Amazon has opened a new robotics manufacturing warehouse in Westborough, Massachusetts. The facility is designed to expand upon the e-commerce giant’s existing Amazon Robotics manufacturing market in the US.
Pret A Manger is set to trial new self-service coffee stations, dubbed ‘Pret Express’ . The technology and infrastructure for the project will be delivered in partnership with Dutch beverage firm JDE Peet’s.
The government has announced it will phase out the Digital Services Tax (DST) and transition to a new global tax system. On Thursday, the UK struck a deal with the US and other European countries which outlines a DST-credit system that will bridge the gap between the existing tax and the start of the new system, due to be implemented in 2023.
Sales volumes across the UK retail sector fell by 0.2 per cent last month, according to the latest ONS figures. However, despite the fall, volumes were still 4.2 per cent higher than their pre-coronavirus pandemic February 2020 levels.
Alphabet’s drone division, Wing, has partnered with US pharmacy Walgreens to make drone deliveries in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. The operation will initially make deliveries from just one Walgreens outlet to the city of Frisco and the town of Little Elm.
Shopify has announced a new partnership which will enable artists to showcase and sell products directly on their Spotify accounts. Musicians can now introduce products using the music streaming service by connecting their Spotify for Artists accounts with their Shopify online stores.
HM Treasury has today launched its long-awaited consultation on the regulation of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payments. In February, the government announced plans to regulate pay later services after the Woolard Review highlighted the potential risk of “consumer detriment.”
PayPal is exploring a $45 billion acquisition of social media platform Pinterest, according to sources reported by Bloomberg. Pinterest, founded in 2009, has more than 450 million users worldwide and experienced rapid user growth over the pandemic.
Small companies account for roughly 50 per cent of UK business-driven emissions, the same proportion as larger businesses, according to research from the British Business Bank.
Nine major retailers, including Amazon, IKEA, Inditex, and Unilever, have announced they will switch all their ocean freight to vessels powered by zero-carbon fuels by 2020.
Amazon and Starbucks have discussed launching jointly branded coffee shops using the BigTech firm’s checkout-free technology, according to sources reported by Business Insider. The news comes after Tesco announced the launch of its first “just walk out” store yesterday, putting the Big Four supermarket in direct competition with Amazon.
The financial results of Procter & Gamble (P&G), Danone, and Ericsson this week have further highlighted increasing costs and supply chain issues, which will likely mean higher prices for consumers.
The Very Group has reported pre-tax profits of £81.7 million in its full results for the year, up 68.8 per cent on 2020. During the same period the retailer saw overall retail sales up 24.9 per cent to £1.5 billion, while revenue grew 13 per cent to £2.3 billion.
Rapid food delivery firm Gorillas has raised just under $1 billion in its latest funding round. The round was led by Berlin-based delivery firm Delivery Hero, who invested $235 million at a valuation of $2.1 billion.
Tesco has launched its first “just walk out” store, putting the Big Four supermarket in direct competition with Amazon. The supermarket’s “GetGo” store, located in Holborn in central London, enables customers to buy groceries without having to scan items or visit a till.
Asda has launched its Christmas recruitment drive and confirmed the dates for its festive home delivery slots. The supermarket retailer aims to recruit 15,000 temporary employees.
Selfridge’s owners are reportedly in talks about selling the department store chain to the Qatar sovereign wealth fund in a £4 billion deal, according to sources reported by This is Money. This would not be the Middle Eastern state’s first dip into the London department store market; the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) acquired Harrods in 2010 via its sovereign wealth fund.
Profit warnings issued by UK listed companies in consumer-facing sectors, including retail and grocery producers, accounted for 33 per cent of all warnings in the third quarter of the year as rising energy prices, supply bottlenecks and labour shortages spread across the economy. EY-Parthenon’s latest Profit Warnings report reveals that FTSE Retailers have issued 14 profit warnings in the first three quarters of 2021, the lowest pace of warnings since 2014.
47 per cent of UK online shoppers say they would order Christmas presents earlier this year to avoid delays, according to research from parcelLab. The software company warned that the UK’s existing supply chain crisis could be intensified by early demand.
Scam victims in the UK face a hit to their well-being that can be calculated at £9.3 billion every year, new research from Which? has found.
Hospitality businesses outpaced the rest of the UK economy for the first time in more than nine years during September, according to the latest Lloyds Bank UK Recovery Tracker. The data shows that tourism and recreation (62.2) – which includes pubs, hotels, restaurants, leisure facilities and travel agents – was the fastest growing UK sector monitored by the tracker for the first time since January 2012.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) FinTech Klarna has launched a new feature which enables consumers in the UK to pay in full, as well as a number of changes designed to give customers more “clarity and control” over how they pay.
IKEA has warned that it expects the supply chain crisis to continue into 2022, according to sources reported by Reuters. The Swedish furniture giant said it is leasing more ships, buying containers, and re-routing goods between warehouses to mitigate the “perfect storm” impacting global supply chains.
The national roll-out of the new £100 spending limit for contactless card payments begins today. The UK chancellor announced the new limit from £45 this March, in response to wider contactless use among consumers and the pandemic, which saw less use of cash in shops and restaurants, for instance.
Russian tech firm Yandex has entered the UK's super-fast delivery market with a service called “Yango Deli”. The new service aims to deliver a selection of 2,500 goods to customers in London within 15 minutes.
E-commerce technology company Shopify is partnering with a series of enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors to provide direct integrations with the Shopify App Store. Shopify users will now be able to access Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Oracle NetSuite, and Infor without leaving the Shopify app.
Drivers at a Sainsbury's regional distribution centre in Dartford, Kent have won their fight for higher pay after a strike vote in August. The 200 drivers are members of the Unite union and their dispute was with their employer DHL, which is contracted by Sainsbury’s to deliver its goods - in the midst of an ongoing HGV driver shortage on the run up to Christmas.
UK law firm Leigh Day has launched a case against Amazon, alleging the company it is not giving workers employed via third parties the rights they are entitled to. Amazon classified drivers employed via "delivery service partners" as self-employed, meaning they do not get rights such as holiday pay and the minimum wage.
Over a third of the UK population (35 per cent) are actively shopping for more sustainable brands. Strategy consultant OC&C’s latest Retail Proposition Index reveals the behaviour is being driven by Gen X and Millennials who are most likely to swap their current habits for more sustainable ones, which is good for the planet as they are the biggest spenders.
Twitter has introduced new features in preparation for an e-commerce push, according to sources reported by Reuters. The news comes after Twitter announced its goal of doubling its revenue to $7.5 billion by the end of 2023 earlier this year.
Business transformation consultant Tessiant has appointed former Tesco senior executive and Morrisons operations director Stuart Smith as a managing partner.
Smith brings more than 30 years of experience in the grocery and retail sectors, working with Tesco, Coles and Morrisons in senior roles that included managing stores, back-office operations, supply chains and logistics.
Consumer spending grew 13.3 per cent this September when compared to the same month in 2019, but supply chain shortages and inflation have affected consumer confidence, according to Barclaycard data. Spending on essential items recorded its highest growth in over two years - up 14.4 per cent - as fuel prices climbed and supermarket prices went up.
FinTech Mode and e-commerce group THG are rolling out an Open Banking payments and Bitcoin rewards solution. THG, also known as The Hut Group, provides a proprietary technology platform for D2C brands including Lookfantastic, Myprotein and The-Hut.com.
Tesco has partnered with EO Charging to provide the charging infrastructure it will use to rollout a fully electric fleet by 2028. EO said Tesco sites in Lakeside, Oxford, Glasgow, and Enfield are set to receive more than 200 AC fast chargers and five DC rapid chargers for everyday charging requirements and emergency use.
Yodel is looking to recruit 4,300 new staff as it prepares for the festive period, including couriers, parcel sorters and warehouse operatives at its 50 locations across the UK. With more being bought online, Yodel says it has been operating at “peak levels” throughout the year.
There is a “clear disconnect” between shoppers’ and retailers’ expectations of omnichannel shopping experiences, according to research from Klarna. While 75 per cent of retailers think their omnichannel capabilities are “sophisticated”, half of customers say they lack consistency between websites and stores, the research found.
Nick Beighton, who has served as chief executive of ASOS for over six years, has resigned. ASOS also warned that supply chain issues and rising costs could impact its bottom line.
Aldi has beaten rival discounter Lidl for the title of cheapest supermarket in September by just 37p, according to the latest Which? analysis. The consumer organisation compared prices for a basket of 22 products. On average shoppers would have paid £24.03 at Aldi or £24.40 at Lidl.
Swedish retailer IKEA is reportedly planning on moving more of its production to Turkey.
Royal Mail has started its recruitment drive to source around 20,000 seasonal workers to help manage high levels of online Christmas shopping and post. Temporary positions across a variety of shifts will be available, from late October through to early January 2022.
Asda is set to expand its one-hour delivery service to an additional 96 stores across the UK. The news comes after it launched a successful trial in July at its Halifax, Rotherham, Poole, and St Matthews stores, which the Big Four supermarket said, “exceeded expectations”.
John Lewis plans to open a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) driver academy next month to fast-track training in an attempt to reduce the industry’s driver shortage. From November, the academy will train drivers to sit the DVLA LGV and practical safety tests in just 13 weeks.
Budget supermarket Aldi has launched gift cards across all of its UK stores. The cards, which are contactless and plastic-free, are located next to the greeting cards in Aldi’s more than 920 stores.
H&M, Primark, and Zara have been accused of greenwashing after research released on Thursday reveals that polyester clothes made from recycled plastic bottles are damaging to the environment.
Pinterest is set to roll out new e-commerce features that will allow brands to promote their products and ideas. Founded in 2009, Pinterest is an image sharing and social media website which enables the saving and discovery of images, GIFs, and videos.
Multinational payment and transactional services company Worldline is partnering with Livescale to boost the adoption of live shopping and in-video checkout. Live shopping involves retailers, influencers, or celebrities promoting and discussing products and services with shoppers via livestreaming video.
The Edit LDN, an online store for limited edition trainers and high-end streetwear, has opened its first ever UK boutique store in Harrods.
Ocado has announced a partnership with and a £10 million investment in autonomous vehicle start-up Wayve. The news comes after rival Asda also announced a partnership with the firm in September, which will see the supermarket test its autonomous technology on its delivery vehicles in London in early 2022.
Amazon has announced the opening of its first 4-star store outside of the US. Amazon 4-star stocks a curated range of products that have been rated four stars and above, are top sellers, or are trending on Amazon.co.uk.
There is a new kind of post-pandemic shopper demanding help from face-to-face experts and rejecting “robot retailers” when it comes to technology items, according to research from Currys.
Fourteen retail brands are set to take up units at the Battersea Power Station development in South London. Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, The Kooples, Ray-Ban, L’Occitane, Gant, The Body Shop, Lacoste, Aēsop, Mango, Reiss, Le Labo, and Kova will all open stores in the new shopping centre.
UK fashion retailer French Connection has been sold in a £29 million deal. The High Street brand has accepted a 30p per share offer from a consortium of fashion industry entrepreneurs, including the firm’s current second largest shareholder Newcastle businessman Apinder Singh Ghura, who has a 25 per cent stake.
