doughnut.”
In keeping with the likes of McDonald’s and Costa Coffee, Greggs will now be looking to launch their “food-to-go” service and for any traditionalists out there, it appears that this new business model has proven to be a hit with customers.
In fact, Greggs customers have typically spent more at the drive-through than in a high street store.
Aside from this exciting news, they've also announced that they're interested in studying the customer demand for a home delivery service.

Avon chief executive to step down

The news comes as the beauty products firm reports that sales fell 3% to £1.4 billion in the three months to end June.
Since joining the company in 2012, McCoy has launched a three-year transformation plan in 2016, executed the separation of Avon's North America business, and relocated the company's corporate headquarters to the UK. She has also appointed a new senior team.

McCoy said: "With the successful recruitment of a senior executive team with the skill and experience to implement the next phase of our strategy, the platform is in place for a new CEO to continue accelerating the pace of change and take Avon to sustainable profitable growth. I look forward to continuing to drive the Avon business forward and to working with our leadership team to ensure a smooth transition."
Avon's board has retained Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm with expertise in the consumer goods industry, to assist in identifying McCoy's successor.
Chan Galbato, non-executive chairman of Avon Products' board of directors, added: "Sheri has set Avon on a path to improved growth and profitability through the design and execution of the company's strategic plan and the recruitment of a team of executives to carry the plan to the next phase. We thank Sheri for her continued commitment to Avon as the company embarks on its next chapter."

Opinion: There are signs Apple is starting to target mid-market consumers too


If there’s one certainty in life where Apple is concerned, it’s that it targets the premium end of the market. Apple would tell you that it aims to make the best products, and that these cost money to make. A more cynical observer might say that Apple aims to make the highest margins and makes the products (and adds the marketing) it takes to achieve this.
But either way, the company has always targeted those customers willing to pay the big bucks for premium products. That approach has meant that while Samsung sells almost twice as many smartphones as Apple, it’s the Cupertino company that hoovers up almost 80% of the total profits in the industry.
But there are signs that Apple may be broadening its horizons …

In a way, Apple has long aimed to have a range of products to appeal to consumers at different price points. In Macs, for example, we had the Mac Pro versus the iMac for the desktop market, and within the iMac range we have the 27-inch 5K flagship and the 21.5-inch 4K option at the more affordable end. For laptops, there’s the now very expensive MacBook Pro range at the top end while the MacBook Air still hangs in there at $999.
In iPads, the iPad mini has always served a dual purpose: providing a more portable form-factor for those who found larger iPads too unwieldy, but also a more affordable entry point for those who wanted an iPad but whose budget didn’t stretch to the more expensive ones.
In iPhones, Apple typically kept its older models on sale as a somewhat cheaper entry point.
But the company has more recently been more actively targeting mid-market smartphone buyers by specifically designing products for them. There was the failed iPhone 5c initially, and the iPhone SE today. The latter also emulated the iPad mini in targeting both budget-conscious consumers as well as those of us who prefer a more pocketable device.
The iPhone SE has been a big success for Apple. It became the third best-selling smartphone in the U.S. and achieved even higher satisfaction ratings than later and more expensive models. It’s almost certain we’ll see a new model next year.
And just this year Apple launched a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad costing just $329, less than half the cost of the cheapest iPad Pro model, and roughly a quarter of the cost of the most expensive one. The company’s recent earnings reports strongly indicate that this has been a massive hit.

Finally, we come to services revenue. Tim Cook noted in the company’s Q2 earnings call that Apple’s services business was ‘well on the way‘ to the size of a Fortune 100 company in its own right – and confirmed that it hit this milestone in Q3.
Services revenue climbed 22% year-on-year to total $27.8B in the last 12 months. That’s not just a Fortune 100 sized business, but – as the WSJ noted – more than Facebook’s total revenue for 2016. As the above Business Insider chart shows, services are now worth more to Apple than either Mac or iPad.
The WSJ again:
“The business is really impressive when you think about it in terms of scale compared to other publicly traded companies out there,” said Jeff Dillon, chief executive of Jackson, Mich.-based Dillon & Associates, which counts Apple among its largest holdings. “There’s a long runway to go there.”
That ‘long runway’ is another way to say that the more hardware devices you sell, the more money you stand to make from services. Apple’s 30% share of app sales is a big chunk of it, of course, but there’s also its take from other iTunes sales, Apple Pay, iCloud storage, Apple Music and its doubtless profitable AppleCare business.
In fact, if you look at the trends in Apple’s income, growth in iPhone, iPad and Mac sales is all below that seen in 2015. But services revenue is soaring.

That’s not to say that Apple is going to head too far downmarket. The App Store makes twice as much money as Google Play despite a much smaller market, and that’s precisely because Apple targets better-off consumers who are willing to spend more on apps and other services. But targeting the mid-market should significantly increase its market for services income.
And the killer feature of services revenue is that it’s recurring – and even does so reliably in the case of subscription services like iCloud storage, Apple Music and Apple’s cut of in-app subscriptions. That’s particularly important at a time when people are holding onto hardware longer.
And there’s one especially attractive element of the mid-market: students, and those early in their careers. There’s a decent chunk of these people who would like to buy Apple kit but can’t quite manage or justify it at present. If you can bring them into the ecosystem now, they will become premium product customers in the future.
So it makes perfect sense for Apple to broaden its target customer base. It will never go after the budget market – the hardware margins are too slim, and the prospect of significant services sales too poor. But going after the mid-market is a gain in the short-term, and likely a far bigger win in the long-term.

