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Retail Economics provides updates on major UK retailers
and their trading status in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
We conduct extensive research and analysis on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK retail and
leisure industry. Our service consists of frequent, timely analysis and updates in a variety of formats
so you can absorb the information quickly in a way that best suits you.
1. Impact assessment reports for UK retail and leisure
These reports provide an in-depth analysis of the COVID-19 impact on the UK retail and leisure industry
including consumer panel surveys, economics analysis, forecasts and other insights.
2. COVID-19 Quick Responses
Get the latest updates from retailers and the wider industry on the impact of COVID-19 as an when it
happens - delivered directly to your inbox.
3. Consumer panel research
For the critical duration, we conduct fortnightly surveys using a panel of over 2,000 households to
measure: 1) Behavioural shifts 2) Confidence 3) Sentiment These extensive surveys have proved to be a
very accurate indicator of future trading vulnerabilities for the industry.
4. Weekly newsletter
Every week we produce a summary of all the ‘need-to-know facts and stats’ related to the impact of coronavirus on the retail and leisure industry broken down by sector (e.g. clothing & footwear, food, home and more) and by channel.
5. Economic chartbook
Produced monthly, a summary of all the critical macroeconomic data and trends in an easily digestible chartbook format. Ideal for identifying trends.
Retail Economics provides a selection of trading updates and additional information for various major UK retailers to assist the UK retail and leisure industry (and retail-related businesses) in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Aldi trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 16/08/22
· For a second time this year, Aldi is increasing pay for warehouse workers. Hourly paid staff in its distribution centres will receive at least £12.66 per hour from September, marking a 9% increase on the wages they were receiving at the start of the year. Night shift premiums will also increase from 20% to 25% of the normal hourly rate for logistics staff. The move benefits 4,200 workers.
· 25/07/22: Aldi has increased pay for shopfloor staff for the second time this year to become the UK’s highest paying supermarket chain. From September, store staff will receive a 40p per hour increase in their pay to a minimum of £10.50 per hour across the UK, or £11.95 within the M25.
· 18/01/22: Aldi opened its first ever checkout-free store in London’s Greenwich. Shoppers enter the store using Aldi’s Shop&Go app, with cameras tracking what customers basket, and are automatically billed for the items they take when they leave.
· 31/12/21: Aldi has announced plans to recruit over 100 additional British suppliers in 2022, creating 200 new jobs in the year. The discounter has committed to increase its spending with British suppliers by £3.5bn a year by the end of 2025.
· 03/11/21: Aldi has revealed plans to open 15 new stores across the UK by the end of this year. The openings are part of Aldi’s strategy to invest over £1.3bn by 2023, with plans to open 100 new UK stores over the next two years.
· 30/04/21: Aldi is exploring a cashierless store format having trademarked ‘Shop & Go’ with the Intellectual Property Office. It is speculated that Aldi is exploring a format in the same vein as Amazon Fresh.
· 20/11/20: Aldi expanded its grocery home delivery trial with Deliveroo to nearly 130 stores as the discounter strengthens its online capacity ahead of Christmas.
· 10/11/20: Aldi has announced it will extend its click-and-collect trial to 200 additional stores before Christmas as it prepares to expand online.
· 28/09/20: Aldi has committed to invest £1.3bn into upgrading stores and distribution centres over the next two years. The grocer is expected to open 100 new UK stores in 2020 and 2021, creating 4,000 new jobs next year following the 3,000 permanent roles created this year.
· 23/09/20: Following a pilot among staff at one of its stores in the Midlands, Aldi is trialling the click-and-collect service among customers at a cost of £3.99, with its full range of products available online, at the same prices as in-store.
· 14/09/20: Aldi is trialling click-and-collect among staff at one of its stores in the Midlands, where online orders are brought to cars in time slots and contact-free. It plans to test the service out for customers in the “coming weeks”.
· 30/07/20: Aldi is set to create more than 1,200 new jobs by Christmas as it aims to open one store per week on average this year.
· 12/06/20: Aldi extended its trial with Deliveroo into London, less than a month after its pilot in the Midlands, as it aims to offer the service across the UK by the end of the year. Shoppers can order from a range of 200 products through the delivery provider’s app for home delivery in as little as 30 minutes.
· 18/05/20: Aldi has partnered with Deliveroo to pilot a grocery home delivery service, offering 150 products including bread, milk, fruit and vegetables, which will be picked by the grocer’s staff in stores.
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All Saints trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 07/07/20
· All Saints gained creditor backing for its CVA, with the majority of its store estate moving to turnover-based rents and a small number of closures.
· 18/06/20: All Saints launches a CVA as it looks to move the majority of its stores to turnover-based rent.
Amazon trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 10/08/22
· Amazon warehouse staff continue to strike at several sites across the country over an ongoing dispute over pay. Workers are unhappy with the current offer of a 35p raise in hourly pay which falls short of their £2 demand.
· 15/07/22: Amazon is set to create a further 4,000 jobs in the UK with plans for two new fulfilment centres by the end of the year. This move comes despite a fall in demand and revenue.
· 04/07/22: Amazon is s rolling out a fleet of e-cargo bikes and on-foot delivery staff to replace van deliveries in London, which will make over a million deliveries per year across around a tenth of London’s ultra-low emission zones.
· 09/05/22: Amazon Fresh is set to open the first UK store outside of London in Sevenoaks, Kent, as it focuses on expanding the retail concept.
· 03/03/22: Amazon has announced the closure of its 68 physical bookshops and 4-star stores across the US and UK to focus on its grocery and department store concepts.
· 02/02/22: Amazon UK has announced that it is recruiting for the 1.500 new role. The role will be spread across more than 40 areas at Amazon including engineering, health and Safety.
· 02/09/21: Amazon intends to recruit 55,000 people worldwide. Around 40,000 jobs will be in the US, with 2,500 in the UK and the remainder in India, Germany and Japan.
· 25/08/21: Amazon has begun advertising warehouse jobs with a £1,000 joining bonus to lure new workers.
· 14/05/21: Amazon is set to increase its UK workforce with 10,000 workers this year as it opens four new warehouses across England. This would bring its UK workforce to more than 55,000 by the end of the year.
· 20/04/21: Amazon is set to open its first-ever Amazon Salon in east London in the coming weeks. As well as offering hair services and products, it will offer customers the chance to experiment with different hair colours and styles using an augmented reality colour bar, and feature ‘point-and-learn technology’ allowing shoppers to point at products on a display shelf to see more information and purchase on Amazon’s website.
· 01/03/21: Amazon opened a contactless grocery store in London, marking its first ‘just walk out’ shop outside of the US. The 2,500 sq ft Amazon store uses its Just Walk Out technology to allow shoppers to pick items and leave the store without having to scan or queue for payment. In-store cameras and sensors track what shoppers take from the shelves and they are then charged via Amazon’s mobile app when they leave.
· 19/02/21: Amazon workers who took jobs in the etailer’s warehouses during the Christmas period have claimed they were put on zero-hour deal – which goes against Amazon’s policy to not use such contracts.