Denim brand G-Star RAW has chosen RFID company Nedap Retail’s iD cloud to deliver supply chain transparency. The retailer wanted full inventory visibility to support its omnichannel strategy.
The Boohoo group has announced that Debenhams has launched as an online marketplace for fashion, beauty, sport and homeware. The e-commerce group bought Debenahams’ online operations for £55m in January after the department store chain went into administration.
Digital supply chain and freight platform, Beacon has raised over $50 million in its Series B round.The round was led by Northstar.vc, with Upper90 also participating as a new investor. The round follows on from $15 million Series A, announced in June 2020, which was led by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and 8VC.
Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrisons have lost £2 billion this year due to ongoing supply chain issues, according to statistics from Nielsen. Out-of-stock levels across all product categories at Big Four supermarkets are twice as high as before the pandemic, according to the statistics shared with The Grocer.
Pets at Home has partnered with Go Instore to launch a new video service that will enable customers to engage with in-store experts online. Through an immersive HD-video technology, customers will now be able to connect with store employees via video calls.
Aldi has announced that it is hiring over 1,500 people to work in its UK stores on a temporary basis over the Christmas. The supermarket is looking for people to support its permanent colleagues by working on the checkouts, replenishing stock, as well as picking and packing orders made through its click and collect service.
Morrisons has been sold to US private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) for $7 billion after a fierce bidding war.The supermarket chain, which is the UK’s fourth largest, was sold to CD&R for 287p a share after a consortium led by Fortress Investment Group, owned by Softbank, put in a bid of 286p a share.
the leading trade association for the retail sector has urged the chancellor to deliver a cut to business rates in his upcoming Autumn budget.
Sainsbury’s has announced that it will create 22,000 seasonal jobs across the UK for the festive period. The move comes as the wider retail industry faces an ongoing labour and driver shortage that has seen warehouses increasing wages by up to 30 per cent to attract new staff.
Some fashion retailers are moving away from manufacturing centres in Asia following supply pressures and hikes in transport costs.
New West End Company, which represents 600 businesses on Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street, and Mayfair, has announced details of a collective planned £5 billion investment into the area.
Sales at H&M this month were higher than September 2020, but the retailer was unable to meet demand due to disruption and delays to supply.
Tesco has announced a deal with InPost that will see the company’s automated parcel machines deployed across up to 500 stores. The supermarket chains expects the roll out to be completed by the end of November.
Google is introducing a new way to search for online shopping items through its Google Lens tool.
Deliveroo is set to enter the rapid grocery delivery space with its ‘Deliveroo Hop’ service, delivered in partnership with Morrisons. The company said the new service will allow customers in Vauxhall and Battersea in Southwest London to receive groceries in under 15 minutes.
Five billion parcels were generated in the United Kingdom last year, up 33 per cent from 3.8 billion 2019. According to the latest Parcel Shipping Index from global tech business Pitney Bowes, in 2020 the UK had the highest parcels per capita at 74, an increase from 56 in the previous year.
Norwegian warehouse robotics firm AutoStore is eyeing an initial public offering, which could potentially be the largest Norwegian IPO in two decades. Autostore plan to raise $315 million in the Oslo listing, at a potential valuation of up to $12 billion based on previous funding rounds.
Amazon has announced the launch of a new robot that helps customers with a range of tasks, including home monitoring and keeping in touch with family.
Cost pressures triggered by ongoing supply chain disruption are filtering into consumer prices, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC.) While September shop prices fell, they demonstrated the slowest rate of decline since January 2020.
Mastercard is launching a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) programme for banks, lenders, FinTechs, and wallets across the UK, US, and Australia. Mastercard Instalments will enable financial services providers to offer BNPL at online and in-store merchants.
Gucci has opened a new online concept store for restored and customised archive pieces. The e-commerce platform, established by creative director Alessandro Michele, will also include designs from emerging designers.
Warehouses are reportedly having to increase their wages by up to 30 per cent to attract new staff as a shortage of workers intensifies an already struggling supply chain.
ASOS is set to create 184 new tech jobs in Northern Ireland over the next three years. The jobs will come as part of a £14 million investment in a new technology hub in Belfast, which Northern Ireland’s Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said will be operational in early 2022.
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has announced that if Labour wins the next election, it will cut and eventually scrap business rates to replace them with a new system “fit for the 21st century” and impose higher taxes on BigTech retailers like Amazon.
Asda is to roll out musicMagpie kiosks across 300 stores next year, which enable customers to recycle unwanted phones for instant cash.
Aldi is set to create 2,000 jobs over the next year as part of a £1.3 billion investment aimed at increasing its share of the UK grocery market. The news comes as the budget supermarket announced revenue growth of 10.2 per cent to a record £13.5 billion in the year to 31st December 2020, up from £12.3 billion in 2019.
Sainsbury’s is relaunching Habitat, the supermarket’s main homeware and furniture brand. The retailer, which bought Habitat along with Argos five years ago for £1.4 billion, had to close its flagship store during the pandemic.
Aldi’s cashierless store in the capital reportedly cost £1.8 million for the budget supermarket to refit. Earlier this week, the retailer announced it was trialling its first checkout-free store in London.
4,000 employees returning to work at Ocado’s headquarters are receiving fresh, personalised lunches cooked by food service robot Semblr. According to Karakuri, the UK-based tech company which develops the robot, the Ocado roll-out is the first ever installation of foodservice robotics in a large, high-volume catering environment.
Uber Eats is adding over 340 Shell forecourt stores across the UK to its platform. In a win for the delivery company, grocery deliveries from Shell stores were previously handled by rival Deliveroo.
Tesco has committed to net-zero emissions across its supply chain and products by 2050. Emissions from Tesco’s products and supply chain make up more than 90 per cent of the retailer’s total emissions footprint.
Sainsbury’s is relaunching its same day delivery and click & collect services across nearly 250 stores this week. The supermarket retailer said that it would continue to roll out the service, adding 100 additional stores by the end of next month.
Tesco will continue its ongoing partnership with enterprise analytics business Teradata. The supermarket retailer, which has over 360,000 employees, has a longstanding contract with the company.
Barclays has announced that Antony Stephen, the current head of Amazon Payments Europe, will become the new chief executive for its partner finance business. Barclays Partner Finance (BPF) works with retailers, offering point-of-sale finance and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) lending.
The billionaire founder and former chief executive of Amazon told the UK prime minister this week that it is the government’s job make sure large businesses pay more tax.
Autonomous vehicle company Aurora is set to begin trialling driverless trucks that use its software to ship goods for US delivery giant FedEx. The vehicles will make an 800km journey between Dallas and Houston, across the Interstate Highway 45 corridor, with the assistance of a safety driver behind the wheel and a co-pilot in the passenger seat.
Europe will be home to four of the 10 fastest-growing countries for mobile payments by 2025, according to a new study.
UK Finance has called for government-coordinated action as it reports a 30 per cent increase in fraud losses during the first half of the year. In total, from January to June, £753.9 million was stolen through fraud.
Debit and credit card transactions made up 81 per cent of pounds spent in 2021, according to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) latest annual Payments Survey.
The UK’s competition watchdog has warned businesses that they have until the beginning of next year to make sure their environmental claims comply with the law.
French e-commerce software start-up Mirakl has raised $555 million at a valuation of $3.5 billion. The firm, founded in 2011, provides software to B2B and B2C companies that helps them start and manage online marketplaces.
B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher is introducing a £300 million share buyback after the company published record figures for the first half of the year. The multinational retailer saw pre-tax profits jump by more than 70 per cent to £667 million, from £398 million during the same period of 2020.
70 per cent of UK consumers prefer shopping online or on their mobile phones, up 43 per cent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.
Big four grocer Asda has announced it will trial autonomous delivery vans as part of its last mile operation. The supermarket retailer is partnering with UK-based autonomous mobility start-up Wayve to deliver the trial in London, which will begin early next year.
Restaurant software provider Toast is aiming for a $18 billion valuation in its upcoming initial public offering (IPO). The Boston, Massachusetts-based company provides a restaurant management and point of sale (POS) platform built on the Android operating system.
Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has announced plans to open a five-floor physical shopping centre in Xi’an. The 42,000 square metre site, which opens on 30 September, will offer 200,000 items from more than 150 domestic and international bands.
Sales at the UK’s 20 largest online-only retailers reached a record £16.4 billion over the last year, with Boohoo and Asos leading the pack. The calculations by City law firm RPC, compiled from Companies House data, found combined sales at these companies rose 22 per cent, up from £13.2 billion the previous year.
Budget supermarket Aldi is trialling its first cashierless store in the capital. Technology being tested by the retailer will enable customers to scan a smartphone app to enter the store, pick up their shopping, and walk out of the store without the need to pay at the till.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to meet with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos about the BigTech giant’s tax record, according to sources reported by the Financial Times. The news comes as Boris Johnson is set to travel to the US to meet with US president Joe Biden.
More Boots customers can get rewarded for recycling their empties in-store, with the Recycle at Boots scheme now available in 700 shops. The scheme encourages customers to bring back empty “hard-to-recycle” products, such as empty toothpaste tubes.
Next is set to manage Gap’s UK and Ireland business as a franchise partner. The news comes after the Gap announced in July it is set to close all its 81 brick-and-mortar stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland and move its operations fully online by the end of September.
Yodel couriers have voted to strike over pay and working conditions, in a move which could impact the supply chains of Marks & Spencer, Aldi, and Argos. A huge majority - 98 per cent – of the workers surveyed, with an 84 per cent turnout, were in favour of the strike according to Yodel.
Co-op has partnered with Amazon to offer grocery deliveries to Prime members. The supermarket said the move is part of a wider initiative to double its online sales by the end of year, from £70 million to £200 million.
Smaller UK e-commerce businesses are taking delivery into their own hands, according to research. Fleet management software firm Vimcar surveyed 100 small- to medium-sized UK online retailers earlier this month, and almost all of them have experienced an increase in online orders since March 2020.
Sports Direct, We Buy Any Car, and Saga and have been fined a total of £495,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office for sending more than 354 million “nuisance messages”.Sports Direct was fined £70,000 for sending 2.5 million emails.
Dark store retail formats are growing in popularity with UK consumers, with their demand continuing even as the pandemic eases, according to research. Order Management System provider OneStock commissioned research among over 2,000 UK shoppers.
Homeware and household goods chain wilko is set to invest £3 million autonomous delivery company StreetDrone. The Oxford-based company was founded in 2017 by Mark Preston and Mike Potts and claims to be the first company to offer subscription-based autonomous driving software.
Deliveroo and Amazon have partnered to offer free deliveries to Prime customers on certain orders. Customers in the UK and Ireland are eligible to use the offer on orders over £25 from restaurants and supermarkets.
Smishing attacks in the UK grew by nearly 700 per cent in six months up to the end of June 2021. Scam text messages pretending to be from legitimate organisations such as banks, delivery companies and phone networks aim to steal consumers’ money and personal information.
Cornish fashion brand Seasalt has launched a new supplier hub. The brand said the new hub is designed to support communication and align Seasalt’s suppliers with its wider sustainability strategy.