Asda posts worst annual figures since Walmart takeover

Supermarket is worst performer of ‘big four’ grocers as fierce competition pulls underlying sales for the year down 5.7%


Asda has posted its worst annual figures since being taken over by the American grocer Walmart, as fierce competition in the UK supermarket sector took its toll.
Britain’s third biggest supermarket chain admitted performance was “behind expectations” after pre-tax profit for 2016 fell 19% to £791.7m.
Accounts filed at Companies House also showed sales fell to £21.6bn from £22.3bn as shoppers flocked to cheaper rivals.
Asda has trailed behind Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, and is the worst performer of the UK’s “big four” grocers. The former chief executive Andy Clarke was replaced by the Walmart veteran Sean Clarke, who has attempted to breathe new life into the business. He took the helm last summer. He has focused on dropping prices, boosting the quality of food ranges and improving customer service.
While underlying sales for the year plunged 5.7%, Asda pointed to a recent improvement in trading. The latest industry figures showed Asda attracted an additional 398,000 shoppers in the 12 weeks to 16 July. The Kantar data showed Asda’s sales for the period grew by 1% compared with the same period last year.
In May, the grocer also reported sales in the first quarter had fallen 2.8% compared with the same period the previous year – an improvement on the 2.9% fall in the fourth quarter. Second-quarter figures are expected this month.
The accounts also showed Andy Clarke and the former chief customer officer Barry Williams, who has also left the business, received a combined £2.5m payoff. The firm did not break down the share of this sum.
Sean Clarke and the former Sainsbury’s executive Roger Burnley, who started as chief operations officer recently, have focused their turnaround efforts on the retail basics.
The finance director, Alex Russo, said: “Our sales performance, relative to the market, was behind our expectations. However, in the last quarter of 2016, we saw an improvement following the changes made to our ranges and investment in price and service.”
Asda also reported an operating cashflow of £1.41bn, an increase of 8%, and said a dividend of £450m was paid to Walmart.
All the “big four” grocers have suffered in recent years from seismic changes to the industry. Consumers have swapped their weekly shop for more frequent visits to smaller convenience stores as they seek to cut down on food waste at home. There has also been a shift away from bricks and mortar stores as some prefer buying online.
While shoppers can buy Asda food over the internet, the supermarket has been hit harder than most because it refuses to join rivals in opening smaller stores.
The “big four” have also come under attack from discounters Aldi and Lidl, which can undercut their bigger rivals by stocking fewer high-quality ranges. They are able to negotiate rock-bottom prices by buying entire crops from farmers while bigger supermarkets buy smaller quantities from a larger number of suppliers so they can offer more choice.
Asda again has been affected more than the others because its biggest point of difference was price, something that has been cannibalised in recent years with the low-cost operators. Asda has been too slow in responding to that competition, at a time when its arch rival Tesco has managed to turn its business around.
Tom Berry, retail analyst at GlobalData, said: “Asda has chosen to focus on price rather than range and in-store experience, which has clearly been the wrong strategy.”
Notes in Asda’s accounts showed it was focusing on cutting costs: “Our commitment to the ASDA ‘low cost operating model’ has resulted in improving operating efficiencies and delivering productivity savings across stores and distribution centres.”

John Lewis sales up 2.5% last week

DEPARTMENT STORES
2 August 2017 | by The Retail Bulletin
Online sales climbed by 7.2%.
Home sales had a strong week with sales up 7.7% on the same week last year. The uplift was partly driven by a 19.2% increase in bed linen sales and a 17.5% rise in the beds and bedroom furniture category as the retailer offered its last week of ‘Special Buy’ sales.

Fashion sales increased by 1.5% with the biggest rise coming from the beauty, wellbeing and leisure category where sales climbed by 5.8%.
Meanwhile, electrical and home technology sales were down 0.5% although sales of DIY home products, such as the Honda Petrol Ride on Lawnmower, were up 67%.

Asda reveals 2016 slump in sales


Sales falls and lower profits at supermarket Asda in 2016 have been revealed in detail in newly-filed accounts.
The figures for the Walmart-owned supermarket, filed at Companies House, confirm a torrid spell for Asda as it faced stiff competition in the grocery sector.
Like-for-like sales were down 5.7% compared with the previous year.
Pre-tax profits dropped almost 19% to £791.7m at the Leeds-based company.
"The grocery market has continued to experience low growth throughout the year and competition in the sector has remained intense. Our sales performance, relative to the market, was behind our expectations," the company said.
Changes
Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons – the so-called big four UK supermarkets – also face competition from German discounters Aldi and Lidl.
Asda suffered more than most and, unlike others, has struggled to fight back. In May, it reported decreasing sales in the first quarter of 2017 – the 11th consecutive quarter of falls – as it continued to lose ground to its rivals.
However, Asda added that despite the disappointing results, there had been an improvement following "strategic changes" under new boss Sean Clarke.
Mr Clarke, who replaced previous chief executive Andy Clarke a year ago, has slashed the prices of everyday items as he attempts to arrest falling sales.
The chain reported a 2.8% fall in like-for-like sales in its first quarter of this year, a moderate improvement on the previous period, which saw sales fall 2.9%.
'Focus on price'
Analysts have said that a major turnaround is required at Asda.
"Sainsbury's and Tesco have always had more opportunity for differentiation from the discounters, but Asda has chosen to focus on price rather than range and in-store experience, which has clearly been the wrong strategy," said Tom Berry, retail analyst at GlobalData.
"Asda has been flailing without direction for too long, and a comprehensive plan is needed if it is to survive in the highly competitive UK grocery market."
Phil Dorrell, of consultancy Retail Remedy, is a previous marketing chief at Asda. He said that it was a difficult market for Asda and it "had a lot of catching up to do".
"It is not changing significantly or fast enough to pull around the results. It did not get its proposition right," he said.

Lisney retail report q2 2017 ( Download )

DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

Australian homewares retailer House plots UK launch



Australian homewares specialist House is plotting an assault on the UK market, Retail Week can reveal.
House, which is owned by Global Retail Brands, has thrown down the gauntlet to the likes of Lakeland and John Lewis with plans to open 75 stores within the next three years.
It aims to open its first tranche of shops by April 2018 and will also launch a transactional ecommerce platform after identifying the UK as its preferred market to kick-start an overseas push.
House, which has 104 stores in its native Australia, describes itself as a kitchen, cooking, dining and entertaining specialist.
The retailer’s stores typically carry 4,000 core SKUs including cookware, glassware, small electrical appliances, knives and crockery.

Its Australian website sells an additional 8,000 lines, including products in the bathroom, bedroom, décor and pet categories.
House said its stores aim to “inspire customers to cook and create and entertain at home,” with service and customer interaction forming a key part of its proposition.
It gives all new store managers and assistant store managers AUS$8,000 of products for them to use at home so that they “know the product backwards” and can have “passionate” and personalised discussions with shoppers.