· 03/09/20: Amazon are set to increase their UK workforce by a third, meeting its target of hiring an additional 10,000 UK fulfilment roles by the end of the year, with almost a third of the positions already been filled.
· 19/08/20: Amazon provided Morrisons a platform to sell their groceries on its website.
· 31/07/20: In the quarter, Amazon ramped up its grocery delivery capacity 160% and tripled its number of grocery pick up locations.
· 28/07/20: Amazon has launched free two-hour window grocery deliveries for its Prime members, on all Amazon Fresh orders over £40.
· 11/05/20: Morrisons are using partnerships with Amazon to offer new online services. Morrisons said 40 of its stores are fulfilling same-day deliveries through Prime Now.
· 05/05/20: Amazon executive Tim Bray made headlines for leaving his role in protest of the retailer’s treatment of staff who protested against a lack of coronavirus safety measures in its warehouses.
· 01/05/20: In its first quarter trading update, Amazon warned that earnings in its second quarter will be wiped out by costs related to coronavirus, including personal protective equipment, cleaning of warehouses, higher wages, social distancing processes and its own development of coronavirus testing facilities.
· 21/04/20:By the end of the year, Amazon is planning to launch a rapid grocery delivery service called Ultra Fast Fresh, covering some 40% of UK households.
· 09/04/20: In mid-March, Amazon announced it is to hire 100,000 new workers globally to meet coronavirus-induced demand. It unveiled that pay for staff in the UK, USA and Europe would increase by £2, $2 and €2 respectively.
· On 13 April, Amazon announced it is to take on another 75,000 new staff and will not accept orders from new online grocery customers in the US.
Ann Summers trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 31/01/22
· Ann Summers announced it returned to profit over the year to June 2021, as sales rose 9.3% to £113.8m. It is now exiting its Company Voluntary Agreement it previously entered with landlords at the end of 2020.
· 23/12/20: Ann Summer’s creditors have approved the company’s CVA, which moves 25 UK stores to turnover-based rent.
· 04/12/20: Ann Summers launched a CVA for 25 of its 91-strong store portfolio in a bid to secure turnover-based leases. FRP Advisory are overseeing the process.
· 05/10/12: Ann Summers has engaged with the British Property Federation to mull the launch of a CVA. This comes despite more than half of the landlords across its 90-strong store portfolio agreeing to change to turnover-based rents, as the retailer looks to pursue the arrangement at stores where negotiations failed.
· 01/09/20: Ann Summers is looking to launch a CVA as the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic hampers sales growth.
AO.com trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 14/10/20
· AO.com has partnered with Tesco to launch its first ever stores, trialling five shop-in-shops for six months.
· 21/08/20: AO.com is creating 650 new roles across its retail, mobile, IT, financial services and logistics divisions as it looks “to manage the sustained demand” it has experienced since the outbreak of Covid-19.
· 03/08/20: AO.com is to recruit 250 new employees at its Crewe logistics hub, as well as add 225,000 sq feet of warehouse space, including a new 115,000 sq ft warehouse in Stafford opening this month.
· 21/07/20: AO.com has launched a share incentive scheme that could see staff rewarded up to £240m in bonuses.
Apple trading updates and comments:
Argos Sainsbury's trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 11/04/20
· Sainsbury’s is increasing the pay for Sainsbury’s and Argos store employees in outer London to the real and London living wage. Store workers in outer London will see their hourly pay increase from £10.50 to £11.05.
· 05/11/20: Sainsbury’s announced plans to close 420 Argos stores by 2024 – leaving 100 standalone stores – alongside closing its food counters in store, putting 3,500 jobs at risk. The grocer will add a further 150 Argos shop-in-shops to its supermarkets, as well as up to 200 more collection points.
Asda trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 26/04/22
· Asda announced that from July, it will increase the hourly pay of 120,000 of its workers from £9.66 to £10.10 – 60p more than the living wage
· 11/08/21: Asda has invested in digital food service start-up Lean Kitchen Network (LKN) and revealed plans for a trial of four shop-in-shops. Shoppers will be able to order food in-store from LKN via a touchscreen kiosk or using a smartphone for collection at the end of their shop or home delivery via Uber Eats.
· 30/06/21: Asda launched its one-hour Express Delivery service from three stores, offering its full 30,000-plus strong product range for delivery.
· 05/05/21: The Issa brothers and TDR Capital have agreed to sell 27 of its EG petrol forecourts in order to complete its purchase of Asda’s petrol station portfolio without further investigation from the Competition and Markets Authority.
· 06/04/21: Asda has opened its third in-store Covid vaccination centre and its first in the capital at its Old Kent Road Superstore in south east London.
· 26/03/21: Asda lost a Supreme Court battle against shopworkers union GMB over an equal pay claim between store and warehouse workers by the employee union. The grocery chain could be forced to pay out as much as £500m to 40,000 shopfloor workforces.
· 25/02/21: Asda has entered formal consultation with 5,000 staff as it unveiled its transformation plans to capitalise on the shift to online grocery shopping. The grocery has grown its capacity by 90% since the pandemic and looks to create 4,500 new roles in store-based online operations.
· 03/02/21: EG Group is set to buy Asda’s petrol forecourt business in a £750m deal pending approval from the Competition and Markets Authority.
· 20/10/20: Asda has unveiled a ‘sustainability store’ in Middleton, Leeds which includes product refill options. This is expected to remove 3 billion pieces of plastic from own-brand products by 2025.
· 14/10/20: Asda has launched a concession partnership with The Entertainer, which sees the toy specialist take over toy aisles in five Asda stores from February, as the grocer looks to make better use of excess space.
· 21/07/20: Walmart has put Asda up for sale again, restarting discussions with potential buyers that were put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.
· 08/07/20: Asda has partnered with Uber Eats to trial a 30 minute home delivery service from two stores in Leeds and Birmingham.
· 07/05/20: Asda launched an electric vehicle fleet from 48 stores to increase its online delivery capacity during the pandemic, while also playing a role in the grocer’s target to halve carbon emissions across its estate by 2025.
· Asda’s 255 in-store pharmacies are offering free prescription deliveries to help customers less able to get to shops.
· Walmart has paused efforts to sell a majority stake in Asda during the coronavirus outbreak.
Asos trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 28/09/21
· Asos has committed to invest £14m to open a tech hub in Northern Ireland to support growth. The facility is expected to create 184 new jobs over three years.
· 21/06/21: Asos has reportedly considered restructuring the teams working across its Arcadia brands. The online fashion retailer bought Arcadia’s Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands for £265m back in February.
· 19/05/21: Asos is among the potential bidders to buy Feelunique and Cult Beauty having been put up for sale by their current owners.
· 01/02/21: ASOS paid £265m for the acquisition of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and athleisure brand HIIT. Asos said that the purchase of the brands represented a “strategically compelling opportunity”.
· 25/01/21: The online retailer – ASOS which is in exclusive talks to buy Arcadia brands, is also interested in retaining Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford Street.
· 08/01/21: Asos unveiled plans to open a £90m warehouse in Lichfield, Staffordshire. The site is expected to be operational within 12 months and employ 2,000 people over the next three years.