Ocado is set to spend £5 million in 2021 on mitigating the impacts of the HGV shortage.The online supermarket has - alongside Tesco, M&S, and Aldi - been offering higher hourly rates and signing bonuses in a bid to attract HGV drivers.
One-in-five consumers have been blocked from paying with cash since lockdown rules were eased, according to research from Which?, sparking concern that people who rely on cash could struggle to spend it.Which? carried out two separate surveys to get the views of more than 3,000 people in total and gauge their experience of trying to pay with cash.
Primark’s year-on-year sales fell 24 per cent over the summer, which the discount retailer attributed to the impact of the “pingdemic”. Primark said it retained its relative share of the clothing market, despite issues such as bad weather, the Euros football tournament, and widespread self-isolation hurting its overall sales.
UK Finance has joined warnings over impersonation scams after cases of fraudulent calls, text and emails more than doubled in the first half of 2021.New figures from the industry body showed that the number of impersonation scam cases hit 33, 115 in the first 6 months of the year, resulting in criminals stealing £129.4 million through this type of fraud alone over this time.
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is set to scale back its French operations, according to sources reported by The Mail on Sunday. The High Street retailer is reportedly expected to close stores and could stop selling food and sandwiches entirely.
Ikea has plans to open a new store in the site formerly occupied by Topshop on Oxford Street. The Swedish furniture giant is to buy the flagship store in a £385 million deal, according to a report by The Telegraph.
UK Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) firm DivideBuy has secured a £300 million investment to accelerate its growth. 500 retailers, including Cloud Nine and Simba Sleep, are already using the company’s technology.
Overseas sellers on Amazon will now need to offer a UK return address or a returnless refund for orders under £20. The change will apply to anyone that fulfils orders made on Amazon UK from an international location and will come into effect from October 5.
PayPal is introducing an additional service fee for international business transactions between the UK and Europe. From 10 November, businesses operating in the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA) will be charged a 1.29 per cent fee for payments issued between the two regions.
British home improvement company Homebase has announced that it will create new jobs for people aged 16-24 in Newcastle-under-Lyme in September. The company is the first home and garden retailer to take part in the government’s Kickstart scheme.
The government is to cut down the HGV driver testing process in a bid to tackle the driver shortage. According to a report from the BBC, it plans to announce the plans as early as today.
Online orders by UK consumers from EU sellers have dropped 14 per cent year-on-year according to research from Sendcloud. The research surveyed around 8000 global consumers, including 1000 UK consumers, and found just 31 per cent of Brits made international purchases in 2021.
JD Sports is reportedly among a small group of parties in talks about a possible investment in online retailer Missguided. A report from Sky News revealed that the sports fashion giant is in discussions with Missguided founder Nitin Passi and the company’s advisers.
Halford’s, the retailer of motoring and cycling products, is to become one of the first large UK employers to offer flexible pay. The company has rolled out a new financial wellbeing initiative across its workforce.
Digital wallets will make up £11 billion worth of online spending by 2026, as new payment methods see surge in popularity post-pandemic, according to new research.
Consumer spending grew across all sectors in August compared to 2019, with the exception of international travel. Overall consumer card spending was up by 15.4 per cent across the period, according to the latest figures from Barclaycard.
The UK arm of e-commerce giant Amazon paid a total of £492 million in taxes last year, as sales jumped by 50 per cent to £20.6 billion. In 2019, total revenues of Amazon’s activities in the UK reached just £13.7 billion.
PayPal is set to buy Japanese Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) provider Paidy in a $2.7 billion deal. The payments giant said the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 and will be primarily made in cash.
Pull & Bear, All Saints, and Vans have been named the least inclusive retailers in the UK when it comes to plus size fashion. According to The Inclusive Index from wethrift, Pull & Bear and All Saints do not stock any plus size options.
Northern retail leader Phil Pinder has said that Amazon should have to pay business rates like physical stores. Phil Pinder, who is currently chair of the York Retail Forum, told YorkMix Radio this will “end the injustice” of smaller retailers paying higher rates than conglomerates.
Payments platform Paysafe has announced the launch of its new e-commerce affiliate marketplace. The company said that global e-commerce merchants can now utilise the affiliate marketing channel to boost customer acquisition and create new revenue-driving relationships.
New Look has announced that former Sainsbury’s chief executive officer (CEO) Mike Coupe is to join the company as non-executive chairman from September. Coupe, who served as CEO of Sainsbury’s for over six years until 2020, will succeed Alistair McGeorge in leading the clothing retailer’s recovery following the pandemic.
More than 8,700 chain stores disappeared from UK retail locations in the first six months of the year, according to new research. A PwC report commissioned by the Local Data Company found that during the same period 3,488 shops opened, resulting in a net decline of 5,251 stores.
Superdry has reportedly sued Asos, claiming the online fashion retailer copied its ‘Osaka’ designs on T-shirts and sweatshirts. Court documents seen by the Mail show that there were five items on Asos’ website that use the word Osaka.
Co-op and The Original Factory Shop have announced plans to open up to 30 concessions inside the retail business’ food stores across the next 15 months.
Collectiv Food, the food supply business, has teamed up with location app what3words to help reduce delayed deliveries and cut down on carbon emissions. The delivery business currently works with Apex, DHL, AnyVan, and soon EcoFleet, who use its app to collect food supply from the company’s warehouses and points of distribution (POD.)
More than half of Brits – 56 per cent – have noticed food shortages in their local shop or supermarket in the past few weeks. The research by YouGov surveyed 3560 UK adults.
Amazon Air is rivalling third-party logistics providers as the company increases the number of daily flights for the delivery of its e-commerce stock across the United States.
UK footfall dropped by 18 per cent in August compared to the same period of 2019, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC.) However, the number of UK shoppers increased by 10 per cent in comparison to July.
Mobile retail sales have grown over 30 per cent since the start of 2021 according to research from Liftoff, App Annie, and Poq. The research was reportedly based on 95 billion ad impressions, 1.1 billion clicks across 14 million installs, and 39 million in-app events between June 2020 and June 2021.
Sports brand Vans has announced the launch of ‘Vans World,’ an interactive shopping experience hosted by online games platform Roblox. Customers can customise shoes and skateboards on the platform, where they can wear and purchase the items digitally.
Nearly all retailers in the UK have implemented some form of personalisation scheme, according to new research commissioned by Klarna and Visualsoft.
The UK’s competition watchdog has found JD Sports’ takeover of Footasylum could lead to a worse deal for shoppers, after a reassessment of the merger. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said blocking the deal, by requiring JD Sports to sell the footwear brand, may “be the only way” to address its concerns.
Amazon has announced plans to recruit thousands of new employees for technology and corporate roles, including 2,500 jobs in the UK.
E-commerce company Wayfair has appointed ex-Amazon executive Dr. Jens Uwe Intat as its new head of Europe. Wayfair, founded in 2002, specialises in furniture and home goods and claims to offer 14 million items from more than 11,000 global suppliers.
Boots UK has announced it will open 30 beauty halls across the UK. The launch is part of the health and beauty retailer’s multi-format store strategy.
Laybuy has announced the launch of its Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) app, which will give UK consumers access to flexible payments across hundreds of brands, including Amazon, eBay, ASOS, and Nike.
Ocado has opened its sixth customer fulfilment centre (CFC) in Purfleet, adding 1500 new jobs to the local area. The robotic warehouse opening coincided with the one-year anniversary of Ocado Retail starting its delivery service for Marks & Spencer.
Ikea’s parent company, Ingka Group, has purchased a $22.5 million stake in Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Jifiti. The Israeli FinTech provides point of sale (POS) financing solutions for banks, lenders, and merchants.
In July, e-commerce prices were up by 3.3 per cent year-on-year, according to new figures from Adobe. However prices were down 0.7 per cent month-on-month. But the multinational software business said that because of greater volatility in prices online versus offline currently, monthly changes are expected to be more dynamic.
Klarna has expanded its Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service to consumers across the US, UK, France, Spain, Italy, and Australia. The Swedish FinTech’s payment option will now be available to all merchants selling internationally via Global-e’s cross-border e-commerce platform.
Sainsbury’s is reportedly in advanced talks to offload its banking division to US-based private equity firm Centerbridge Partners. The move, first reported by Sky News, comes almost a year after the supermarket retailer launched an auction for the banking arm.
Asda owners the Issa brothers are set to open 300 convenience stores according to sources reported by The Sunday Times. The move will see “Asda on the Move” stores built at the brother’s privately held EG Group’s forecourts across the country.
E-commerce giant Amazon has launched a new Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service with Affirm. The flexible payment option will soon be available to Amazon.com customers at checkout.
Gap has acquired Drapr, an e-commerce start-up that enables consumers to create 3D avatars and virtually try on clothing. The technology is designed to help customers find the best size and fit, while helping retailers reduce returns.
Digital fashion start-up DRESSX is launching a new Non-Fungible Token (NFT) store on Crypto.com, the marketplace for trading and collecting NFTs. NFTs are units of data, or virtual assets that are stored on a blockchain ledger.
The new £100 spending limit for contactless card payments will launch on 15 October, UK Finance has announced. The decision to raise the contactless limit from £45 to £100 was made by HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Eight in ten – 83 per cent - of UK department stores have disappeared in the past five years. The data, compiled by commercial property information group CoStar for the BBC, said that the number of major department store branches had fallen from 467 to 79 in the past five years.
Brexit and Covid-19 have caused the most serious supermarket shortages “ever” according to Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells. The executive told The Times that “the shortages are at a worse level than at any time I have seen.”
Retailers from around the world have agreed on a two-year safety pact with garment workers and factory owners in Bangladesh. The move, first reported by Reuters, extends a pre-existing deal that makes retailers liable to take legal action if the factories serving them do not meet labour safety standards.
Lidl is to roll out a traffic light labelling system for sustainability across its 105 Scottish stores. In October, the budget supermarket will apply Eco-Score labelling to over 50 of its own-label products including teas, coffees and hot chocolate.
Klarna has reported record losses in the first half of the year, as the company continues its international expansion. In its interim report for January to June 2021, the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) giant revealed an operating loss of £147 million.
The Very Group has extended its next day delivery cut off for customer orders from 7pm to 10pm.The company said it was able to do so because of automation technology at Skygate, its East Midlands fulfilment centre, which was launched last year.
Vegan fashion revenue is set to reach £799 billion in 2027 according to new research from the Vegan Society. Nine-in-ten - 95 per cent - of the 1,000 UK consumers surveyed would like to see more vegan-verified fashion including “clothes, bags, shoes and accessories on the high-street and online”.
Shopify has expanded its relationship with TikTok to bring shopping tabs and product discovery to the video-sharing social network. The multinational e-commerce platform said that social media shopping has become one of its fastest growing channels.
New research has found that during the year to August UK retail sales grew at the sharpest pace since December 2014.The latest CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey also found that orders growth hit a record high over the same period.
Klarna has doubled its US customer based since June 2020. The retail bank, payments, and buy now, pay later service now has 20 million customers in the country.
Ocado Retail has denied allegations that some of its drivers are being paid less than £5 an hour. At the weekend, the Observer published a report that alleged some Ocado Zoom drivers were being paid well below the minimum wage.