Superdrug owner looks to expand in UK


Image caption
Superdrug will open 30 new stores across the UK and Ireland this year
The owner of high street chains Superdrug, Savers and The Perfume Shop is planning to create more than 1,000 jobs across the UK as its expansion plans gain momentum.
Superdrug is set to open 30 new stores, while its discount stable-mate Savers will open another 45 shops.
The Perfume Shop will grow by 17 stores, its owner A.S. Watson said.
Superdrug will create 650 new jobs as it defies a consumer spending slump.
Savers will make 450 new job roles available while The Perfume Shop will create 78 new positions.
A.S. Watson, ultimately owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, said it would continue to expand in the UK, even as devalued sterling puts pressure on high street retailers due to higher import prices.
Dominic Lai, AS Watson's managing director, said: "We are under a lot of pressure, with Brexit uncertainty and sterling going down, but we will continue to invest in the UK."
Superdrug delivered a 41% rise in pre-tax profits to £80.4m in 2016, with sales up 10% to £1.2bn.
The healthy and beauty store has 790 stores in UK and Ireland where it employs 13,500 people. Savers has 380 and The Perfume Shop 250.

After 159 years, ‘Harrods of SA’ shuts shop

JOHANNESBURG – Department store Stuttafords, the 159-year-old “Harrods of South Africa”, is closing down, a victim of a global shift to online retail and a domestic economic slump that has put brands such as Ted Baker and Gap beyond its customers’ reach.
Mirroring the fortunes of once-mighty department stores in Europe and the United States, the doyenne of the South African high street during apartheid and the two decades since applied for protection from creditors in October.
However, attempts to revive its fortunes proved futile and creditors voted in June to wind up the unlisted firm by 1 August, with closing-down sales at its nine stores in South Africa, two in Botswana and one in Namibia.
In its flagship store in Johannesburg’s Sandton financial district, piles of naked mannequins lay in heaps next to bare shelves as the last few bargain hunters picked through trays of heavily discounted perfumes, make-up and clothes.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen – if we will still have jobs,” said one employee, who did not want to be named for fear of hurting her chances of staying on. “We only heard that maybe this shop will be one that will not close.”
Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for quotes from it).
For South Africa, it is the end of a piece of retail history.
The first shop was opened in Cape Town in 1858 by Samson Rickard Stuttaford with the vision of creating a Harrods-like department store in what was then Britain’s Cape Colony.
Its main Cape Town store, opened in 1938, was designed by in-house Harrods architect Louis David Blanc and echoed the British store’s famous frontage in London’s exclusive Knightsbridge district.
Through various changes of ownership, it never lost its focus on the middle and upper-class South African market, despite the economy’s failure to recover fully from a deep recession in 2009 sparked by the global financial crisis.
Chief Executive Robert Amoils could not be reached for comment but has defended his approach to the tough conditions.
“I believe the path we set was correct,” he told business website Fin24. “We ran out of time. The market downturn was so swift, so severe.”
John Evans, a lawyer overseeing its closure, said he had received a last-minute approach that could salvage two Johannesburg outlets, in Sandton and Eastgate, which would save the jobs of 300 of the group’s 950 staff.
“There’s a chance we’ll save Sandton and Eastgate. If we do, we should be able to save 300 jobs,” he said.
'FALL FROM GRACE'
Nearly all retailers in Africa’s most sophisticated economy have struggled as consumer sentiment has hit multi-year lows, a result of high unemployment and inflation gnawing at disposable income. The economy is now back in recession.
The slump is piling pressure on President Jacob Zuma, who faces increasing calls to resign due to a slew of corruption scandals and accusations of mishandling the economy.
Macy’s and Nordstrom in the United States have also hit tough times, suggesting Stuttafords’ woes are not unique to South Africa, Sasha Naryshkine of local asset manager Vestact said.
The main squeeze has come from cheaper retailers such as South Africa’s Woolworths, Sweden’s H&M and Spain’s Zara.
“The fall from grace in all these department stores is that people can get the same stuff online and there is a rise of other quality brands at a cheaper price,” Naryshkine said. “In an economic downturn, people are going to shop down.”
Nor is Stuttafords alone.
Footwear and accessories chain Nine West, owned by US buyout firm Sycamore Partners, and Spanish fashion chain Mango, whose local licences are held by House of Busby, have closed stand-alone outlets due to poor sales.
“The brands did not meet the required return on invested capital hurdles,” House of Busby Chief Executive Mark Sardi said.
Edcon’s Edgars, another clothing retailer ubiquitous in South African shopping malls, was taken over by creditors last year and had to restructure debt.
In May, no-frills retailer Mr Price posted its first annual drop in profits in 16 years, while rivals Woolworths and Truworths flagged lower or stalling earnings last week.

Jeff Bezos: Amazon founder overtakes Bill Gates to become world’s richest individual – for less than a day

A rally in e-retail behemoth Amazon’s share price on Thursday propelled founder Jeff Bezos to the top of a list of the world’s richest individuals—for less than a day.
Mr Bezos, who is also chairman and chief executive of the Seattle-based company, was worth almost $91bn (£70bn) after Amazon’s share price rose more than 1 per cent in morning trading in New York.
That put his fortune ahead of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates'. The latter has a net worth of around $90.7bn and has been at the top of Bloomberg’s rich list since 2013.
Advertisement
Scroll to continue with content
But Mr Bezos slipped back into second place later in the day.
Amazon is due to report quarterly earnings later on Thursday.
Amazon’s share price has endured a meteoric rise in recent years, surpassing the $1,000 apiece mark, partially helped by its Prime shopping club, media streaming services and the launch of products like the Alexa home assistant.
Back in April, the company reported that net sales rose 23 per cent to $35.7bn for the first quarter of 2017.
On Thursday, analysts and investors will particularly be monitoring the performance of the company’s cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services, which accounts for about 10 per cent of revenue, as well as how Prime has progressed.
Mr Bezos, who founded the company in 1994, owns around 17 per cent of Amazon’s shares. They’ve gained around 40 per cent in value so far in 2017 helping Mr Bezos’s net worth increase by over $24bn. 

Kiddicare opens first store since Dunelm acquisition at Peterborough One

The retailer has taken an 888 square metre unit at the park.
Steve Barton, Dunelm’s director of property, said: “We’re delighted to be opening our first new Kiddicare store at Peterborough One Retail Park. The family-oriented tenant mix at the retail park is complimentary to a physical store presence for the brand in support of Kiddicare’s powerful on-line offering.”

Targetfollow acquired what was formerly known as Peterborough Garden Park in December 2016 and has now rebranded it as part of an expansion and modernisation programme.
George Craig, associate director at Targetfollow, said: “We’re very pleased that Dunelm has chosen Peterborough One Retail Park for its first new Kiddicare store in the UK. Securing Kiddicare immediately after rebranding the park is the beginning of a number of exciting new tenant initiatives.”
Peterborough One is anchored by a 4,645 square metre Van Hage garden centre and has 16 further retail units including Cotswold, Pavers, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Bonmarché, Pets Corner, Maidenhead Aquatics, Roman, The Works, Granite Transformations and Hammond Furniture.