· 23/07/20: Asos put around 500 day shift roles at its customer care centre in Leavesden into consultation.
· 15/07/20: Asos vowed to repay all money previously claimed via the furlough scheme to the UK government as its employees return to work.
B&M trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 22/06/22
· B&M has introduced an online home delivery for the very first time since opening its first UK store back in 1978. The online range features 1,000 products, including garden and indoor furniture, electrical equipment and toys and games.
· 11/06/20: In its full year update, value retailer B&M said that trading since its March year-end has been “strong”. Although the pandemic has slowed its rate of store openings, the retailer’s ambition to operate 950 UK stores remains unchanged.
B&Q (Kingfisher) trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 22/10/21
· B&Q has officially opened one of its largest stores in the last decade in Colchester. The outlet is a purpose-built digital store as the brand commits to ecommerce growth.
· 20/08/21: B&Q has opened a new express store in Wood Green, North London. The new shop has created 18 jobs in the local area.
· 17/06/20: The group launched a new ‘Powered by Kingfisher’ strategy to “become a more digital and service orientated company, using our strong store assets as a platform”.
· 12/05/20: B&Q and Screwfix parent Kingfisher said group sales fell 24% in the three months to 30 April, impacted by store closures in the UK and France. B&Q sales declined by 22.1% to £663m in the period, while. Screwfix reported 0.1% sales dip to £432m. Kingfisher said more than 95% of stores “are currently either open and/or offering a contactless click-and-collect service”.
· 23/04/20: After a successful trial of social distancing measures at 14 stores over the weekend, B&Q reopened 61 outlets yesterday (22 April) and a further 80 today bringing the total number opened to 155.
· 20/04/20: Following the closure of all of its stores, essential retailer B&Q has reopened 14 stores, trialling social distancing measures including two-metre floor-markers and perspex screens at checkouts.
Bathstore.com (Homebase) trading updates and comments:
Better Bathrooms trading updates and comments:
Birchbox trading updates and comments:
Boden trading updates and comments:
Boohoo.com trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 04/02/22
· Boohoo launched its own beauty range, comprising 50 products with a cruelty-free pledge, as it looks to become a one-stop-shop for all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle.
· 26/01/22: Boohoo has started production at its new 23,000 sq ft factory on Thurmaston Lane in Leicester. The facility has the capacity to make up to 25,000 garments per week and will create 180 new jobs for the retailer.
· 13/10/21: Boohoo is preparing to open a standalone Debenhams Beauty store in Manchester this year. Before its collapse, Debenhams had six million beauty shoppers and 1.4 million Beauty Club members.
· 12/08/21: Boohoo Group has announced plans to create 5,000 new UK jobs by 2026, following an investment programme worth over £500m.
· 16/06/21: Boohoo is plotting a store opening for Debenhams in an attempt to strike deals with major beauty brands.
· 13/04/21: Boohoo has acquired a new office premise in Soho, London. The £72m site will provide a base for 600 people.
· 08/02/21: Boohoo finalised the acquisition of the digital assets and intellectual property rights of Arcadia brands Wallis, Burton and Dorothy Perkins for a cash amount of £25.2m.
· 29/01/21: Boohoo completed a £25m purchase deal for three of Arcadia’s high street brands, Burton, Dorothy Parkins and Wallis.
· 25/01/21: Boohoo has acquired Debenhams’ website and brand for £55m. None of Debenhams’ 118 high street shops are included in the acquisition.
· 06/07/20: Boohoo faces modern slavery allegations, with claims of workers in Leicester being paid as little as £3.50 per hour.
· 17/06/20: Boohoo has acquired the intellectual property of Oasis and Warehouse in a £5.2m deal from Hilco, as part of its plan to capitalise M&A opportunities. Boohoo bought its former stablemates Karen Millen and Coast last year.
· 28/05/20: Boohoo has acquired the remaining stake in PrettyLittleThing, made for an initial consideration of £269.8m. Boohoo reiterated the acquisition enables growth “whilst retaining a strong balance sheet in order to take advantage of numerous M&A opportunities that are likely to emerge in the global fashion industry over the coming months”.
Booths trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 16/06/20
· Booths has also joined forces with Deliveroo, offering 300 products from its Salford Media City store for home delivery in 30 minutes or less. Hot food including pizzas, pies and burgers will be available from 23 June, with plans to roll out the service to five more stores in early July.
Boots (Walgreens Boots Alliance)
Boots trading updates and comments:
· Walgreens Boots Alliance is planning to send preliminary information on Boots to potential suitors ahead of first-round bids due in the coming week. Buyout firm Sycamore Partners is understood to have joined existing bidders for Boots.
· 01/09/21: Boots is to launch 30 new beauty halls across the UK, with more than 100 new beauty specialist jobs to be created.
· 24/08/21: Boots has entered a trial partnership with Deliveroo to offer rapid delivery on a range of more than 400 health and beauty products. The service covers 14 Boots store across the UK.
· 06/07/21: Boots Hearingcare has opened the doors to its new flagship World of Hearing store in Welwyn Garden City. The store will provide customers with an immersive hearing care experience through state-of-the-art equipment.
· 26/02/21: Boots is to cut 300 jobs across its Nottingham head office as it fights “changing consumer behaviours”.
· 09/07/20: Boots is slashing 4,000 jobs and closing 48 Boots Opticians stores as it accelerates its restructure amid the pandemic. It followed a 48% year-on-year drop in like-for-like sales in its third quarter, with sales at Boots Opticians down by 72%. Boots’ online sales jumped 78% during lockdown.
· 28/05/20: Boots is using digital innovation to reopen its in-store beauty counters on 15 June and launch its latest No.7 product. Shoppers buying the new No.7 product via the Boots app will have their loyalty points doubled for their purchase. It will offer shoppers 15-20 minutes video consultations with No. 7 advisers. Boots will also have social distancing wardens to patrol stores, a queuing system, floor markings and PPE for staff.
· 22/04/20: Boots has hired 500 additional delivery drivers across the UK and has introduced prescription delivery to another 40 of its stores to help cope with greater demand since Covid-19.
· 09/04/20: Boots has temporarily shut 60 stores in areas where they have more than one store in close proximity to one another.
Boux Avenue trading updates and comments:
Bravissimo trading updates and comments:
Burberry trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 15/07/20
· Burberry announced that 150 UK office jobs were at risk as it sought to cut costs, and a further 350 overseas, as its first quarter sales declined 41%, which eased to -20% in June as lockdown measures around the world eased. Burberry expects sales in the second quarter to be down between 15% and 20%.
Card Factory trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 02/06/20
· Card Factory is set to reopen 10% of its stores on 15 June as a test under “Covid-secure” conditions. The retailer plans to reopen further stores “subject to early learnings”. The first wave of reopenings will be predominantly in retail parks and high streets in the north east and north west that had good footfall ahead of lockdown. Safety measures include sneeze screens, a customer host at the door, hand sanitiser and a one-way system around store.