Boots UK and Deliveroo have announced a new delivery partnership launching at 14 pilot stores across the UK. The tie-up marks the health and beauty retailer’s first on-demand delivery partnership.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called on the Government to bring sentences for those who assault shop workers into line with Scotland. The news comes as the Protection of Workers Act, which makes abusing retail workers a standalone offense, comes into play today in Scotland.
Sainsbury’s shares jumped 14 per cent on Monday following reports that US private equity firms are planning to launch high-value bids for the supermarket retailer.
Former Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy is set to become Morrisons next chairman, according to sources reported by The Telegraph. Leahy held the role of chief executive of Tesco, where he had worked since 1979, from 1997 to 2011, and has sat on the board of B&M Retail since 2012.
Almost 50 per cent of transactions will be contactless by the end of next year, according to new research. A study commissioned by VoucherCodes.co.uk and carried out by the Centre for Retail Research, found that the use of contactless transactions will make up 47 per cent of all UK payments between 2021-2022.
Post Office customers can now collect parcels and letters using an app to show their ID. The platform serves as an alternative to using a physical document such a passport or driver's licence as a form of identification.
UK retail sales volumes fell by 2.5 per cent between June and July 2021, according to the latest ONS retail figures. However, more broadly, sales were up by 5.2 per cent in the three months to July compared with the previous three months.
PayPal has announced the launch of a new service that enables UK customers to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency. PayPal customers in the UK will be able to choose from four types of cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Screwfix have topped a poll by Which? rating the customer service of UK retailers. The consumer champion’s list was based on a survey of around 5,000 UK consumers who contacted a customer service team after having issues with their order between March 2020 to March 2021.
Amazon is planning to open department stores in the US according to sources reported by the Wall Street Journal. Amazon’s new outlets will be around 30,000 square foot in size and sell products from well-known third-party brands as well as its own according to the sources.
Facebook said it is ready to launch digital wallet “Novi.” The social network said the product is “ready to come to market” and that it had received regulatory approval in “nearly every” US state.
UK business payments provider WorldFirst has partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. WorldFirst said the partnership would enable UK SMEs to improve their digital presence and international sales.
The John Lewis partnership is partnering with digital wealth manager Nutmeg to launch a range of ISAs as the company seeks to generate more revenue outside of retail. The company said the latest move into financial services, which will offer customers Junior, Stocks and Shares and General Investment ISAs, forms part of the partnership’s plans for 40 per cent of its profits to come from outside retail by 2030.
UK-based sellers are making over £2.5 billion a month selling goods on Amazon, according to a new study. An analysis of UK-based Amazon sellers by online consumer goods company Thrasio has revealed that 13,483 sellers operate in the UK, making almost £2.5 billion a month in sales - equivalent to 5.5 per cent of the entire UK retail (including fuel sales) sector’s turnover in June.
PayPal will no longer charge customers for making late Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payments. The change will take place on October 1 for US, UK, and French customers.
More than three quarters (82 per cent) of retailers have seen an increase in fraud attempts since the pandemic began, according to new research. A survey of 4,000 consumers and 400 retailers across the UK, US, France and germany, for Riskified, a fraud preventions solutions providers found that there is a disconnect between retailers and shoppers when it comes to fraud rates.
JD is set to launch an augmented reality (AR) collaboration with Nike aimed at the TikTok community. Launched in partnership with TikTok’s creative lab, the promotion will enable TikTok users to “try on” three colourways of the new Nike Air VaporMax virtually.
Browzwear, a 3D digital solution provider aimed at the fashion industry, has raised $35 million in a funding round. The start-up said it will use the capital for platform development and market expansion and aims to double the size of its business over the next two years.
Co-op has poached Tesco’s head of insight Nick Meagher to lead insight and research as part of its growing data, digital and loyalty team. Meagher is set to join the retailer in September after a 3 year stint at Tesco as head of customer insight where he worked across the brand’s marketing communications, loyalty proposition and foresight.
More than a third (36 per cent) of retailers say online returns have increased, according to new data.A survey of 4,000 consumers and 360 retailers in the UK, US, France and Spain for contract logistics provider GXO Logistics found that the increase on e-commerce sales have generated returns-related challenges for retailers in the past 12 months.
The proportion of Brits purchasing groceries online dipped to the lowest level seen since October last year according to market researcher Kantar. The number slipped to 20 per cent in the 12 weeks to August 8, sliding 4 per cent over the period as shoppers returned to brick-and-mortar stores.
British luxury fashion brand, Hobbs, has partnered with OneStock, to improve its omnichannel customer experience (CX) with improved click-and-collect services and in-store and virtual appointments. Under the terms of the partnership, Hobbs is extending the omnichannel services as part of efforts to respond to new demands and evolving expectations of post-lockdown shoppers.
The Post Office has signed an agreement with DPD to roll out Click and Collect services across the UK. From next week, DPD will deliver parcels directly to Post Offices providing a convenient location for consumers to collect their purchases.
John Lewis has signed a contract with Clipper Logistics to provide additional e-commerce and store replenishment services from a new distribution centre in Bardon, near Leicester. The logistics and e-commerce fulfilment company said the new contract would create 200 new jobs.
M&S is adding six new third party clothing and footwear brands to its website as part of a drive to attract users to its e-commerce division. The brands include Albaray, Celtic & Co, outdoor clothing brand Craghoppers, FatFace, children’s clothing brand Frugi, and Jones Bootmaker.
More than two-thirds of UK consumers feel left in the dark about the impact of post-Brexit trade deals on key issues such as food, data protection and environmental standards, according to Which? The consumer watchdog surveyed 3,263 UK adults to establish how the public feels about post-Brexit trade negotiations and what consumers want to see prioritised in future trade deals.
Parcel and package delivery scams are the most prevalent type of ‘smishing’ text messages, according to new data.The data provided to UK Finance by cybersecurity company Proofpoint show that over the a 90-day period, the number of scam texts pretending to be from a delivery firm represented more than half of all smishing attempts, with those pretending to be from a bank or other financial institution representing around a third.
Dija, a London-based “super-fast” grocery delivery app, has been sold to US delivery company Gopuff. Dija was founded in December 2020 by a group of ex-Deliveroo executives The start-up said it can deliver groceries in 10 minutes and competes with Getir, Gorillas and Weezy in the super-fast delivery space.
Automated bots are costing online shopping platforms 3.35 per cent of their annual revenue, according to research from a bot detection company. For 35 per cent of respondents in this sector, this equates to $235 million a year.
Screwfix has announced it is launching a rapid delivery service that will deliver orders direct to site within 60 minutes. Following a successful trial, Screwfix Sprint will be rolled out across more than 30 UK cities between now and November.
Adidas is selling Reebok to Authentic Brands Group for up to $2.1 billion, less than the company originally paid for it. The sports fashion brand, which bought Reebok in 2006 for $3.8 billion, intends to share the majority of the cash proceeds to be received upon closing with its shareholders.
More than 100 businesses have joined the Tech Zero Taskforce, an initiative to help technology companies cut their carbon emissions. New members include a number of retail technology companies, including Oddbox, the wonky veg delivery box, and My Wardrobe HQ, a leading fashion rental platform.
Ingka Group, which owns ready-to-assemble retailer Ikea, has opened a new mixed-use retail and living space in China. Ingka Centres, part of the Group, has built a new 130,000 sq m community lifestyle development designed to create a ‘one-stop destination’ for socialising, leisure, entertainment, and food.
Burberry has appointed Gianluca Flore as its new chief commercial officer.
Flore, who is currently Burberry’s senior vice president of retail in the US and its global head of retail excellence, will began the new position on September 1.
Boohoo reportedly has plans to generate 5,000 new jobs as part of a new five-year investment plan. According to Sky News, the company is investing £500 million to match growing demand.
Recipe box provider Gousto has launched a new scheme with DPD to help tackle food waste in the supply chain. Under the new initiative, DPD drivers will facilitate the rerouting of any failed box deliveries to the surplus food redistribution charity, FareShare.
French fashion retailer The Kooples has partnered with digital workplace solution YOOBIC to improve employee engagement, compliance and customer experience. The fashion brand said the YOOBIC platform bas enabled frontline staff to contribute their expertise to inform product design and has led by a 90 per cent increase in in-store compliance.
UK-based online fashion retailer Mr Porter has launched a standalone marketplace called “Super Mart”.The high-end menswear retailer said the new marketplace will sell more than 330 products from 29 brands across ready-to-wear, accessories, and lifestyle including t-shirts, collectables, and streetwear.
The John Lewis Partnership has announced the purchase of a new one million sq ft distribution centre in Milton Keynes. The new warehouse is set to create 500 new jobs.
Online fashion retailer The Very Group has has raised a £575 million bond to refinance its existing debt. The bond, which expires in 2026, was funded by the issuing of senior secured notes.
Trunkrs, the Netherlands-based company specialising in same-day and next-day delivery, has announced it is partnering with e-commerce tech business Metapack. Trunkrs is now live on Metapack’s delivery platform in Holland and Belgium.
Harvey Nichols has teamed up with Reflaunt to launch a new luxury resale service. Reflaunt connects luxury brands with second-hand marketplaces to encourage consumers extend the life of their items through resale.
Joules has partnered with learning and knowledge platform Fuse to build a central employee hub for learning, culture and community. The fashion retailer first engaged Fuse in late 2019 to support a culture of social and collaborative learning underpinned by access to knowledge in the flow of work.
HGV licensed army drivers – around 2000 – have been put on stand-by to step in if the driver shortage continues, according to sources reported by The Sun. The news comes as supermarkets throughout the UK are making efforts to attract new drivers.
Sales increased by 6.4 per cent last month, compared to 3.2 per cent in July 2020. But sales were below the three-month average growth of 14.7 per cent.
Parcel delivery network DPD UK is set to buy same day delivery company CitySprint, subject to regulatory clearance. DPD UK, Europe’s largest parcel delivery network, said that once completed, the deal would enable its customers to access CitySprint’s same day and specialist delivery services in the UK, while CitySprint will be able to offer its customers access to DPD UK’s domestic next day and international expertise.
Asos chairman Adam Crozier is set to resign to join BT, according to reports in the Sunday Times.The paper reported that Crozier, who joined Asos as chairman in 2018 following stints as chief executive of Royal Mail and ITV, will take up the role of chairman of BT.
YOOX NET-A-PORTER group is partnering with Klarna for Buy Now Pay Later services access its international customer base. Under the terms of the tie-up online luxury fashion group, which owns sites including NET-A-PORTER, MR PORTER, YOOX and THE OUTNET, customers will be able to pay using Klarna’s flexible payment options including Pay in 3 and Pay in 4.
Adidas has said it could lose up to €500 million in sales because of pandemic related supply chain disruption. A sharp rise in Covid cases in Southern Vietnam mean two of the sportswear giant’s primary manufacturers have stopped production.
Rimal Patel, online director at Tesco, is set to join Joules as wholesale and partnerships director. Patel will be responsible for “strengthening and driving Joules’ partnerships both in the UK and target international markets” according to Joules.
Summer shoppers are staging a hesitant return to the High Street, with footfall levels down 28 per cent compared with July 2019.According to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium, total UK footfall decreased by 28 per cent between 04 July-31 July 2021 compared to the same period 2 years ago.