American Eagle to pull out of UK less than three years after opening first shop


American Eagle Outfitters has around 950 stores in the US and targets 15 to 25-year-olds with affordable, preppy fashion
US fashion retailer American Eagle Outfitters is pulling out of the UK less than three years after opening its first stores on British soil.
Of its three UK shops, the company is said to have closed one – in Bluewater shopping centre in Kent – and ceased trading in the remaining two, which are based in Westfield Shepherds Bush and Westfield Stratford.
According to Retail Week, American Eagle – which is one of the biggest fashion retailers in the US – has struggled to gain a foothold in the competitive UK fashion market since it arrived in November 2014.
<img src="/content/dam/business/2017/07/26/TELEMMGLPICT000135793984-small_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqWZZ9520Qrn8RyVs0byqFfxdYxsWUQUCtgJX18DpO5X4.jpeg" alt="American Eagle Outfitters store front and entrance" width="320" height="199" class="responsive-image–fallback"/>
An American Eagle Outfitters store Credit: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket
At the time, the firm said it was aiming to have between 20 and 30 stores in the UK and would also look to roll-out its Aerie underwear brand.
The Pittsburgh-based company has around 950 stores in the US and targets 15 to 25-year-olds with affordable, preppy fashion.
Other American brands that have more successfully crossed the pond and entered the UK fashion market include Hollister, Urban Outfitters and Forever 21.
Property agency Harper Dennis Hobbs, which has been advising American Eagle in the UK, declined to comment when approached by The Telegraph.
However, an American Eagle Outfitters spokesperson said: “As of July 15, American Eagle Outfitters will be closing our three retail stores in the UK.
"Our valued UK. customers will still be able to shop for American Eagle products online.”
American Eagle Outfitters isn't the only retailer to struggle amid turbulent economic conditions in the UK.
Many of Britain's biggest fashion brands including Next, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have been struggling to keep up with their online-only rivals, due in part to the higher overheads they must pay that chip away at their profits.

Boden to open bricks-and-mortar store

The 1,821 square foot shop will offer Boden adult ranges as well as special collections such as Boden Icons and Mini Boden for children.

Boden founder and creative director Johnnie Boden said: “I’m so excited to be going into retail. This is a new chapter for Boden. At last our customers will be able to see the brand in all its glory. I would like the shop to feel like you’re walking into my home.”
Due to open in October, the store will be part of a line-up that includes Cos, Joseph, Trilogy, Whistles, Monica Vinader and Zara.
Hugh Seaborn, chief executive of Cadogan, said: “The Boden brand has so much personality and is an ideal fit for Duke of York Square – we’re delighted that they have chosen Chelsea for their first physical UK store.”

UAE clothing retailer Sana to shut stores, cut 1,000+ staff

Gulf clothing retailer Sana is shutting down its 35 shops and making more than 1,000 staff redundant, according to reports.
UAE newspaper Gulf News cited a senior executive as saying the company’s stores in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will close by the end of August.
He said senior staff were informed of their dismissal at the company’s headquarters in Dubai’s Al Quoz on June 28 and asked to work one month’s notice.
The decision came just days after the June 22 opening of a new flagship store in Dubai’s BurJuman mall, which has now been closed.
There has been no communication to the employees from the company’s owners, according to the publication, and many are concerned they will not be paid their owed salaries and end of service benefits when they leave.
Sana, which has operated in the UAE since 1987, announced two years ago that it was targeting 100 stores across the region by 2020 through an initial investment of Dhs200m.
The company’s website indicates it has 14 stores in the UAE, one in Qatar, 10 in Oman, two in Bahrain and eight in Saudi Arabia.
It was unclear why the company was closing its operations, although many Gulf retailers have struggled in recent years due to a reduction in consumer spending linked to the lower oil price.
Regional retailers have also been made less competitive for tourists in markets like Dubai due to the strength of the US dollar and are being pressured by increasing online sales.

LVMH’s Louis Vuitton launches e-commerce website in China

French fashion brand Louis Vuitton, part of luxury giant LVMH , said on July 21st it had launched an e-commerce website in China to tap a booming online shopping market.

Louis Vuitton, which opened its first store in Beijing in 1992, said the website offered leather goods, small leather goods, shoes, accessories, watch and jewellery, luggage, and the newly launched Les Parfums Louis Vuitton.
Payments can be made via UnionPay, Alipay and WeChat, the statement said.
The website will be available in 12 cities – Beijing, Shanghai, ChongQing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang, Dalian, Haerbin, Wuhan. More cities will be added later on.

It is the 11th e-commerce market for Vuitton since it launched its first site in France in 2005.

Subway launches Fresh Forward design concept


Restaurant chain Subway is rolling out the Subway Fresh Forward design, transforming the guest experience. The new store concept is a distinctive and welcoming restaurant space that highlights an amplified guest experience surrounding its fresh ingredients. The bright colour palette is inspired by fresh vegetables.

'We’ve created a modern design that gives our guests choices, from how they order to how they pick up their food, to how they enjoy their meal,' says Trevor Haynes, vice president of operations at Subway. 'We’re bringing fresh forward, and the reactions from our guests, our franchisees and their sandwich artists has been incredibly positive.'

Robyn Novak, vice president and creative managing director at FRCH that is behind the new design, says: 'With an outlook on the food’s inherent freshness, we sought to establish a contemporary design that inspired new and recurring customers by elevating what Subway is known for: their customised experience. The restaurant revolves around a bright and energetic footprint by creating greater awareness with a new presentation that brings freshly baked bread forward, highlights fresh-prep ingredients and provides the guest with choice in dining experiences.'

Digital self order kiosks have been installed in select locations, alongside digital menu boards and Apple and Samsung Pay.

The restaurant design features a veggie display with whole tomatoes, green peppers, onions and cucumbers that are sliced daily in the restaurant, plus new bread and cookie displays on the front of the line. Subway Fresh Forward restaurants are also testing new menu items, starting with pico de gallo, new sauces and gluten-free bread.

For those dining in, the bright and playful decor is accompanied by curated music and comfortable seating with USB charging ports and complimentary Wi-Fi creating a welcoming environment for guests.