Carpetright trading updates and comments:
Cath Kidston trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 27/06/22
· Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) has solicited PwC to find a new buyer for the now pureplay retailer Cath Kidston. The high street chain collapsed into administration in April 2020 just after the pandemic hit, costing 900 jobs.
· 27/10/20: Cath Kidston revealed plans for a ‘digital first’ future as they intend to predominantly trade online but retain a flagship store in London’s Piccadilly. This follows its buyout by Baring private equity in a pre-pack deal earlier this year.
· 21/04/20: CK Acquisitions has bought the Cath Kidston brand, ecommerce platform and wholesale business from administrators. The retailer’s UK shops are under management of administrator Alvarez & Marsal and are likely to be closed with the loss of 740 jobs.
· 09/04/20: Cath Kidston has appointed Alvarez & Marsal as it prepares for administration.
Charles Tyrwhitt trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 25/01/21
· Charles Tyrwhitt, the suit specialist made 250 redundancies last year and shut four of its 42 stores due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Claire's trading updates and comments:
Clarks trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 02/07/21
· Over 100 Clarks staff members are considering taking a strike action over reports that the footwear retailer is planning to carry out a controversial fire and rehire process.
· 15/03/21: LionRock Capital has completed its acquisition of a majority stake in Clarks.
· 23/02/21: Clarks’ chief executive officer Giorgio Presca, chief commercial officer Massimo Barzaghi and chief people officer Difna Blamey resigned as private equity firm LionRock Capital – which acquired a majority stake in Clarks late last year – looks to appoint a new leadership team.
· 23/12/20: Clarks’ shareholders have approved a £100m deal from LionRock Capital, a Hong Kong based private equity firm.
· 20/11/20: More than 90% of Clarks’ creditors agreed to the company’s CVA proposal launched earlier this month, allowing it to move most of its stores to turnover-based rent. As a result, private equity firm LionRock Capital should now be able to complete its £100m acquisition of a majority stake in the retailer.
· 04/11/20: Footwear retailer Clarks has told 3,969 of its shopfloor workers that their roles are at risk of redundancy as the retailer is trying to revive the struggling business.
· 27/10/20: Clarks has entered talks with landlords on a restructuring plan to turnover-based rent. The footwear retailer is also considering closing 50 UK stores.
· 06/10/20: Footwear retailer Clarks has launched a CVA in a bid to close 50 stores and move the remainder of its portfolio onto turnover-based rents. This will enable a cash injection, as a proposed £100m rescue deal from private equity firm LionRock Capital is contingent on creditors approving the CVA, seeing the business move out of private ownership.
· 13/07/20: OpCapita and buyout firm Sycamore Partners are reportedly in talks with Clarks to inject cash into the retailer.
· 21/05/20: Clarks is to cut 900 jobs globally over the next 18 months, but create 200 new roles, as it sets out a new strategy to focus on its heritage and sustainability. This follows the retailer consulting with financial advisers to address liquidity issues amid the coronavirus outbreak.
· 09/04/20: Clarks has appointed Rothschild bank to explore options for the business, including access to new borrowing facilities, as it mulls permanently closing up to 10 stores with leases due to expire in May.
Debenhams trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 13/10/21
· Boohoo is preparing to open a standalone Debenhams Beauty store in Manchester this year. Before its collapse, Debenhams had six million beauty shoppers and 1.4 million Beauty Club members.
· 25/06/21: Debenhams launched a new marketing campaign focusing on its online delivery credentials and adding .com to its name.
· 17/05/21: Debenhams shut down its remaining stores, as part of the department store’s liquidation process. The retailer is still present online after Boohoo bought it in a £55m deal.
· 28/04/21: Debenhams announced the 25 stores that will close permanently on 8 May.
· 14/01/21: Debenhams, which is winding down in a stock liquidation process, is permanently closing its Oxford Street flagship and five other stores after it failed to agree to new lease terms, with the loss of 320 jobs. Administrator FRP Advisory plans to “reopen as many stores as possible” after lockdown measures ease to complete the stock liquidation.
· 14/12/20: Authentic Brands Group is allegedly in talks to acquire both Arcadia and Debenhams.
· 07/12/20: Frasers Group confirmed a last-minute rescue bid for department store chain Debenhams and said it “hopes that a rescue package can be put in place and jobs saved”.
· 01/12/20: Debenhams collapsed into liquidation and is set to close its 127 stores, putting 12,000 jobs at risk. The company’s stores will continue trading until it elapses its current and contracted stocks, and continues to seek offers for all or parts of the business.
· 30/11/20: JD Sports backed out of acquiring Debenhams, following the announcement that Arcadia – Debenhams’ biggest concession holder – was in administration.
· 24/11/20: JD Sports has reportedly shown interest to acquire Debenhams as it seeks cheap retail space and is interested in its website. Should talks fail, the most likely outcome for Debenhams is liquidation.
· 12/10/20: Indian retail giant Reliance Retail has withdrawn its bid to rescue the battered department store Debenhams.
· 26/08/20: Debenhams has appealed to a tribunal against the 12% hike in its business rates bill to £1.1m on one of its stores in Swansea, Wales. The department store claims: “Unless more realistic assessments are agreed, Debenhams is likely to have to close more stores, with the result that thousands more workers will lose their jobs.”
· 24/08/20: Debenhams’ parent company Celine has drafted FRP Advisory as it prepares to enter administration. The potential administration reportedly would not impact Debenhams sales, staff, customers or suppliers.
· 17/08/20: Debenhams has appointed Hilco in the event that it does need to liquidate stock but has stressed that this move is not imminent and would be a last resort.
· 11/08/20: Debenhams is axing 2,500 staff across its stores and warehouses as the business grapples to reduce its cost base.
· 27/07/20: Debenhams is reportedly raising a ‘for sale’ sign, with City bank Lazard poised to be appointed to oversee the sale process.
· 09/06/20: Debenhams is to close a further three stores, after failing to agree terms with landlord Intu.
· 05/06/20: Debenhams confirms it will reopen 50 stores across England on 15 June, with the rest of its portfolio opening later in the week (excluding Scotland and Wales). Stores in Northern Ireland will open earlier on 8 June.
· 28/05/20: Debenhams is cutting an undisclosed number of head office jobs amid its turnaround. It plans to reopen 90 stores in the week of 15 June and has re-secured two key locations – Birmingham’s Bullring and Glasgow’s Silverburn – that it previously faced losing to Next, which Debenhams had not agreed to.
· 07/05/20: Debenhams is to shut five stores in Hammerson centres, after failing to agree on terms with the landlord. The closures are likely to result in around 1,400 job losses.
· 20/04/20: 10 Debenhams stores will not reopen, including their flagship store in White City, London.
· Debenhams has liquidated its Irish arm and appointed administrators FRP Advisory.
· Debenhams filed for administration on 09/04/20
DFS trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 27/08/20
· DFS announced it is to sell Sofa Workshop to luxury rival Halo for £300,000.
· 21/05/20: Both Furniture Village and DFS are planning to reopen stores in time for the bank holiday weekend, after the government included homewares retailers in its guidance of what an ‘essential’ retailer – an update from its previous definition of essential ‘home and hardware’ stores.