M&S has launched a dedicated jobs microsite for software engineers and part of a recruitment drive focussed on the retailer’s digital transformation plans.The M&OS site is designed to simulate a developer’s code input screen, with prospective candidates greeted with the message that M&S is “putting [its] digital transformation in the hands of some seriously inspiring software engineers, trusting their judgement, creativity and ability to surprise us."
Amazon has laid off or reassigned over 100 employees at its Prime Air team, according to sources reported by Wired. The project, launched in 2016, was aimed at testing sub-30 min drone deliveries.
The online retail giant had been testing drones at a site in Cambridge since the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lifted its strict drone flying restrictions in 2016.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Clearpay are launching a range of fashion designs, shopping experiences, and showcases to celebrate London Fashion Week in September.
John Lewis has been “named and shamed” by the government for failing to pay more than 19,000 of its employees the minimum wage. An investigation by Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that 191 companies failed to pay £2.1 million to over 34,000 workers.
Mike Ashley is set to step down as the chief executive of Frasers Group. The role will be taken over by Michael Murray, the 31-year-old fiancé of the billionaire’s daughter.
Lidl is set to launch a new self-scan mobile app dubbed “Lidl Go”. Customers will be able to scan items as they go via the app, before scanning a barcode generated by the app at the checkout.
Ikea UK is partnering with Big Clean Switch to offer £35 worth of free green energy to customers. British homes can access the free energy on top of any other savings by switching to a green energy supplier through the Ikea website.
PepsiCo has announced it is selling Tropicana, Naked, and other select juice brands across North America to PAI Partners for around $3.3 billion. The company will retain a 39 per cent non-controlling interest in a newly formed joint venture.
A four-day working week could boost High Street revenue to the tune of £58 billion, according to new research by Parcelhero. A 3-day weekend would lead consumers to increase spending in local High Street stores and restaurants by up to 20 per cent from £290 billion to £348 billion.
The Hut Group (THG) is acquiring UK-based online beauty retailer Cult Beauty for £275 million. The British e-commerce company said that the buyout would boost sales by £140 million for the full next year and increase group sales growth by 38 to 41 per cent over the same period.
Marks and Spencer (M&S) has said that it is offering new HGV drivers a sign-on bonus. The move comes as the retail industry continues to grapple with a worsening driver shortage.
Retail has one of the lowest gender pay gaps – 9.9 per cent – of any industry according to research by Diversity in Retail (DiR) and PwC. The report said this is partially because of large amount of people employed in junior roles in at retailers – including shop floor and distribution roles - where pay levels are often well balanced between men and women.
A former Amazon employee has said that the company is running out of both warehouse space and employees. The comments as the e-commerce giant announces a lower sales growth forecast for the second half of the year.
Retailers will face less disruption from the so-called ‘pingdemic’ as the government announces changes to the NHS Covid-19 app which will reduce the number of people needing to self-isolate.
The chief executive of Boohoo has been summoned to a US court over allegations the online fashion retailer promoted fake sales. According to a report from City A.M. Mahmud Kamani is set to give evidence later on this month in a four-hour deposition.
Aldi has raised wages for its lorry drivers amid the wider HGV driver shortage crisis, according to sources reported by The Sunday Times. The news comes after efforts from multiple supermarkets in recent weeks to address the driver shortage.
65 per cent of British consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product in-store if they could clearly and easily access information about the item in a digital format, new research has found.
Amazon was hit with a $886 million EU fine earlier this month after the e-commerce giant broke GDPR rules. A report by Reuters said that the company processed data in violation of EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR.)
Pret A Manger could be set to introduce automated coffee dispensers, according to sources reported by The Financial Times. The coffee chain reportedly trademarked the term “Pret Express” with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office under “coffee vending machines and dispensing machines”.
Central England Co-op has signed a partnership with Snappy Shopper to deliver online groceries from 141 local stores in the Midlands and East Anglia. Customers in the region could have groceries delivered to their homes in 30 minutes.
Mothercare has reported a loss of £21.5 million in its latest end of year results. The loss, which was accumulated across the 52 weeks to 27 March 2021, was more than double that of the previous year. During the preceding 12-month period, the retailer experienced a loss of £8.5 million.
Amazon’s core retail business has experienced a 15 per cent sales growth rate, the slowest since 2019. The growth rate was lower than analyst expectations and the company’s shares dropped 7 per cent after its financial results were published.
The number of vacant UK retail stores is up 14.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year. This is an increase on the 14.1 per cent rise in the first quarter and 2.1 per cent higher than during the same period of 2020.
Walmart is following in the footsteps of Amazon and Ocado by announcing that it will sell its own e-commerce and in-store technology to retailers in the US. The company revealed a strategic partnership with Adobe to integrate Walmart’s Marketplace, online and in-store fulfilment and pickup technologies with Adobe Commerce, a commerce solution for merchants and brands.
Buy Now, Pay Later firm Klarna has launched a £3 million SME support package to help businesses recover from the pandemic. The move comes as new research reveals nearly a quarter of SMEs aren’t confident their business will survive the next two years, with 46 per cent of owners stating their main priority is to simply survive the next six months.
Lidl has got rid of more than one billion pieces of plastic from stores across Great Britain as part of a strategy to eliminate plastic waste. The discount retailer has removed over 24 million plastic trays and punnets from its fruit and vegetable ranges and up to 25 million plastic lids from dairy and yoghurt ranges.
Tesco is set to quadruple the size of its ongoing drone delivery trial, according to sources reported by The Grocer. The supermarket first launched the drone delivery service in the town of Oranmore in County Galway, Ireland, in October 2019.
Shop price deflation accelerated to 1.2 per cent year-on-year in July, compared to the previous month’s decline of 0.7 per cent. But this was a slower rate of decline than the 12 and six month average price decreases of 1.6 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC.)
The Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub in Singapore has published a proposed blueprint for enhancing global payments network connectivity. The blueprint, also supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), aims to improve network connectivity via multilateral linkages of countries’ national retail payment systems.
Total retail sales have more than doubled in volume terms since 1989, ONS research has found. This compares with a 17 per cent rise in UK population and a 68 per cent rise in household disposable income per capita.
The total volume of contactless transactions is set to hit $2.5 trillion in 2021, up from $1.7 trillion in 2020, according to new research from analyst house Juniper Research. Card payments will still account for most contactless transactions – 79 per cent - in 2021 according to Juniper.
35 per cent of online shoppers in the UK will only associate with responsible brands, including those that treat staff fairly, source goods ethically, and do not misuse consumer data, according to new research. A study into online shopping behaviour and ethics from Empathy.co, based on a Censuswide survey of more than 4,000 UK digital consumers, found that 47 per cent of shoppers prefer to shop with brands they trust.
Like-for-like sales at French luxury conglomerate LVMH have increased 53 per cent to hit 28.7 billion for the first part of its financial year. The Paris-headquartered company owns brands such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, and Bulgari and is currently Europe’s most valuable company by market capitalisation.
Barclaycard has announed a new cashback programme with Visa, giving shoppers automatic cashback when spending at a range of High Street and e-commerce retailers.
eBay has announced the rollout of a new end-to-end fulfilment service for UK sellers. British businesses operating on the online marketplace will now have access to fulfilment centres in Leicester and Birmingham, where goods can be stored, packed, and delivered.
UK banks have welcomed the extension to implement Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for e-commerce transactions, with 42 per cent planning to use the extra time to improve and enhance the sophistication of their SCA roll out plans.
On Tuesday womenswear brand LK Bennett is launching a new monthly rental subscription service. According to a report from Drapers, consumers will be able to rent two items at once for £79 per month.
Almost 3000 lorry drivers are planning to go on strike next month according to sources reported by The Observer, potentially disrupting the UK retail supply chain. The lorry drivers are reportedly planning a “stay at home” order on August 23, on allegations of poor pay and working conditions.
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is reportedly planning on becoming the first large retailer to launch a nationwide same-day clothing delivery service. The company’s chief executive Steve Rowe announced the plans in an interview with The Times on Monday.
Retail workers – including those at essential outlets such as supermarkets - are not part of the keyworkers who will be exempt from the government’s Covid-19 self-isolation rules. However, 10,000 people employed in the food supply chain, including workers at supermarket depots and at manufacturing plants, will be exempt from the rules according to new government guidance released today.
The owner of Poundland, Pepco, and Dealz is planning to create around 13,000 net new jobs across Europe in the next three years as it opens more stores across the region.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is examining competition and consumer concerns with general online retail marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon. The investigation is part of the watchdog’s wider inquiry into digital platform services in Australia.
Waitrose has announced plans to install up to 800 Shell electric vehicle charging points at over 100 UK supermarkets by 2025. Each site is expected to have six 22kW and two 50kW rapid charging points so customers can charge their vehicles while they shop.
Retail sales volumes increased by 0.5 per cent between May and June 2021 and were up 9.5 per cent compared to pre-coronavirus levels over the same period. According to the latest ONS figures, the largest contribution to the monthly increase in June 2021 came from food stores where sales volumes rose by 4.2 per cent.
Gym King has reportedly received a multi-million-pound investment from JD Sports. JD Sports, as part of the deal, has acquired a minority stake in the brand.
Iceland has said that it will recruit 2000 additional staff to address a staff shortage triggered by employees having to self-isolate after being 'pinged' by the NHS Covid App.
New research has found that up to 17,000 High Street stores could open in the next year. Data from Barclays Corporate Banking shows that consumers have returned to physical stores with confidence since restrictions started to ease, with 68 per cent saying they have felt safe to return to the High Street.
Gen Z are three times more likely to start their online product search on social media than any other group. According to research from supercharged commerce, 18 per cent of Gen Z are likely to begin their e-commerce shopping search on these platforms compared to the 6 per cent average.
E-commerce giant eBay has recorded a 237 per cent increase in small shops setting up on its marketplace in the last year. The company said the new generation of “pandemic startups” was equivalent to a new business registering every 2 minutes as it announced a new support package for small businesses.
Royal Mail parcel volumes decreased 13 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. But versus to pre-pandemic levels, volumes were up 19 per cent.
Next sales in the second quarter were ahead of expectations, resulting in an increase in the retailer’s profit guidance for the full year. The fashion retailer reported full price online sales growth of 44 per cent in the 11 weeks to 17 July.
The government is to hand the competition regulator new powers to tackle subscription traps and fake reviews to protect online consumers.Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the government would change the law to ensure that prepayment schemes like Christmas savings clubs have to safeguard customers’ money.
The use of chatbots in marketing more than doubled during the pandemic, research has found. According to a new report from Hubspot, the findings are part of a wider trend in the use of automation in the industry.
Six of the UK’s leading retailers have called for urgent action to address the future of British and Northern Ireland trade following the end of the grace period in October.
Take-home grocery sales are significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, despite falling by 5.1 per cent over the past three months. According to the latest Kantar retail sales, shoppers spent £3 billion more on groceries than they did during the same period in 2019.
Morrisons has opened a till-free store enabling customers to pick up their groceries and walk out. The supermarket chain is testing the till-free concept at a pilot store for staff outside its head office in Bradford, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Doubling the use of augmented and virtual reality technologies in retail environments could result in $66 billion of additional sales growth, according to a new report from Accenture. A study from the professional services firm estimates that just one per cent of retailers are using augmented and virtual reality technologies to improve consumer experience, but that increasing this to 2 per cent could translate into better returns in the coming years.