The new restaurant design is the next phase of Subway’s evolution. The company created Subway Digital in 2016 including a new logo, choice mark and color palette, designed by Turner Duckworth, as well as bright and bold new packaging, uniforms and signage started rolling out this spring in North America and will be worldwide by the end of 2017.

Amazon announces 450 new UK head office jobs


Amazon has confirmed its commitment to maintain a diverse workforce even after Brexit as the online retail giant opened its new UK head office and announced plans to create 450 new research and development jobs.
The internet behemoth is set to move in to all 15 storeys and 600,000sq ft of the Principal Place building in Shoreditch, east London, so it can double the capacity of its research and development centre from 450 to 900 staff.
The roles include software development engineers, user-interface experts, data analysts and graphic designers who will work on building new technologies for Amazon’s Prime Video service.
Principal Place will also house other corporate roles from across the company, and it is part of Amazon’s investment in the UK, whereby the company has pumped more than £6.4 billion in building and running its operations here since 2010.

Amazon has so far pledged to create around 5000 new permanent roles across the country, bringing its total workforce to 24,000 across its head office, three development centres as well as its fulfilment and customer service centres.
Of that total workforce, 5000 roles will be based in London across three offices in Shoreditch, Holborn and Barbican.
“London is one of the world’s truly great cities and home to some of the most talented, creative people on the planet, and we are delighted to provide our teams of innovators with a new, purpose-built workplace,” Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr said.
“While we open a new development centre to house today’s innovators, we also want to help foster the next generation of inventors by funding a million healthy breakfasts to give schoolchildren the fuel to learn, and expand our bursary programme to help more women get university educations for high tech roles.”
Gurr later added that his company employs a large number of EU citizens, and he was happy to see their status is being prioritised in Brexit talks.
“In common with any large organisation here, we have a large number of EU citizens, and we love that, we’ve always celebrated diversity in the workforce,” he said.
“We benefit hugely from a diverse workforce, we’re very optimistic and hopeful that will continue to be the case going forward.”

Tesco to extend same-day online delivery service across UK

Service will cover more than 99% of UK households, says supermarket as fears grow over amazon

Tesco is going head to head with Amazon by extending its same-day online grocery delivery service across the UK.
Britain’s biggest supermarket chain said on Monday that the service, which is only available in London and rest of the south-east, will now be rolled out across the country, covering “over 99% of UK households”.
Tesco claimed this would give it the “biggest reach of any retailer in the UK, stretching from the Shetland Islands in Scotland to Cornwall in south-west England”.
Customers can order by 1pm to have their shopping delivered from 7pm onwards and receive an unlimited number of items, with the rolled-out service priced between £3 and £8.
The retailer has also recently extended its same-day click and collect service to 300 UK locations and last month launched a one-hour delivery service in central London.
Adrian Letts, managing director of Tesco Online, said: “Customers tell us they like getting their shopping delivered quickly and conveniently.”
He said the popularity of the same-day delivery service had grown since being launched in London and the south-east, adding: “We’re really excited to be rolling it out to customers nationwide.”
The move comes after the launch of AmazonFresh, which entered the UK market last year, raising fears that the dominance of the so called big four supermarkets – Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda – could be further eroded.
Amazon, which has also teamed up with Morrisons in the UK, operates its service across London, Surrey and parts of Hampshire.
In the US, Amazon is also acquiring the supermarket chain Whole Foods in a $13.7bn (£10.7bn) deal, its biggest foray into the grocery sector to date. The acquisition is being viewed as a signal of intent by Amazon to wade into the grocery business.
Tesco, along with the other established players, has also been hammered by the emergence of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl, whose entrance onto the grocery scene has sparked a bitter price war that has eroded profit margins.

First Look: Beauty giant Sephora launches new store concept



Sephora continues to experiment with store formats, and this time it's going smaller.
The beauty retailer has opened a new concept, called Sephora Studio, on Newbury Street in Boston, designed to provide a very customized shopping experience, one that drives personal connections with customers. At 2,000 sq. ft., it is the brand's smallest store in North America, and features a variety of digital tools to optimize customer experiences before, during and after their visit. Among them are digital welcome and service menu screens for easy navigation and self-help, and mobile-equipped sales assistants ("beauty advisors") who can quickly assist customers with appointment check in, look up their rewards status, and retrieve Sephora.com ratings and reviews on any product throughout the store.
The Studio promises a high level of service, with all sales assistants having the highest level of certification employees can earn from Sephora. The space includes a "beauty studio" that offers on-demand, one-on-one services, including 45-minute makeovers and 15-minute mini-facials. 
Additionally, it is the first Sephora to offer two new services: a a 75-minute custom makeover that includes either  a skincare consultation or mini facial; and a Studio Concierge, a specially appointed store consultant who, among other things, will match a customer with the appropriate consultant based on beauty need. 
The store also features two omnichannel product delivery options: order in store, and same day pick up, With order In store, sales assistants can place a customer order through Sephora.com, with complimentary standard shipping or reduced next day shipping. 
For those who want products faster, the store will partner with Sephora's location at nearby Prudential Center to offer same day pick up. Starting in October, Boston area consumers can purchase on products their device via the Sephora app and pick it up at the Prudential Center location the same day.
"In today’s retail environment where very little is constant and clients’ expectations are ever-evolving, one thing has remained true for Sephora: There is no better way to create meaningful connections with clients than through personalized experiences and a customized approach to beauty," said Calvin McDonald, president and CEO of Sephora Americas. “The Studio merges the best of an inclusive neighborhood retail environment with best-in-class digital tools that enable our expert beauty advisors to customize recommendations on an individual basis."
The Boston store comes on the heels of the opening of Sephora's largest store in North America on Manhattan’s 34th Street.

