Newspaper retail round up

Catch up with what the national newspapers had to say about retail in the past few days: Principles, own label, Wal-Mart, Sainsbury’s, Paypoint, Tesco, Allied Carpets.

Ex-Principles chief executive Peter Davies is reuniting the fallen fashion chain’s management team in a new fashion venture called Mint Velvet. Lisa Agar-Rea will be buying director and Jane Rawlings will be the chain’s design director. Both were at Principles when it fell into administration earlier this year. They will be joined by New Look head of merchandising Stuart Grant, who also previously worked under Davies, as commercial director at the end of September. The chain will launch concessions in 13 House of Fraser department stores this autumn, with standalone stores planned in December. Davies was chief executive of Principles when it was owned by Rubicon Retail before being sold to the Mosaic Group in 1995.

Own label goods are gaining market share from their branded counterparts.

Figures by Datamonitor show that 41 per cent of all grocery sales at the end of July were own-label items. Own labels are 22% cheaper than branded goods on average. The pet food category remains resistant to the inroads of private label.

Retail sales in London continue to outperform the rest of the UK. Like-for-like sales rose 2.2% in July according to BRC, against 1.8% national average. However, the rise is the second lowest increase since January, when sales soared 6.5%

From The Times

U.S. supermarket giant Wal-Mart is said to be reducing the number of product lines it stocks by 15% as part of an efficiency drive called ‘Project Impact’. The strategy is to focus more on best-selling lines and remove those that don’t sell as well.

From The Guardian

Retailers have seen an increase in crime since the onset of the recession, with 90% pf retailers reporting a rise last year according to the BRC. Crime is costing the retail sector up to £2bn in security measures including installing CCTV, replacing stolen items, and vandalism. The type of retail crime is also changing, as more mundane objects are stolen, not just high-end goods.

From The Independent

Christmas has hit the shops already with Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason and Harrods already putting seasonal products on sale. Retailers are bringing out Christmas lines earlier this year, in the hope of capitalising on strong seasonal sales and tapping into tourism. The tactic will also help consumers spread the cost of Christmas. In the U.S. Sears department store and Toys R Us started selling Christmas items last month. Debenhams is set to bring out Christmas lines next month.

From The Independent on Sunday:

Sainsbury’s is being sued by the world’s biggest drinks manufacturer, Diageo for copyright infringement of Diageo’s Pimms drink. Sainsbury’s mixer drink Pitcher launched this summer.

From The Sunday Telegraph:

Retail sales have been lifted by Britons holidaying at home this year as some of the spend that previously went on going abroad is now being spent in UK retailers. Halfords has seen a rise in camping and caravanning equipment sales offsetting falling sales of products such as car stereos. Sales of camping equipment at Asda have jumped 200% this summer.

Analyst Jonathan Pritchard at Oriel Securities estimates the cost of Tesco’s Double Points at around £400m and says it is designed to prop up short term trading as rivals are outmanoeuvring the grocery giant. Tesco marketing director Carolyn Bradley refutes the claims.

Allied Carpets is to close 142 stores at a cost of 850 jobs. The chain fell into administration last month. A pre-pack administration saw 51 stores immediately sold to a new company set up in partnership with the chain’s management. A buyer has not been found for remaining stores, but it is expected that further stores will transfer over to the new owner.

Better deals in mobile phone top-ups have been damaging to the payment service PayPoint, as customers top up less often, resulting in fewer transactions at its pay stations. PayPoint has 22,000 terminals in high street shops, which can be used to buy top up and pay utilities bills.

From The Financial Times:

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