Ocado has said that a fire that took place at its Erith customer fulfilment centre on Friday appeared to have been caused by a collision of three robots on its grid system.
M&S has added its voice to warnings from industry, including the UK’s leading business group, that the government’s Covid-19 self-isolation policy could lead to shortages. Steve Rowe, chief executive of Marks & Spencer warned on Sunday that the “pingdemic” of staff being told to isolate by the NHS app could lead to shortages of goods and could force the retailer to reduce its operations.
The communities secretary has called on local authorities to be flexible about late-night deliveries in light of the driver shortage. Robert Jenrick has asked councils to take a more relaxed approach to rules around delivery timings over the next six months.
The government has launched its long-term plan to boost the High Street. The High Street strategy is part of the prime minister’s plan to deliver visible changes to local communities across England by transforming derelict buildings and “cleaning up streets.”
Asos shares have slid 15 per cent on news of reduced sales growth and increased Brexit and supply chain costs, pushing shares to their lowest value in a year. The slide comes despite a worldwide sales rise of 31 per cent to £1.29 billion, and a 60 per cent UK sales rise to £526.4 million.
Facebook’s payment system is to extend to online businesses next month. Facebook Pay is currently used across the company’s apps and services to send money, shop, and donate.
The retail industry is “dangerously underestimating” the role technology will play in building a sustainable operation that can thrive in future pandemics, the climate crisis, and economic and political instability, new research has found.
Kingfisher has said it anticipates first half sales and pre-tax profit to be ahead of previous expectations following strong performance in the quarter to date.
Asos sales grew by more than a quarter in the four months ended 30 June. The online fashion retailer reported total revenue of £1.28 billion across the same period, up from £1.01 billion in the previous year, representing an increase of 27 per cent.
John Lewis Partnership, the owner of John Lewis and Waitrose, is set to cut 1000 in-store management roles. The retailer said the move comes as part of efforts to save £300 million by 2022 by streamlining its store management.
UK homewares retailer Dunelm has announced that total sales across the 13 weeks to 26 June hit £380.1 million. During the three-month period, revenue growth jumped by 43.9 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels and by 101.7 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.
British SMEs selling on Amazon Business made more than £300 million collectively last year.
DIY retailer ManoMano is now valued at $2.6 billion after raising $355 million in a Series F funding round. The Paris-based retailer was launched in 2013 by Philippe de Chanville and Christian Raisson, and provides an online marketplace for DIY, home improvement, and gardening products.
E-commerce sales declined by 14.1 per cent in June, a record low according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index. Last month saw the steepest drop in sales in the history of the Index for the second month running.
UK parcel carrier Yodel has announced the launch of its new consumer-to-consumer service. Customers will be able to ship parcels up to 60x50x50cm and weighing up to 10kg.
Vaayu, a retail carbon tracking company, has raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by CapitalIT, supported by a number of angel investors including Atomico’s Angel Program, Planet Positive LP, Saarbrücker 21, Expedite Ventures, and NP-Hard Ventures.
Maternity focused brand Seraphine was valued at over £150 million in its London initial public offering (IPO). The London-based company was founded in 2002 by French-born designer Cecile Reinaud, and now has physical outlets in more than ten locations worldwide.
The British retail market saw sales increase by 13.1 per cent in June, compared to a decline of 1.3 per cent in 2019. On a like-for-like basis, UK sales jumped 17 per cent in comparison to two years ago, when they had dropped 1.6 per cent from the preceding year.
ASICS has announced the release of a new NFT collection. The sporting goods company said that it would be a “first of its kind footwear release” available via digital action on 15 July.
TikTok is to open its own physical retail space at Westfield London. UK consumers will be able to experience the short-form video platform’s ‘For You’ page in real life in a house format, with different activities taking place there over the summer.
Lidl GB has pledged to become carbon neutral by next year. The budget supermarket aims to reduce CO2 emissions from its own operations (Scope 1 & 2), aligned to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Klarna is set to buy social shopping platform Hero. Founded in 2015, the platform connects retail workers with online shoppers, allowing them to offer reviews and real-time advice via text messages, videos, and online chat rooms.
PayPoint has announced a £6.6 million investment in the Snappy Group home delivery business. The deal will see PayPoint acquire a stake in the Dundee-based firm with PayPoint Group’s chief executive, Nick Wiles, joining the Snappy Group board.
Co-op has launched what it describes as Europe’s most extensive in-store collection and recycling scheme for plastic bags, crisp packets, and food wrapping.
Zara has launched an app feature that enables UK customers to browse items in a specific store to find out which garments are in stock before arriving. The new feature also lets shoppers buy clothes in advance for collection in half an hour, in-store fitting room booking, and location of items they’ve seen online in store.
Sainsbury’s has introduced fully electric refrigerators for its delivery fleet as part of its £1 billion green push. The supermarket claims the electric fridges do not produce carbon emissions, dirt and smoke particles, and that they are noise free.
The government has extended the legal limit for HGV drivers’ hours to address the current driver shortage.
WH Smith has announced that it is opening 18 technology and accessories stores across major UK airports. The retailer, which currently has over 1,700 stores in more than 30 countries, will open stores at London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, London Luton, Birmingham, East Midlands, as well as others.
Nine in ten - 90% - of the world’s top publicly traded online retailers reported double digit revenue growth in 2020. The top retailers – measured by overall revenue - were US-based Amazon, eBay, and Wayfair; China’s Alibaba, JD, and Pinduoduo; Japan’s Rakuten; South Korea’s Coupang, and Germany’s Zalando.
E-commerce giant Amazon accounts for more than a quarter of all UK online spend, according to a new report from Wunderman Thompson Commerce. The research found that a total of 27 per cent of e-commerce spending in Britain takes place via Amazon.
UK consumers want a connected shopping experience, a global survey of 20,000 shoppers has revealed.
Four of the world’s biggest retailers have launched a new climate change initiative. H&M Group, Ikea-owner Ingka Group, Kingfisher, and Walmart have established the Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign.
The John Lewis Partnership, which owns John Lewis and Waitrose, has introduced a flexible working policy for all its head office staff. The news comes after Asda announced last week that staff will be able to work from the “location best suited to their job.”
Tesco is reportedly planning to hit suppliers with extra transport costs due to an ongoing driver shortage.
Two-thirds of the UK’s transportation and logistics leaders say that mobile-first tech will be crucial to deliveries in five-years’ time, according to new research. A report from mobile and IoT management provider SOTI found that as the pace of technological change picks up, 50 per cent of global leaders think that mobile-first technology will increase the speed of the delivery process.
Casino Group is collaborating with Accenture and Google Cloud to accelerate its digital strategy. The French mass-market retailer plans to use a number of new digital solutions at its stores and on its e-commerce sites to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency.
Asda has hired Meghan Farren, chief marketing officer at KFC, as its new chief customer officer. Farren initially started as an innovation director at the fast-food chain in November 2011, where she has also held the role of marketing director.
Ocado has reported group revenue growth of 21.4 per cent to £1.3 billion in the first six months of the year, compared to £1.08 billion in 2020. During the same period, the company’s retail business saw a 19.8 per cent increase to £1.2 billion, up from £1.02 billion in the previous year.
Clearpay, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider, is launching a rewards programme for customers who pay back on time.The Pulse Rewards programme is aimed at acknowledging customers who adopt a responsible approach to spending with benefits for on-time payments.
John Lewis has announced plans to expand its furniture rental service, doubling the range to offer more than 200 lines. The retailer partnered with peer-to-peer rental platform Fat Llama for a trial last year.
Prosecutors in France have begun an investigation into four fashion retailers suspected of hiding “crimes against humanity” in China, according to a report by Reuters.
Morrisons has agreed to a £6.3 billion offer from a group of investors including Fortress Investment Group on Saturday, topping last month’s unsolicited £5.5 billion takeover bid from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) by £1.2 billion. The deal must be ratified by shareholders and could yet be overtaken by a rival bid, but the supermarket group's directors are recommending it is accepted.
100 of the UK’s leading retailers have written to the prime minister to demand new laws against violence in stores.
43 per cent of UK shoppers would pay more for a product or service if they knew it was ethically or sustainably sourced, according to new research. A report from supercharged commerce found that 33 per cent of the 2000 UK shoppers surveyed 33 per cent have already paid more in practice.
Zipline has doubled its valuation to $2.75 billion, following a $250 million funding round. The drone delivery company said the money will be invested in accelerating the development of a new model for instant logistics.
Tesco has announced plans to open an autonomous store following a successful trial. The supermarket retailer has been trialling the frictionless checkout technology, developed by Israeli company Trigo, at its Tesco Express store in Welwyn Garden City, where the company has its headquarters.
Almost a quarter of Brits – 22 per cent - used e-commerce to fight stress and loneliness over the pandemic according to YouGov. The research, commissioned by digital advertising firm Digidip, said there was a clear link between mental wellbeing and e-commerce habits.
Primark has reached record sales of £1.6 billion in the third quarter of the year after all of its stores reopened. Revenue was well ahead of the same period last year, when sales only reached £0.6 billion. During this time lockdowns meant that on average Primark stores had been shut for 12 weeks.
H&M has revealed plans to close 350 stores and open 100 new stores over the next year, resulting in a net decrease of 250 stores worldwide. The fast-fashion retailer said that most of the new openings will be in growth markets while closures will mainly be in established markets.
Amazon has attributed a 19 per cent rise in its carbon emissions to the significant growth of the business in the last year. This week the e-commerce giant published its carbon footprint, reporting the emission of 60.4 million metric tons of CO2, up from 51.17 million in the previous year.
Gap is set to close all its brick-and-mortar stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland and move its operations fully online by the end of September. The closures will take place across its 81 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland gradually from the end of August.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed a new report on retail violence from the Home Affairs Select Committee, which calls on the government to urgently consult on a new criminal offense.
Etsy has announced that it will buy Brazil-based Elo7, a privately held marketplace for handmade items, for $217 million. Elo7 has been ranked as one of the top e-commerce sites in Brazil.
Almost three quarters – 72 per cent - of frontline workers would feel more connected if communications were delivered via their smartphone or tablet, according to research from software-as-a-service vendor YOOBIC. The category of “frontline workers” includes retail employees and any other workers, such as those in hospitality, who must interact directly with customers in person.
Asda has become the first UK supermarket to launch an express one-hour delivery service for its full online range. The service is available at three Asda stores this week following a successful trial. Customers will have access to over 30,000 grocery items for delivery in 60 minutes.
New research has found that UK retailers will lose an estimated £8 billion in profits by 2025, triggered by the dramatic shift to e-commerce seen over the past 18 months.
E-commerce advertising platform CitrusAd has expanded its partnership with Ocado Retail, in a move it says will help suppliers grow their business on the Ocado website. Ocado Retail is a joint venture between Marks & Spencer Group and Ocado Group, which is responsible for Ocado.com and Ocado Zoom.