More than 63,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Macy’s drop Ivanka Trump’s brand


Ivanka Trump's clothing line is still being sold at Macy's. Macy's
More than 63,000 people have signed a petition urging Macy's to drop Ivanka Trump's clothing line.
The petition, which was set up by women's rights organization UltraViolet, had 30,000 signatures within 24 hours of being posted online last Thursday, the Huffington Post reported.
It was launched during President Trump's "Made in America" week last week, during which the president hosted companies from 50 states across the US to showcase their products that have been made in America. 
The idea, according to the White House, was  to honor " the incredible workers and companies who make 'Made in America' the world standard for quality and craftsmanship." 
Ivanka Trump stepped down from her clothing label in January to take on her role as first daughter and adviser to the president. But she was noticeably absent during "Made in America" week. Three days prior, The Washington Post released an exposé revealing the appalling conditions of factory workers who were manufacturing products for her brand. These workers were barely making enough money to live, The Washington Post reported. 
Macy's already removed Donald Trump merchandise from its stores in 2015, after he referred to Mexican immigrants as "rapists," but has not yet responded to The Washington Post's investigation into Ivanka Trump's clothing line.
"If thousands cause another outcry with this latest news, Macy's will drop Ivanka Trump — dealing a huge blow on her falsely-crafted image as an advocate for women," the petition reads.
Macy's has already faced pressure from its shoppers to drop the line after a #GrabYourWallet campaign was launched in October 2016, urging retailers to drop Trump brands. Several retailers like Nordstrom had already stopped selling Ivanka Trump's clothing line. 
Macy's did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Michael Kors buys Jimmy Choo for $1.35bn


Michael Kors has successfully reached an agreement that will see it acquire luxury footwear maker Jimmy Choo.
The board of directors at both the retailers have approved the deal, which will see Jimmy Choo shareholders receive 230p per share, leading to a total value of $1.35 billion (£1.04 billion).
Jimmy Choo, which trades from an estate of 560 stores worldwide, put itself up for sale in April with its largest shareholder JAB Luxury supporting the move.
In early May it was reported that Coach also expressed interest in the brand, tabling a £1 billion offer after hiring Jimmy Choo’s former boss Joshua Schulman as its new chief executive.
Michael Kors’ chief executive John D. Idol has stated that both chief executive Pierre Denis and creative director Sandra Choi will maintain their current roles at Jimmy Choo.
READ MORE: Coach eyes takeover of Jimmy Choo
“Mr Denis, Ms Choi and the rest of the highly-talented management team have done a tremendous job, and this continuity of leadership will ensure that the DNA of Jimmy Choo is maintained as we work together to continue to grow the brand globally,” Idol said.
Denis added: “It is a privilege for our management team to lead Jimmy Choo and to preside over such an exciting period for our company.
“We are convinced that there is so much more that can be delivered in the years ahead. We look forward to working closely with the leadership and team at Michael Kors Holdings Limited to further develop our iconic brand.
“Our two companies share the same vision of style and trend leadership. Our luxury heritage is the foundation of Jimmy Choo and we will continue to bring our brand vision to consumers globally.”

Abercrombie & Fitch to launch on Alibaba’s Tmall

Tmall has carried the Hollister brand since 2014 and from 26 July will also include a full offering of Abercrombie & Fitch and Abercrombie Kids products.

In a statement, Abercrombie said the fact that 75% of Alibaba’s users are under the age of 35, and around 80% of its gross merchandise value takes place on mobile, the demographics on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces align well with its updated brand target of consumers in their twenties.
Abercrombie currently has ten physical stores in mainland China and a local site at Abercrombie.cn. The brand said it is exploring with Tmall how to provide additional omnichannel capabilities to shoppers.
Fran Horowitz, chief executive of Abercrombie & Fitch, said: "Alibaba Group places a strong emphasis on consumer engagement, which aligns with our focus on creating a unique online brand experience for our customers, as well as facilitating a seamless and frictionless shopping experience. Building on our Hollister brand's successful partnership with the leader in China's online retail space, we are excited to bring our A&F brand experience to the broader Chinese market, beyond the reach of our physical stores through Tmall."

B&M shares jump 4% on reports Asda is considering £4.4bn takeover bid

Ben ChapmanMonday 24 July 2017 10:59 BST
Shares in discount retailer B&M jumped 4 per cent after reports that Asda is reportedly eyeing up a £4.4bn takeover bid. 
Asda is understood to be attempting diversification to combat the threat of cut-price rivals, Lidl and Aldi.
Walmart-owned Asda, Britain’s third-biggest supermarket chain, has seen sales fall over the last three years amid fierce competition in the groceries sector.
FTSE 250-listed B&M could give Asda 500 extra stores through which to sell products such as its George clothing range.
The takeover target counts former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy as its chairman. Asda is in the early stages of assessing a potential bid for B&M, having commissioned external research into the company, the Sunday Times reports.
Asda did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A move for B&M would follow similar deals by larger rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Tesco is in the middle of a £3.7bn takeover attempt of wholesaler Booker, with the deal currently being assessed by the Competition and Markets Authority amid fears that the combined firm could have too much power in the sector.
Sainsbury’s completed its acquisition of Argos owner Home Retail for £1.4bn last September and has begun installing Argos concessions inside its supermarkets.
B&M sells a broad range of products ranging from furniture to home appliances to food. 
Asda, which has positioned itself at the cheaper end of the big four supermarkets, has been hardest hit by the rise of the German discount chains, having reported its 11th straight quarter of declining sales in May.

M&S reports 2.7 percent increase in Q1 sales
Marks and Spencer Group (M&S) said that the revenues increased 2.7 percent or 1.8 percent in constant currency, in the 13 weeks to July 1, 2017 to 2,531.5 million pounds (3,259 million dollars). Revenues in the UK were up 2.6 percent to 2,259.2 million pounds (2,910 million dollars) but like-for-like sales declined 0.5 percent.
Commenting on the results, Steve Rowe, M&S Chief Executive said in a media release: “Trading in the first quarter was in line with our expectations and we are on track with delivery of the plan we announced last year. I am pleased that we continue to grow full price sales in Clothing & Home, with reduced discounting and no clearance sale in the quarter.”
Q1 full-price sales increased 7 percent
The company’s Clothing & Home revenue was down 0.5 percent during the quarter to 852.1 million pounds (1,097 million dollars), while like-for-like sales were down 1.2 percent. The company said, in line with the strategy, full price sales were up 7 percent, as the number of promotions was reduced and there was no clearance sale in the quarter compared with one last year. M&S has commenced its summer sale today, a week later than last year, with terminal stock for the season significantly down.
International revenue increased 3.8 percent but declined 4 percent in constant currency to 272.3 million pounds (350 million dollars). The company’s retained owned and franchise revenue was up 9.4 percent or 1.4percent in constant currency. Consistent with the plans set out in November 2016, M&S closed 28 of 53 stores in the markets it is exiting.

McDonald’s scales back its Irish head-office team

A NUMBER of roles at McDonald’s Ireland corporate headquarters have been cut as part of a global cost-reduction, the Irish Independent has learned.