Dixons Carphone trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 07/05/21
· Dixons Carphone plans to invest £25m over the next two years to reward and upskill its 12,000 colleagues.
· 28/04/21: Dixons Carphone has announced the full closure of its Dixons Travel division, which historically made an annual profit contribution of £20m to the group. The retailer believes that travel industry will not recover for the foreseeable future, making its Travel stores unsustainable.
· 04/09/20: Dixons Carphone is expanding ShopLive, which launched in April to connect online shoppers to store staff, to include bookable appointments, livestream shopping across all online items and extended operating hours.
· 04/08/20: Dixons Carphone is to axe 800 jobs as it consults with 1,800 staff, as it overhauls store roles.
Dreams trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 09/04/20
· Dreams chief marketing officer Tony Holdway and retail director Paul Owen depart, slimming down the board to five people. The retailer said the departures reflect ongoing changes in the retail industry, such as the shift to digital, which are being accelerated by the coronavirus.
Dune trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 09/02/21
· Dune Group has launched a company voluntary arrangement as part of a restructuring given the “likelihood of future trading continuing to be adversely affected by ongoing restrictions”. Approval would see several sites move to a turnover-based rent.
· 02/12/20: Footwear retailer Dune opened a new London Liverpool Street retail store.
Dunelm trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 04/01/22
· Dunelm has opened the doors to a new 41,000 sq ft superstore at the Flemingate centre in East Yorkshire. The retailer took a ten-year lease on the two-storey unit to bring its new multi-department superstore format to the centre. The store opened just before Christmas, creating 40 jobs.
· 25/10/21: Dunelm is set to acquire a former Debenhams shop in the East Yorkshire town’s Flemingate development. Dunelm is expected to create about 40 jobs and building work should begin in the next few weeks.
· 08/06/20: Dunelm has reopened its UK store estate and launched a new Edit fascia in Crawley, West Sussex, which features products that are most popular in the local area. The store features an augmented reality display to allow shoppers to see the full Dunelm catalogue and visualise products in homes.
· 16/04/20: Dunelm reopened its online business having previously shut it alongside its stores when the country first went into lockdown. Dunelm reported that since its website’s reopening order levels have been “significantly higher than those seen prior to the onset of coronavirus.”
eBay trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 12/04/22
· Ebay has committed more than £1m to launch the eBay Business Roadshow, its first ever physical regional roadshow and investment programme in the UK, designed to help small online businesses navigate rising inflation and the impact of the pandemic.
· 25/02/21: eBay has launched a multi-million-pound ‘eBay for Change’ programme to offer training and financial support to small, community-based businesses in parts of the UK that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. It has partnered with Social Enterprise UK and the World Fair Trade Organization to deliver the scheme.
Evans Cycles (Frasers Group)
Evan Cycles trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 10/03/21
· Evans Cycles announced it is cutting 300 jobs and moving all employees to a zero-hours contracts in a bid to cut costs.
· 05/08/20: Frasers Group unveiled plans to open a 90,000 sq ft flagship store in Leicester’s Fosse Park, to combine its Flannels, Sports Direct, Evans Cycles and Game fascias and create 200 jobs.
Eve Sleep trading updates and comments:
Farfetch trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 01/03/21
· Farfetch has launched its flagship digital store on Alibaba’s ecommerce platform Tmall. The move aims at helping Farfetch plug into Alibaba’s 779 million consumers.
· 03/11/20: Chinese giant Alibaba is reportedly in talks to invest $300m (£231m) in the luxury fashion platform Farfetch.
Fat Face trading updates and comments:
FeelUnique trading updates and comments:
Fenwick trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 24/03/22
· Fenwick has unveiled plans for a £40m multi-year investment in its Newcastle flagship store as it celebrates its 140th anniversary. The upgrades to the store will be carried out in phases over the next five years.
· 06/04/21: Fenwick, the family-owned department store business has brought shop staff back from furlough, added new clothing and furniture brands and is preparing to launch a vegan restaurant by a Michelin-starred chef in one of its stores. The retailer’s losses widened from £44m to £47m for the year to the end of January 2021.
· 15/04/20: Fenwick reopened its online channel (15 April) with a limited offer having previously closed its website to protect the well-being of its employees.
Flying Tiger Copenhagen
Flying TIger Copenhagen trading updates and comments:
Footasylum trading updates and comments:
Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 21/05/20
· Fortnum & Mason opened its main food halls today. The retailer is planning to open the first floor of its Piccadilly flagship on 28 May, and the second and third floors from the start of June.
· 09/04/20: Fortnum & Mason's London Piccadilly food hall remains open.
French Connection trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 02/03/21
· French Connection remains in search for a new buyer, after two potential bidders pulled out of early stage talks to buy the struggling chain.
· 05/02/21: French Connection’s board is said to be considering the sale of the fashion retailer after being approached by two potential buyers. The brand is valued at £15.2m.
· 11/12/20: French connection announced that its US business has secured a USD 6.5 million (£4.9 million) loan. The fund will support its US based operations and employees.
· 24/07/20: French Connection has secured a £15m working capital facility with turnaround firm Hilco as it battles coronavirus disruptions. The retailer says sales have been low in reopened store, although conversion is up and sales volumes are said to be growing week-on-week.
· 19/05/20: French Connection warned that without urgent funding, its “cash resources will eventually be eroded in the coming months” if current trading levels continue. The retailer has been unable to access government loan schemes.
Furniture Village trading updates and comments:
· Both Furniture Village and DFS are planning to reopen stores in time for the bank holiday weekend, after the government included homewares retailers in its guidance of what an ‘essential’ retailer – an update from its previous definition of essential ‘home and hardware’ stores.
Game (Frasers Group)
Game trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 05/08/20
· Frasers Group unveiled plans to open a 90,000 sq ft flagship store in Leicester’s Fosse Park, to combine its Flannels, Sports Direct, Evans Cycles and Game fascias and create 200 jobs.
Gap trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 08/06/21
· Clothing retailer Gap announced the closure of 19 stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland when their leases expire on 31 July.
· 23/10/20: Fashion chain Gap is considering closing all of its European stores and instead operate in the region through store partnerships. The retailer currently has 129 stores across Europe, including 70 in the UK and 4 in Ireland.
Go Outdoors (JD Sports)
Go Outdoors trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 14/07/22
· Go Outdoors is set to open 11 new stores this year as consumers focus has switched to spending more time outdoors. The outdoor specialist, owned by JD Sports, has seen demand surge in areas such as outdoor living and cycling. Website traffic has been markedly against 2019 levels with searches for cycling rising by 21%, while camping accelerated 44%.
· 24/06/20: JD Sports bought its subsidiary Go Outdoors back for £56.5m, following its collapse into administration two days earlier. The group said the main reason for the administration was to secure better rents with landlords, as leases were “extremely inflexible” with upward-only rent reviews.