Screwfix has partnered with delivery courier service Gophr to trial 30-minute product deliveries in Bristol. The service, named Screwfix Sprint, is aimed at tradespeople and DIY consumers in urgent need of goods.
Klarna has partnered with business finance platform Liberis to offer pre-approved revenue-based financing for its global merchant base. Klarna currently provides 250,000 merchants across 17 countries with its Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service for shoppers.
Three quarters - 74 per cent - of merchants are planning to offer instant bank payments, via Open Banking, as part of their long-term strategy according to research carried out by YouGov. The research, commissioned by UK Open Banking FinTech TrueLayer, found almost 63 per cent of shoppers would be comfortable paying by Open Banking, particularly for vehicles, car rentals, flight tickets, and sporting equipment.
Vodafone will become the exclusive mobile network partner for Dixons Carphone, which owns Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse. The exclusive, multi-year deal will see Vodafone mobile plans sold across Dixons Carphone’s 300 stores.
English businesses owe local councils almost £2.5 billion in unpaid business rates, according to research from real estate software provider Altus. The news comes after the business rates holiday in England, which was originally due to finalise at the end of this month, was extended by the government until 30 June on March 3.
Asda cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent last year, according to figures published by the supermarket for the first time.
The chief executive of Nike has defended its business in China following a consumer boycott in the country.
JD Sports has announced it will acquire an 80 per cent share of Spanish e-commerce sports brand Deporvillage for €140 million. Deporvillage is an online only retailer focussing on the sale of specialist sports equipment for cycling, running, and outdoor.
Asos is set to cut 38 jobs at the Topshop, Topman, and Miss Selfridge brands according to sources reported by Drapers. The cuts will impact roles in senior buying, established buying, and design and merchandising.
GOAT Group, a US-based fashion marketplace, has hit a $3.7 billion valuation after raising $195 million in a Series F funding round. The LA-based retailer said it will use the capital to invest in its core sneaker business, as well as its apparel and accessories verticals.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a formal investigation into Amazon and Google over concerns they have not been doing enough to combat fake reviews on their sites.
International sportswear brand Nike has reported revenue growth of 96 per cent to $12.3 billion in the final quarter of 2020. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, revenues were up by 21 per cent.
The 2021 Retail Systems Awards took place yesterday evening, in a ceremony at The Waldorf Hilton in the West End.
Pepco Group, which owns budget retailer Poundland, has reported a 47 per cent increase in profits for the first half of the year. Profits jumped to €112 million, while underlying EBITA surged 16.8 per cent to €324 million.
Over a third of UK shoppers say they are more motivated to buy things based on ethics, new research has found. This number rises to 45 per cent for the demographic of 18-35 year olds and 47 per cent for consumers in Greater London.
Homebase has partnered with Checkout.com to expand its range of digital payment methods. The retailer now offers online customers the option to pay via PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Europe is leading the world in terms of checkout free technology according to analyst house RBR, with 18,000 stores in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) allowing customers to scan items via their mobiles as they shop. The report highlighted the UK, France, and the Netherlands as being particularly far ahead in terms of rolling out mobile self-scanning technology.
Clothing retailer Joules has reported a revenue increase of 4 per cent, beating analyst expectations to hit approximately £199 million for its financial year. Joules attributed the performance to strong e-commerce sales and its £9 million February acquisition of digital-led garden and outdoor furniture retailer Garden Trading.
Superdrug has launched a new digital technology that will connect online users to its in-store staff for support when buying fragrance and make up. The ‘Superdrug Store Insider’ technology is being trialled in four Superdrug stores.
55 per cent of UK adults will interact with brands more through digital and virtual channels than face-to-face post-pandemic, according to new research.
Facebook is expanding its shopping feature to WhatsApp and Marketplace. Last year the technology giant launched Facebook Shops on Facebook and Instagram. The feature enables businesses to set up single online stores on the social media platforms.
The quick commerce channel – which delivers food and groceries to consumers in less than one hour and often sub-30 minutes – is predicted to grow to £3.3 billion in the UK alone. The research, from analyst house IGD, found the market is currently worth £1.4 billion.
Amazon destroys millions of items of unsold stock every year, much of which is new and unused, according to an investigation by ITV News. Undercover footage showed millions of products being destroyed in the e-commerce giant’s Dunfermline warehouse, just one of 24 fulfilment centres operating in the UK.
Almost three-quarters – 73 per cent – of Brits think Amazon should be legally required to recognise and engage with trade unions representing their employees. The research, commissioned by UK-based trade union Unite, also found 68 per cent of Brits believe trade union recognition should be a prerequisite for companies securing public sector contracts.
A shortfall of up to 70,000 HGV drivers in the UK could lead to delays, empty shelves, and higher prices, according to ParcelHero. The home delivery company said that food wholesalers are now demanding that army drivers are put on standby to fill the gap.
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched a live-video service that connects in-store staff to customers shopping online at home. M&S Video Expert enables staff working in beauty and furniture departments to have one-on-one consultations with online shoppers, which will be available on demand via product pages on the retailer’s website.
Retail sales volumes dropped by 1.4 per cent between April and May 2021, according to ONS data. Despite the monthly decline across the period, average sales numbers were still 7.7. per cent higher than in March. They were also 9.1 per cent higher than in February 2020.
Smartphone measurement developer MySize has announced it is developing an AI-driven sizing platform for pre-owned clothing retailers. The new app is designed to help online shoppers find their correct size in second-hand fashion.
Injuries to Amazon workers spike in the build-up to key sales dates like Prime Day, according to research from GMB. An analysis of ambulance call outs to Amazon warehouses reveals an increase before Black Friday, Christmas, and Prime Day, which is today.
Morrisons has rejected a £5.5 billion takeover bid from New York based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). CD&R is no stranger to British retail deals; the group made £1 billion in 2018 from the sale of its stake in discount retailer B&M.
Tesco has reported a sales increase of 1.3 per cent to £12.4 billion in the first quarter of the year across its UK and Ireland market. The supermarket retailer saw total UK sales rise by 0.5 per cent year-on-year to £10 billion and by 9.3 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The number of people buying Father’s Day gifts online is growing, despite restrictions easing in the UK. According to data from Yodel, 18 per cent of those answering a feedback form said that they had bought their dad a gift online over the past week.
Google has opened its first ever physical retail store in New York City. The software giant said that the new space would give customers an “immersive” experience and enable hands-on interaction with the company’s devices and services – including Pixel phones, Nest products, Fitbit wearables, and Pixelbooks.
Online furniture retailer Made.com’s shares fell 8 per cent in early trading after its initial public offering (IPO), giving it a valuation of £775 million. Made.com sold 50 million shares raising £100 million, though the valuation fell short of the £1 billion the company had been targeting.
eBay has plans to sell its South Korean business for around $3.6 billion (4 trillion won), according to Korea Economic Daily. The local newspaper said that the online marketplace is selling eBay Korea to Shinsegae Group’s E-Mart and web portal company Naver.
Amazon’s Prime Day sale is predicted to hit record online spending of more than $11 billion, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index forecast. Last year the technology giant made $10.4 billion on its sale day, which takes place next week.
Halfords has reported a pre-tax profits increase of 72 per cent for its latest financial year. The retailer’s profits skyrocketed to £96.3 million, up from £40.4 million in the previous year.
Carrefour is expanding a partnership with LiveRamp to provide data collaboration, analytics, and innovation through its platform. The platform will give the retail company insights into campaign performance, category management, and shopper analytics.
Unilever is expanding refillable packaging trials across the UK, including in selected Asda and Co-op convenience stores. The trials include testing ‘return on the go’ refill and reuse products, where shoppers can pick up a pre-filled reusable bottle and return in-store once used.
Luxury goods company LVMH has partnered with Google Cloud to develop new cloud-based AI technology that will help personalise customer experiences. The tech will support LVMH’s Maisons, the company’s individual luxury brands, in improving demand forecasting and inventory optimisation.
Ikea France has been fined €1 million by a French court after being found guilty of spying on employees illegally. Ikea employs 10,000 people in France across 36 locations and is the Swedish furniture giant’s third biggest market behind Germany and the United States.
The number of UK retail jobs has increased by 1,000 in the first quarter, compared to the same period in 2020. According to the latest ONS job figures, there were 3.4 million retail jobs in Britain across the first part of the year.
H&M has reported a group net sales increase of 75 per cent in the second quarter of the year. The international clothing retailer said that sales development has been “continuously affected by the pandemic.”
Irish e-commerce software provider Scurri has raised €9 million in its latest funding round. Founded in 2010, Scurri provides solutions which aim to help retailers optimise ordering, shipping, and delivery processes.
Laybuy has launched a new digital Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) card in the UK. Customers will now be able to buy goods and services across six instalments in stores using the digital card, which is accessed on a smartphone.
The total value of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) transactions is set to hit almost a trillion - $995 billion - in 2026, up from $266 billion in 2021. The study, by UK-based analyst house Juniper Research, said this 274 per cent growth will be fuelled by greater consumer demand for credit to spread costs, because of the pandemic’s financial pressures on consumers.
Instagram is introducing a new native affiliate tool that will allow creators and influencers to discover new products available on checkout, share them with their followers, and earn commissions for the purchases they drive.
The John Lewis Partnership is to become the first UK retailer to launch six-months’ equal parenthood paid leave and two weeks paid leave for any employee who experiences the loss of a pregnancy.
Amazon could face an EU privacy fine of more than €350 million over alleged violations of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.
Russian discount grocery chain Mere is set to open 300 stores in the UK over the next eight to ten years, according to sources originally reported by The Grocer.
Mere, which trades as Svetoforin in Russia, claims its prices will be up to 30 per cent lower than other discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl.
A study from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has found that the vast majority of UK fast fashion contains new plastics. The RSA analysed more than 10,000 items of clothing from across some of the UK’s leading fast fashion brands, finding that as much of 88 per cent of recently listed items contain new plastics on some websites.
Netflix has announced that it is launching a new e-shop combining curated products with storytelling. Netflix.shop will drop exclusive and limited editions of ‘high-quality’ apparel and lifestyle products linked to the content platform’s shows and brand.
The H&M Foundation has launched a new virtual fashion collection that showcases designs from 10 sustainable start-ups.
Department store chain Selfridges is reportedly seeking buyers at a valuation of over £4 billion. The decision, which Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse is advising on, follows an unsolicited approach from an unknown potential buyer, according to React News.
Buy Now, Pay Later company Klarna has announced new equity funding of $639 million. The money will be spent on the business’ international expansion and to “further capture global retail growth.”
Card Factory has reported a pre-tax profit loss of £16.4 million in its final year results. The retailer, which made £65.2 million in the previous year, saw profits before tax decline by 122.7 per cent year-on-year.
Home improvement retailer Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, has announced new carbon reduction targets for 2025. The new targets, which are consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, have now been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.
Seven in ten – 70.69 per cent – of retail assistants face the possibility of automation taking their jobs, according to research from electrical goods retailer Electrical Direct. Retail assistants are set to be less impacted than waiting staff or shelf stackers according to the research, who face a 72.81 per cent and a 71.70 per cent risk of being automated, respectively.
Address verification company Swiftcomplete has announced a new partnership with what3words. Swiftcomplete is the first to offer what3words as a standard, built-in feature, which can be switched on anytime an address finder is added to an e-commerce checkout page.