The ‘Sunday Independent’ reported at the weekend that McDonald’s is scaling back its head-office operations in Ireland, with the business set to be managed from the UK.
The managing director of the Irish business, Adrian Crean, is to leave the business this month and sources have said he will not be replaced.
Other staff at the head office in Clonskeagh, Dublin, were notified of the risk of redundancy in March of this year, according to a source close to the matter.
Through a series of redundancy consultation emails and meetings following the initial announcement, a number of employees were informed that their positions were “being removed from the structure”.
In an email sent on Friday, June 9, staff were told that McDonald’s Ireland MD Adrian Crean would be stepping down from the role on July 31 after a period of “gardening leave”.
The source told the Irish Independent that the original team in the head office of around 40 – “most of whom had worked with McDonalds for 15-30 years” – was being reduced to just six.
The senior staff were told that the changes to the Irish structure were originally put in motion in 2015 by CEO Steve Easterbrook, who had just taken over from Don Thompson.
“He identified a plan to achieve returns (to ensure continued investor support)… and alongside it a reduction in the cost of running the McDonald’s global business.
“A large part of these running costs is made up of salary costs.
“This means that we are identifying a number of roles which will be at risk of redundancy.”
The source said staff were offered alternative vacancies “in the restaurants in Ireland” or ‘outplacements’, meaning jobs based in the UK.
The affected employees are understood to be bound by confidentiality agreements that they are disinclined to break “or they will not receive their redundancy pay”.
McDonald’s opened its first Irish store in Grafton Street in May 1977 and operates in 92 stores nationwide.
McDonald’s Ireland said it was committed to its customers, franchisees and the 5,000 people who work in the restaurants across the country.
“For over a decade, the Irish business has been part of the UK and Ireland business unit and we have recently made some operational changes to reflect that structure,” said a spokesperson.
“In a planned restructuring, operations at the Dublin office are being scaled back.
“We are currently in a consultation process with our employees and are not able to give specific details while the new corporate structure is being finalised.
“However, McDonald’s staff and franchisees are already aware that Adrian Crean will be stepping down as McDonald’s’ Restaurants of Ireland managing director at the end of July.”

H&M to open six more stores in SA

The news follows on the group’s interim results, which showed a 32% rise in sales in rand terms in SA. The rise came at the expense of local retailers such as Mr Price and Edcon.

“We see a lot of potential in SA,” said H&M South African country manager Pär Darj.
Three stores will be opened in Cape Town from September to November. The remaining three will open in Witbank, Richards Bay and Durban during the course of the year.
The Canal Walk store in Cape Town – to be opened on November 18 – will cover more than 4,600m² on two levels.
“We are extremely excited to be opening yet another flagship in the western part of the country,” said Darj.
H&M’s expansion comes at a time when local and international fashion brands are finding it harder to eke out sales gains as consumers come under increased pressure.
International fashion brands Mango and Nine West, which were brought to SA by House of Busby, closed their stand-alone stores in March. British retailer River Island, which has a presence in Rosebank Mall, Sandton City and Mall of Africa in Gauteng, Canal Walk in Cape Town and elsewhere has exited the country in the past month.
Analysts have warned it is going to become even tougher for clothing retailers. Since the beginning of 2017, retailers of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods have experienced sharp declines.
The Statistics SA retail trade sales report for April showed this segment of goods recorded a 4.7% drop after a 5.1% decrease in March.

Store Twenty One goes into liquidation with loss of 900 jobs

West Midlands-based discount fashion retailer to close its 122 stores after battling losses for several years

Store Twenty One, Waterlooville, Hampshire, UK
Struggling fashion chain Store Twenty One is being liquidated with the loss of 900 retail jobs.

The value clothing retailer, which was based in Solihull in the West Midlands, has entered compulsory liquidation and its 122 stores which ceased trading on Friday will not reopen. The company had been in a precarious financial situation since April when HM Revenue & Customs issued a winding-up notice over unpaid tax.
Store Twenty One, which was owned by Indian textiles company Alok Group, had a chequered financial history and had struggled to adapt as low-cost fashion rivals such as Primark expanded across the UK. In recent years its turnover had declined from £95m to £57m, a performance that was accompanied by sustained losses.
“It is very sad that matters have got to the stage where all the stores were closed by management on Friday following a prolonged period of uncertainty leading up to the liquidation,” said Simon Bonney, a partner at Quantuma, the corporate recovery and business advisory firm that is handling the liquidation.
“We are now in the process of conducting an orderly wind-down and would welcome contact from any interested parties who may wish to purchase assets of the company.”
Store Twenty One started in the 1930s as a manufacturing business supplying retailers including Marks & Spencer. It subsequently opened its own branches, selling seconds, but in the 1980s changed tack, rebranding the chain as QS.
In 1990 QS floated on the London Stock Exchange and went on to acquire sister chain Bewise. It was taken private in 2002 and sold again, to Alok, five years later. It rebranded again as Store Twenty One nearly a decade ago after a restructuring that involved the closure of 140 shops.
But it had been fighting for its survival since management failed to secure fresh investment following a company voluntary arrangement – a type of insolvency proceeding – in July 2016, which saw the closure of about 80 shops. After twice flirting with administration in recent months, the court finally issued a winding-up order this week.
“The traditional retail sector continues to face significant challenges, not least with the changes in business rates,” said Bonney. “The company was founded in 1932 and unfortunately it is another example of the difficulties arising in the current economy.”

Converse to open store at London Designer Outlet

Owned by Nike, the brand is famous for its All Star sneakers. The shop will be its first physical store in the UK.

The outlet centre has also announced that Dr Martens has signed a long-term lease for a 1,350 square foot unit following the success of a pop-up trial store. Meanwhile, Vans is taking a 1,800 square foot shop.
Christine Grace, Realm’s leasing director for LDO, said: “Converse and Vans are great additions to the range of top brands LDO offers and we’re proud to be the centre of choice for Converse’s first-ever store in the UK. Furthermore, the move from temp-to-perm by Dr Martens shows the confidence top brands have, not only with this location but also with an urban outlet option as part of their go-to-market mix.”
Quintain owned LDO said overseas tourists are increasingly seeing the outlet centre as an important part of their trip to London. Tax-free sales rose by 36.8% year-on-year in the first five months of the year. Of the visitors from outside of the EU, some 22.6% were from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Other brands at the centre include the likes of Superdry, Jack Wills, H&M, Gap, Lee Wrangler, Kurt Geiger, M&S, Guess and Hamleys.