Gym Shark trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 01/12/21
· Gymshark has confirmed that it will open its first standalone store on London's Regent Street. The sportswear brand has signed a 10-year lease for an 18,000 sq ft store at 165 Regent Street, which will open next summer.
· 23/06/21: Gymshark is to open 3 new warehouses in the US this year as part of its North America expansion plans. The first warehouse will open in Riatlo, California next month.
H&M trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 01/06/22
· H&M has opened a new store at the Metrocentre shopping centre in Gateshead, showcasing a new interior look and feel for the brand.
· 08/04/22: H&M and Ikea have partnered to create an “ideas factory” that aims to promote designers and small-scale manufacturers in London. The joint venture store called Atelier 100 is due to open in May. Applications to the scheme are open until 24 April. Successful applicants will receive £10,000 to scale their ideas into commercially viable products.
· 01/06/21: H&M’s online second-hand site Sellpy is set to launch across 20 European countries.
· 26/06/20: H&M’s group sales decreased 23% to SEK 83.6m during its first half to 31 May, while profits dropped by over SEK 3m. It now plans for further net store closures, anticipating around 170 closures and 130 openings during its full year.
· H&M has geared its supply chain to produce protective personal equipment for frontline medical staff.
Halfords trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 02/12/21
· Halfords has acquired automotive service and repair chain National in a £62m deal, bolstering its position as the UK’s largest vehicle repair business.
· 08/09/21: Halfords announced it will switch from locked pay to flexible pay for its entire staff, 10,000 employees will get financial education, budgeting, and savings, built around flexible pay.
· 15/07/21: Halfords has launched a recruitment drive to hire more than 700 people across the UK. New roles will span across vehicle and cycle technician roles, store staff roles, MOT testers and management roles.
· 01/10/20: Halfords posted a 22% uptick in group like-for-like sales growth in the five weeks to 25 September, as cycling like-for-like sales were up 46% and autocentres were up 18%, which has seen it launch a recruitment drive for technicians. It has now upped its profit expectations for the half-year.
· 14/07/20: Halfords is set to accelerate its store closures with 60 earmarked to close across its retail and autocentre divisions. It is renegotiating leases elsewhere.
· 04/05/20: On 4 May, Halfords reopened 40 stores which it had initially closed to ensure the safety of its colleagues and customers.
Hamleys trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 26/07/21
· Hamleys has opened a new 1,326sq ft state of the art console, PC and gaming accessories zone in its London Regent Street store.
· 22/07/21: Hamleys is set to open its first standalone store in the newly opened St. James Quarter precinct. The retailer will take a 2475sq ft unit at the 1.7 million sq ft city centre retail destination in central Edinburgh.
Harrods trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 08/07/21
· Harrods has reportedly partnered with luxury rental marketplace My Wardrobe HQ to launch its own cloth rental service. Prices for a four-day rental service ranges from £23 to £400.
· 23/06/21: Harrods is set to open 3 standalone beauty stores in Edinburgh, Bristol and Gateshead’s Metrocentre within the next year.
· 30/04/21: Harrods has opened its second beauty store at shopping and leisure destination Centre:MK in Milton Keynes.
· 01/07/20: Harrods plans to cut 680 jobs due to “the challenge of lockdown”, including social distancing and lack of tourists.
· 28/05/20: Harrods is to open a two-storey outlet store at Westfield London to shift excess seasonal stock unsold due to the pandemic
· 04/05/20: Harrods is launching ‘remove clienteling’, which offers personal shopping for some of its most valuable customers over the phone and by smartphone messaging.
Harvey Nicholas trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 06/07/21
· Harvey Nichols launches its first ever childrenswear range. The department store in Leeds, Victoria Quarter will locate on the first floor a kids section and will stock 25 kids wear brands and over 700 different styles.
· 20/07/20: Harvey Nichols has written to staff to warn that “there may be staff redundancies at all locations” as it looks to restructure amid the pandemic.
Hobbs trading updates and comments:
Hobbycraft trading updates and comments:
· Hobbycraft sales rose by 14.8% YoY to £203.1m in the year to February, while adjusted pre-tax profit rose 8.7% to £15m. The retailer is set to expand its store estate to three new locations in Bromborough in Merseyside, Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, and Southend, Essex. The move will create 40 new jobs.
Holland & Barrett
Holland & Barrett trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 10/12/21
· Holland & Barrett has fully acquired at-home beauty services business Blow Ltd for an undisclosed amount. The health and wellness retailer said Blow Ltd will become a subsidiary business of its international arm and all of its staff will be moved across to the new ownership structure.
· 14/06/21: Holland & Barrett opened a new flagship store in Coventry city centre, which focuses on a “sustainability-forward” design with a range of vegan, zero-waste and cruelty-free beauty across 178 new products.
· 02/06/21: Holland & Barrett has announced it will be launching a flagship store on the Chinese ecommerce site Tmall as part of its global expansion plan.
· 27/11/20: Holland & Barrett announced the opening of a new store in London’s Islington, relocating its previous Angel Islington store to a larger location “at time when health and wellness is more important to our customers than ever” according to the retailer.
· 16/06/20: Holland & Barrett has partnered with Deliveroo, to offer 200 products for home delivery in under 30 minutes from 50 UK stores.
Home Bargains trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 15/04/20
· Home Bargains re-opens its website (15 April) after no longer being able to accept new orders earlier in the crisis due to high levels of demand.
Homebase trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 24/05/21
· Homebase opened a new store for the first time in six years. The 36,591sq ft shop is in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
· 12/04/21: Investment firm Osmond Capital is preparing a £300m takeover bid for DIY retail chain Homebase.
· 12/04/21: Homebase entered a new partnership with bellwether retailer Next. The DIY chain has opened garden centres in six Next shops located in Bristol, Sheffield, Ipswich, Warrington, Camberley and Shoreham.
· 11/11/20: Homebase owner Hilco are looking for new owners for the home and DIY retailer to drive its next phase of growth, as it plans to invest £20m next year.
· 11/05/20: All Homebase stores are now open operating with strict social distancing measures. These include floor stickers to indicate the 2m distancing rule, Perspex screens at tills and payment by card only. Online operations have been temporarily suspended to allow Homebase to catch up with a backlog of orders.
· 04/05/20: Essential retailer Homebase is expected to reopen all of its shops over the coming weekend. This follows rival B&Q stepping up reopenings, trading from 288 stores by the end of last week.
· 29/04/20: Homebase opened a further 50 stores across the UK (29 April), following the reopening of 20 shops earlier in the week. Its remaining UK stores are set to reopen from 2 May
· 27/04/20: Homebase has reopened 20 of its bricks-and-mortar stores on a trial basis, following the closure of its entire store estate on 25 March.
· 25/04/20: Homebase are trialling the opening of 20 stores today (Saturday 25 April) after changes to operations were put in place to ensure shopping is safe for everyone. The remainder of their stores will continue to offer collection and counter service.
Hotel Chocolat trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 29/04/21
· Waitrose has entered a partnership with Hotel Chocolat to sell a selection of the chocolatier’s products in its supermarkets and online, including dedicated bays and gondola ends. It marks the first time that Waitrose has entered into such a deal with a third-party.