Consumer spending grew by 7.6 per cent last month, as easing of restrictions saw more Brits hit the shops. According to research from Barclaycard, spending at supermarkets saw strong growth across the month of 17.7 per cent.
US fashion retailer Gap plans to close 19 of its UK and Republic of Ireland stores. Gap did not disclose the location of the impacted stores, but the move will take effect on July 31 when the existing leases are set to expire.
Zara-owner Inditex saw sales skyrocket by 50 per cent in the first quarter of the year. The multinational clothing retailer, which also owns Bershka, Pull&Bear, and Stradivarius, as well as a number of other brands, saw sales hit €4.9 billion over the period.
A major outage impacted much of the internet on Tuesday, temporarily knocking high-profile retailers like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay offline. According to ParcelHero, with Amazon making around $950,000 a minute, the hour-long outage could have lost the global retail market up to $1 billion.
Royal Mail has revealed it will offer timed delivery slots next year, competing with market rival Amazon. Customers using the service, first reported by the Mail on Sunday, will need to pay a premium.
Following a year of rising e-commerce sales Lush has announced the relaunch of its website and app. The move comes just a day after the British cosmetics retailer announced it was partnering with ASOS.
eBay UK is launching a new graduate scheme and a ‘Shadow Board’ to help stay ahead of customer trends. eBay UK’s general manager Murray Lambell said that the online marketplace’s new and rising talent will be “vital” to understanding changing market trends.
The Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that the UK Government is set to create a new watchdog that will crack down on the abuse of workers’ rights in retail and other sectors. BEIS said the new body will be responsible for tackling modern slavery, enforcing the minimum wage, and protecting agency workers and will act as a “single, recognisable port of call for workers so they know their rights and can blow the whistle on bad behaviour”.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is lobbying the UK government to extend the scheme which guarantees trade credit insurance. The industry body argued in a letter to business minister Paul Scully that many retailers would be left without coverage when the scheme, originally introduced in May 2020 to blunt the impact of the pandemic on the retail sector, ends.
Carrefour and Tesco have today announced that they will not extend their purchasing alliance beyond a three-year operational framework agreed in 2018.
Euro zone retail sales dropped more than expected in April, according to research from Reuters. The numbers were dragged down by a decline in sales of non-food products.
Klarna has launched a shopping app which enables consumers to access Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) at any online retailer, regardless whether the brand is partnered with the payments company or not.
Istanbul-based grocery delivery app Getir has raised $550 million in a Series D funding round, giving it a total valuation of $7.5 billion. The start-up, founded in 2015, offers consumers “ultra-fast” deliveries in under 15 minutes.
European e-commerce is risking a €12 billion loss due to excessive transaction friction, according to a new report. The research from Riskified looks at how PSD2 impacts fraudulent activity and fraud prevention.
British consumers remain cautious about the return to normality for stores and venues, according to new research. A study by Paysafe collected responses from 1,000 UK consumers on their expected payments and lifestyle habits post Covid-19.
UK retail footfall improved last month, but was still much lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC.) Research from the trade association found that total footfall in the UK decreased by 27.7 per cent in May compared to 2019, representing a 12.3 per cent improvement on the previous month.
Poundland will now allow over 1.8 million consumers to order more than 2500 of its products online. The shoppers from Birmingham, Derby, Dudley, Stoke on Trent, Walsall and Wolverhampton will be able to buy food and drink, entertainment, DIY, and health and beauty items.
Instagram has chosen Genesys to provide API support for its messenger feature. The cloud customer experience company said that businesses will now be able to interact with consumers via private Instagram messaging, to deliver personalised experiences, answer product questions, and address concerns.
JD Sports has announced that it is selling Sports Unlimited Retail for £14 million (€16.5 million.) Sports Unlimited Retail, a wholly owned company based in the Netherlands, will be sold to Iberian Sports Retail Group (ISRG), its 50.02 per cent subsidiary based in Spain.
Discount retailer B&M has reported a 108 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits, beating analyst expectations to hit £525 million for the financial year. The FSTE 100 listed retailer's revenues also jumped 26 per cent to £4.8 billion, with March being the strongest month in the retailer’s history.
Online marketplace Etsy has announced plans to acquire London-based Depop for $1.62 billion. Founded in 2011, Depop is a British peer-to-peer fashion marketplace. The company reported gross merchandise sales of $650 million and $70 million revenue in 2020.
Almost 8 out of 10 merchants have seen an increase in ‘friendly fraud’ over the past three years. Chargeback fraud, also known as ‘friendly fraud,’ is when a customer makes an e-commerce purchase with their credit card and then asks for a chargeback from the issuing bank following receiving the product.
Shop prices fell by 0.6 per cent last month, a slower decline than April’s decrease of 1.3 per cent. According to research from the British Retail Consortium, this is below the 12 and six month average price declines of 1.7 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively. This represents the slowest rate of decline since February 2020.
A petition from retail trade union Usdaw, which calls for stricter rules to protect shopworkers from violence and abuse, is set to be debated in parliament on June 7. Since it was originally launched in August 2020, the petition has been signed by over 100,000 people and is also backed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Co-op Food, and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).
Kingfisher, which owns home improvement brands B&Q and Screwfix, has entered a £550 million three-year credit facility agreement linked to its sustainability and community-based targets.
Footfall across UK retail destinations grew by 6.7 per cent last week compared to the previous week. But it was the average uplift in activity from Thursday to Saturday of 15.2 per cent that drove the increase for the week compared with an average rise in footfall of just 0.8 per cent between Sunday and Wednesday, according to new research from Springboard.
Klarna has launched a new guide for influencers and brands to advertise online responsibly. The company’s Influencer Council, launched in March, was established to provide greater clarity on influencer marketing guidelines following research which revealed that only 27 per cent of UK consumers understood the use of advertising hashtags on influencers’ posts.
Sellpy, a second-hand clothes retailer majority owned by H&M, is set to expand to more than 20 EU countries. The start-up, founded in 2014, collects clothes from sellers’ homes, handling the process of selling and photographing the goods themselves.
Two thirds of UK retailers could face legal action in July when the moratorium on debt collection from commercial landlords ends, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC.)
Retailers in Northern Ireland are set to be paid £72.3 million in subsidies to support their economic recovery from Covid-19. Businesses in the region who were permitted to open during lockdown, but who suffered lost revenue because of decreased footfall, will be elegible.
Waitrose has announced plans to roll out a new trial that give customers the opportunity to return hard to recycle flexible plastics at their local store. The scheme goes live this week across 37 branches serviced by the supermarket’s Leyland distribution centre in the North of England.
Jeff Bezos has announced that he is formally stepping down from the role of chief executive at Amazon on 7 July. "We chose that date because it's sentimental for me, the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago."
90 per cent of shoppers think that supermarkets can help them make more sustainable decisions, according to new research. The study from tcc surveyed 2,000 consumers across Germany, France, Russia, China, and Italy.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Klarna doubled its gross merchandise volume (GMV) – the overall value of all the transactions on its platform - to $18.9 billion between January and March. The news comes as the Swedish FinTech is close to securing a new round of funding from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank that will give it a valuation of $40 billion, according to sources close to the matter.
Pets at Home saw retail revenue surge by 8.7 per cent to £1 billion last year. The company, deemed an essential retailer, saw total group revenue jump 7.9 per cent to £1.14 billion.
Klarna has announced plans to open a new technology hub in Madrid, creating 500 new jobs in the city.The global payments and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company has over 4,000 employees across the world, 1,500 of those focused on engineering.
Ikea has launched Finance Services, a new interest free financing option for purchases between £99 and £15,000. The new Buy Now, Pay Later service will be available across all Ikea home categories.
Tesco is set to launch “Whoosh”, a rapid delivery service it says will allow consumers to receive goods in less than one hour.The scheme will first be trailed at Wolverhampton’s Willenhall Tesco Express store before the supermarket chain evaluates its potential for a wider rollout.
Sensei has opened its first autonomous store for the largest food retailer in Portugal. The move comes after the company announced a $6.5 million seed funding round last month.
E-commerce fraud prevention company Forter has raised $300 million in Series F funding, valuing the company at $3 billion. The announcement comes six-months after the business completed a $125 million Series E round.
84 per cent of online shoppers would turn their back on a retailer after a bad returns experience, according to new research from Klarna. A further 83 per cent of consumers that shop online and return items get frustrated by companies that have an inefficient returns process, while 82 per cent agree that retailers need to improve their returns capabilities.
Marks & Spencer has reported a full-year loss of £201.2 million in the 52 weeks to 27 March. The multinational retailer saw pre-tax profits drop from £403 million to just £41.6 million last year.
There were 455 incidents of violence or abuse towards retail staff each day during the 2019/20 financial year, a 7 per cent increase from 2018/19, according to statistics from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). This figure includes 114 incidents of violence each day, which means that over a 9-hour shopping day there would be one incident of abuse every minute, and an incident of violence every five minutes.
Immensus Holdings, the Netherland’s largest pizza franchise, now offers employees the option of receiving their salaries in Bitcoin. The franchise has over 1,000 internal and external employees who are legible for the scheme.
Shopping on Tik Tok has surged by 553 per cent over the past 12 months, according to new research. The growth was nearly three times higher than on Instagram, which saw shopping increase by 189 per cent.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) urged the government to encourage the take up of green technologies and reduce emissions from goods vehicles.
More than one in three UK businesses (37 per cent) have lost revenue from cross-border card payments post-Brexit, according to new research. The analysis by payment service provider ECOMMPAY based on surveys of 1,002 UK consumers and 500 business leaders in the UK, in collaboration with Censuswide found that average revenue lost from cross-border card payments post-Brexit is £66,812.
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider Openpay is partnering with e-commerce platform Aero Commerce.The Aero platform provides merchants with tailored e-commerce solutions.
British shoppers spent an additional £3.8 billion at supermarkets over the past three months compared with the same period last year. Overall sales dropped by 0.4 per cent during the 12 weeks to 16 May 2021 compared to last year, but this is in comparison to exceptionally high sales during the first three months of the pandemic.
Online furniture retailer Made.com intends to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at an expected valuation of £1 billion. The retailer was launched in 2010 by Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman and social network Bebo co-founder Michael Birch and currently sells its goods in eight countries.
The majority of UK and US consumers say that they would be more receptive to a brand’s messaging if they knew their values. Research from Iterable found that 88 per cent of respondents would be more likely to consider a retailer if they are aware of its belief system.
British supermarkets are starting to abandon 24/7 opening and are instead utilising the downtime to pick for online orders. At a recent Financial Times forum, Tesco’s former chief executive Sir David Lewis said that larger hypermarkets don’t sell much during the night and so closing stores at midnight had little financial impact.
It has been revealed that Inditex, which owns Zara, Bershka and Pull & Bear, plans to shut all of its stores in Venezuela. A deal between the retailer and local partner Phoenix World Trade, which took over operation of the Venezuelan stores in 2007, has come under review – according to a report by Reuters.
Snapchat has branched out into the retail market with its new Augmented Reality (AR) try-on experiences for fashion brands. The messaging platform also revealed that users will be able to place orders directly from its app.