Apple’s redesigned Fifth Avenue retail store to reopen around November 2018

Earlier this year, Apple began renovations of its Fifth Avenue retail store with the goal of more than doubling its size. Details on the project have been somewhat unclear throughout the project, but a new report today from MacMagazine says that Apple’s flagship retail location will reopen towards the end of 2018…

The report explains that construction is currently slated to come to an end on October 31st, 2018, that’s according to signage posted around the construction site. As with all construction projects, however, there is of course room for error and that date could certainly be pushed back.
With construction on track to end on October 31st, 2018, it’s likely that Apple will reopen its Fifth Avenue location sometime in November. That would mean that the retail store would be open in time for the United States holiday shopping season, one of the busiest times of the year for both Apple and New York City.
Apple commenced renovations on its Fifth Avenue retail store in January of this year. The company is working to more than double the size of the store, from around 32,000-square-feet to 77,000-square-feet. The new retail store will also feature a dedicated Beats 1 broadcasting booth, allowing for hosts to broadcast straight from the retail store.
To make the renovation job easier, Apple has removed the iconic glass cube that normally encompasses the Fifth Avenue location. In the meantime, Apple has opened a temporary replacement location adjacent to the normal Fifth Avenue store. The temporary store is right next door and was formerly occupied by toy retailer FAO Schwarz.
Apple last updated the store in 2011 when it reduced the number of sheets of glass in the cube design from 90 pieces to 15 pieces. With today’s report, we now know that the iconic store should reopen to the public, redesign and all, in late 2018 in time for the holiday shopping season.

Holland & Barrett sold for £1.8bn to Russian billionaire

Holland & Barrett, the UK’s biggest health food retailer, is being bought by a Russian billionaire for £1.8bn.

L1 Retail, a fund controlled by Mikhail Fridman, is buying the chain from US private equity firm Carlyle.
Carlyle acquired Nuneaton-based Holland & Barrett as part of its $3.8bn (£3bn) purchase in 2010 of US firm Nature’s Bounty, now NBTY.
The chain, which has more than 1,300 stores worldwide, is expected to change hands in September.
Holland & Barrett was founded by William Holland and Alfred Barrett in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1870.
They initially sold groceries and clothing, but later split the two into separate businesses. The grocery business was sold to Alfred Button & Sons in the 1920s, but the original name was retained.
The company eventually started focusing on health foods and changed hands several times. It now employs more than 4,000 people.
“Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and wellness retail market, with attractive growth positions in other European and international markets,” said L1 Retail managing partner Stephan DuCharme.
“We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from structural growth in the growing £10bn health and wellness market and has multiple levers for long-term growth and value creation.”

Wishing all our readers and followers a blessed Eid Mubarak

Fashion retailer Max Fashion opens first store in Malaysia

OFFERING high quality fashionable products at great prices, Max Fashion has launched its first store in Malaysia at IOI City Mall, Putrajaya.

Max Fashion is part of the Landmark Group, which is one of the largest retail conglomerates in the Middle East and India with its headquarters in Dubai, UAE.
The store was launched by Landmark Group group director and board manager Ramanathan Hariharan. Also present was artiste Scha Al-Yahya.
“Max Fashion started in Dubai in 2004 and this year marks our 13th year in the fashion and footwear industry.
“We offer our customers trendy and fashionable items but at very reasonable prices,” said Ramanathan, adding that Max currently has a total of 400 stores with 10 million loyal customers.
Offering well-designed products at a bargain, Ramanathan believes there is an immense potential for growth and is looking forward to expanding to other parts of the country, especially in the Klang Valley.
“I believe this is the right time for our brand to enter the Malaysian market and I am very excited to engage with the customers,” he said.
Max Fashion hopes to provide the best shopping experience for their customers.
“We also want our customers to have a memorable shopping experience, so we broadened the scope of products to not only include clothes for men and women, but also trendy footwear and accessories,” he said.
In the next six months, Max Fashion will open several more stores in the country, specifically in the Klang Valley, and is working on an online store within the next year.

Volkswagen to open first UK Store in Birmingham

Volkswagen Bullring Birmingham storeVolkswagen is the latest car brand to embrace the retail-friendly ‘store’ concept in the UK. Its first store will open in Birmingham’s Bullring next month, on Friday 7 July.

The new VW store has been set up by local Volkswagen dealer Johnsons Cars. A development of the dealer’s other retail pop-up sites, the intention is to let casual customers browse and buy cars from somewhere they already spend a lot of time. And the opportunity to attract visitors is enormous: Bullring Birmingham has a footfall of 36 million people a year.
Volkswagen says the design is ‘refreshing’ and feels it’s such a showcase, the new Birmingham store will become the firm’s second ‘landmark retailer’ after the massive Volkswagen West London site. It will be bright, modern and packed with display screens, so customers can configure new cars and check out Das Auto approved used stock.
There will also be a couple of real cars in the shop.
Volkswagen Bullring Birmingham store
It even offers the opportunity for test drives: customers book in the shop then walk over to the test drive handover area, and they’re away.
This bit has got Bullring Birmingham general manager Michaela Moore excited: “Volkswagen joining the centre is a real coup for us. We were excited by the new store concept and, with their additional offering of onsite test drives, we think it will be a real hit with our shoppers.”
For its part, Volkswagen Passenger Cars director Alison Jones says it allows the brand to try out new ways of interacting with customers: “The store is very much a long-term pilot that we will learn much from.”
It even offers clarity on pricing, adds Johnsons Cars operations director Mike Berwick. “We have set a very competitive ‘no haggle’ pricing model. This will remove the stress experienced by some from the typical showroom visit and will allow us to speed up the enquiry and sales process, therefore delivering a better experience for shoppers.”

Tesco supermarket to axe 1,100 UK jobs

Operations will be shifted to its office in Dundee, Scotland, creating 250 jobs, Tesco added in a statement.
Tesco supermarket to axe 1,100 UK jobsLondon- Britain’s biggest retailer, supermarket giant Tesco, said Wednesday it plans to cut 1,100 jobs with the closure of a call centre in the Welsh capital Cardiff.

Operations will be shifted to its office in Dundee, Scotland, creating 250 jobs, Tesco added in a statement.
“The retail sector is facing unprecedented challenges and we must ensure we run our business in a sustainable and cost-effective way, while meeting the changing needs of our customers,” said Matt Davies, chief executive of Tesco’s UK operations.
Tesco last week reported climbing sales during its first quarter by keeping a lid on food prices despite rising UK inflation.