· 07/05/20: Hotel Chocolat is trialling the reopening of up to six stores as takeaway locations from next week. The retailer is looking at a phased reopening and has identified high street and independent self-standing stores as the first to open, with stores in transport hubs and shopping centres likely to be the last.
· 04/05/20: Hotel Chocolat is increasing its banking facilities with a new £35m line of credit from Lloyds Bank, replacing a £10m overdraft facility. £25m is provided under the terms of the government’s coronavirus large business interruption loans scheme, expiring in December 2021.
· 09/04/20: Hotel Chocolat raised £20m through a fundraising round to offset the impact of possible store closures over the crucial Mother’s Day and Easter periods, which account for around 12% of its total annual revenue.
House of Fraser (Frasers Group)
House of Fraser trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 05/07/21
· House of Fraser is considering offering all store staff below management level zero-hours contracts in place of their existing contracts.
· 27/04/21: Frasers Group's House of Fraser store in London’s Victoria could permanently close next summer, after 150 years of trade on the site. This came after the Canadian-owned property investor BentallGreenOak asked Westminster City Council to grant planning permission to demolish the 390,000 sq ft site and replace it with a 16-storey, 630,000 sq ft scheme that will make up to 20 shop units and office space.
Iceland trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 22/02/22
· Following a successful trial period, Iceland has expanded its partnership deal with Uber Eats. Under the terms of the new deal, Iceland will launch a further 200 stores across the country on Uber Eats from April 2022.
· 10/11/21: Iceland has announced it is expanding its manufacturing division as it seeks to recruit 90 new workers to handle its manufacturing business at the Manchester base. The manufacturing site in Manchester is responsible for producing many of Iceland’s own-label ranges.
· 09/09/20: Iceland is hiring 3,000 new staff, made up of new delivery drivers and in-store pickers to deal with the surge in online sales.
· 09/09/20: Iceland also launched a trial with Uber Eats for grocery delivery in London – which could be rolled out nationally.
Ikea trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 08/04/22
· H&M and Ikea have partnered to create an “ideas factory” that aims to promote designers and small-scale manufacturers in London. The joint venture store called Atelier 100 is due to open in May. Applications to the scheme are open until 24 April. Successful applicants will receive £10,000 to scale their ideas into commercially viable products.
· 30/03/22: As part of its London transformation plan, Swedish furniture behemoth IKEA is set to close its Tottenham superstore placing 450 jobs at risk. The retailer’s decision comes as part of its £1bn capital investment, as it seeks to bring Ikea closer to “where customers live, shop and socialise”.
· 03/02/22: Ikea plans to hire more than 150 data and technology roles across Europe this year.
· 10/09/21: Ikea has entered an agreement to purchase the 100,000 sq ft former Topshop flagship store for £385m at 214 Oxford Street, London.
· 17/05/21: Ikea is said to be in advanced talks to take over the former Topshop flagship store on London’s Oxford Street, as part of its plan to open more smaller-format outlets in city centres.
· 1610/20: Ikea believes its performance will continue to be resilient in its new financial year as shoppers adjust to home living including home offices and gyms. The retailer and its franchisees are set to open 30 store worldwide next year, including the brand’s first UK city-centre store in London. Chief digital officer Barbara Martin Coppola said: “80% of our customers start their shopping online, but very few who are channel-specific.”
· 26/05/20: Ikea is reopening 19 of its stores in England and Northern Ireland on 1 June, with a phased approach. New safety measures include a one-way system, social distancing wardens, and one adult and one child from the same household being allowed in at a time. It is reopening its Food Market and Bistro with a takeaway service only.
· 21/04/20: Ikea has acquired augmented reality start-up Geomagical Labs to allow shoppers to virtually visualise big ticket items in their home without a store visit. Geomagical Labs’ key product enables users to scan a room using a smartphone to create a 3D render and allow existing furniture to be virtually removed and new items added in.
JD Sports trading updates and comments:
· JD Sports is set to open a new flagship store at Colchester’s Lion Walk shopping in October.
· 22/09/21: JD Sports has signed a new lease contract for an 11,000 sq ft store in Cheltenham’s Regent Arcade. The store is set to open before Christmas.
· 14/06/21: Sports Direct is planning to open a 10,000 sq ft megastore in Beverley’s Flemingate shopping centre.
· 04/06/21: JD Sports-owned Focus Brands has opened a new headquarter in Huddersfield.
· 03/06/21: JD Sports is set to sell Sports Unlimited Retail to its partly owned Spanish subsidiary Iberian Sports Retail Group for €16.5m (£14m).
· 11/05/21: JD Sport Fashion has bought Manchester-based menswear independent Oi Polloi.
· 27/04/21: JD Sports entered into a partnership with Sole Responsibility to sell the sportswear giant’s end of line or slightly damaged trainers through its eBay site.
· 12/03/21: JD Sports acquired a 60% controlling stake in Polish sportswear business Marketing Investment Group, which trades from 410 stores across nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
· 01/03/21: JD Sports has allegedly entered into exclusive talks to buy Arcadia Group’s distribution centre in Daventry, Northampton. This follows interest from Boohoo, Amazon and Ebay in buying the warehouse in recent weeks.
· 04/02/21: JD Sport has concluded its £464.2m equity raise to finance its expansion plans through acquisitions in existing and new markets.
· 01/02/21: JD Sports Fashion entered a $496m (£360m) conditional agreement to buy US sportwear and footwear retailer DTLR.
· 26/01/21: JD Sports is considering raising £400m of equity fund to finance more acquisition deals.
· 15/12/20: JD Sports fashion has announced the acquisition of Shoe Palace, a California based shoe firm for a cash consideration of $325m (£244m). The retailer aims to increase its exposure on the US west coast.
· 07/07/20: In it 2019/20 full year update, JD Sports said it is investing further in its Rochdale warehouse as it anticipates “there will be some level of permanent transfer from physical retail to online as a consequence of Covid-19”.
· 24/06/20: JD Sports bought its subsidiary Go Outdoors back for £56.5m, following its collapse into administration two days earlier. The group said the main reason for the administration was to secure better rents with landlords, as leases were “extremely inflexible” with upward-only rent reviews.
· 01/06/20: JD Sports plans to reopen the majority of its 300 or so UK stores on 15 June.
· 24/04/20: As a cost-cutting measure, JD Sports chief executive Peter Cowgill has taken a voluntary 75% pay cut, while the retailer’s board and senior management team have temporarily reduced their salaries by a quarter.
John Lewis (John Lewis Partnership)
John Lewis trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 10/03/22
· John Lewis Partnership reinstated staff bonuses at 3% of salary following a strong performance. The department store retailer recorded a profit before exceptional items of £181m in the year to 29 January, up 38% compared with the previous year and 111% on two years ago.
· 14/02/22: Reportedly “fantastic” Christmas sales has led John Lewis Partnership to surpass its £100m annual profit target. This could see staff receive an annual bonus in March – some 18 months since the last bonus was paid out in 2020. It will announce a financial update next month.
· 15/09/21: The John Lewis Partnership announced that it will be recruiting 7,000 temporary roles for the coming Christmas season – 2,000 more than last year – for its 34 John Lewis stores across the UK and Ireland, including sales and merchandising positions.
· 16/08/21: John Lewis has signed a three-year deal with Clipper Logistics to help expand its ecommerce operations, following the acquisition of a new logistics centre. This deal is set to create more than 200 jobs.
· 11/08/21: John Lewis Partnership has agreed the lease of a 1 million sq ft distribution centre from Tesco at Fenny Lock, near Milton Keynes, as it looks to drive online growth and create 500 new jobs.
· 05/08/21: John Lewis is to raise the annual salaries of its LGV drivers by up to £5,000, with a sign-on fee of £1,000 to new drivers who join before November. The retailer is also launching a driver training programme open to existing partners and new recruits.
· 14/07/21: John Lewis and Waitrose plan to cut 1,000 store jobs to simplify management structures and reinvest in the customer experience and visual merchandising. The redundancies average three people per store across 331 Waitrose branches and 34 John Lewis stores.
· 23/06/21: John Lewis is expanding its furniture rental service outside London following a successful trial period in the capital.
· 11/06/21: John Lewis is set to introduce 100 third-party fashion labels on its website over the coming year as it looks to create a direct-to-consumer platform.
· 24/03/21: John Lewis announced that it will not reopen eight stores across the UK, which puts more than 1,400 jobs at risk. It follows research which shows there were not enough customers in the eight locations to “profitably sustain a large John Lewis store”.
· 22/02/21: John Lewis is reportedly considering closing eight stores as it looks to cut further space and costs by moving into smaller properties. This follows plans to close eight of its shops last year.
· 12/01/21: John Lewis announced the temporary suspension of its click-and-collect offer across its 42 branches.
· 02/12/20: John Lewis is offering pre-booked in-store shopping slots and virtual queuing in shops from today. Slots will be bookable up to two weeks in advance. In addition to more than 900 click-and-collect locations, John Lewis customers can collect orders from 15 Waitrose shops and 16 John Lewis car parks.
· 04/11/20: John Lewis has announced intentions to axe a further 1,500 jobs at its head office between now and April.
· 25/09/20: John Lewis has launched a virtual Christmas shop on its website, allowing customers to virtually walk through its Oxford Street store. The department store group said that shoppers have been buying Christmas products earlier this year, with festive sales up 112% year-on-year.
· 17/09/20: John Lewis Partnership posted a £635m pre-tax loss for the six months to 25 July – or £55m excluding exceptionals such as a £470m write-down in store values – while telling staff that they will not receive a bonus for the first time since 1953. Lockdown closures and shoppers buying less profitable items, such as toilet paper or laptops, hit its bottom line.
· 25/08/20: John Lewis Partnership have partnered with tech firm Qudin to pilot virtual queuing technology at three John Lewis stores and six Waitrose supermarkets. Shoppers will be able to scan a QR code or text a number displayed outside a store to join a virtual queue or book a time slot for getting into the shop.
· 30/07/20: In a strategy update to staff, John Lewis Partnership outlined that it expects: “John Lewis to be a 60% online retailer, from 40% pre-Covid-19, and Waitrose to rise above 20%, from 5%”.
· 17/07/20: John Lewis is extending it click-and-collect delivery and returns partnership with the Co-op to 505 stores, doubling the total number of click-and-collect locations to nearly 900.
· 16/07/20: John Lewis has launched a virtual personal shopping service from its Southampton and London’s Peter Jones store using Zoom, enabling customers to be shown around departments on a 30-minute free video appointment by an in-store adviser.
· 09/07/20: John Lewis & Partners confirms it will permanently close eight of its stores, with 1,300 jobs at risk, as “the pandemic has accelerated the switch from shopping in-store to online”.
· 09/07/20: John Lewis said its nine remaining closed branches will reopen on 30 July, leaving it with a 42-strong store estate.
· 01/07/20: John Lewis chair Dame Sharon White warned of store closures and job cuts due to the pandemic, and that the retailer’s famed annual bonus would likely be axed next year for the first time since 1953.
· 25/06/20: John Lewis continues to open stores in phases, with nine more stores opening today.
· 27/05/20: John Lewis will gradually reopen stores, starting with two shop from 15 June and a further 11 on 18 June, chosen because of their accessibility by car. New safety measures include a ‘customer service host’ to manage footfall in store, reducing entrances, installing screens at checkout, and limiting the number of shoppers on escalators and in lifts.
· 30/04/20: In an update to analysts, John Lewis said it is mulling the permanent closure of some of its department stores, even after the coronavirus lockdown ends as the department store chain struggles to return to profitability.
· 27/04/20: John Lewis is making plans to reopen stores next month, but stressed it would not happen until the government signals that restrictions can be relaxed.
· 21/04/20 The department store reported sales across John Lewis are down 17% overall since mid-March, despite online sale surging 84% year-on-year in the period, with store closures prompting John Lewis to furlough 14,000 staff at the beginning of April.
Joules trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 09/02/21:
· Joules has acquired the garden and outdoor products digital retailer Garden Trading for a deal valued at £9m. Garden Trading reported a 40% increase in revenue to £16.8m and a pre-tax profit of £2m for the year to 30 November.
· 21/04/20: Joules reported it has agreed a £15m increase in borrowing facilities. Alongside an equity raise earlier in the month, the retailer said it has “sufficient liquidity headroom to manage a Covid-19-related downside scenario and the resources to emerge relatively stronger from this unprecedented situation” as online sales outperform expectations.
· 09/04/20: Joules has not given investors financial guidance for the year ahead, due to the “ongoing uncertainty” over virus impacting store footfall and willingness to spend online.
Kurt Geiger trading updates and comments:
· Kurt Geiger kept orders via their website flowing whilst letting customers know that they may experience longer delivery times.
Lakeland trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 06/08/20
· Lakeland has restructured its operating board as its owners the Rayner family step down from day-to-day running of the business.
Laura Ashley trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 29/10/20
· Laura Ashley has partnered with Next to sell its home products through the department stores’ online and in-store channels. It follows investment firm Gordon Brothers buying Laura Ashley’s intellectual property earlier this year.
· 18/08/20: Laura Ashley’s administrators have appointed property advisor Avison Young to market the retailer’s manufacturing and distribution facilities.
· 22/04/20: Restructuring firm Gordon Brothers has bought the Laura Ashley brand and its intellectual property from administrators PwC, and is set to maintain “a streamlined portfolio” of stores in the UK but primarily focus on online and wholesale.
· 09/04/20: Administrator PwC in charge of winding down Laura Ashley said they have made more than 200 redundancies and placed the retailer’s remaining store staff on furlough.
Liberty trading updates and comments:
Lidl trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 24/11/21
· Lidl GB registered an annual pre-tax profit of £9.8m, compared to a loss of £25.2m the previous year when it invested heavily in store openings and recruitment. The grocer’s sales climbed 12% to £7.7bn in the year to 28 February. Lidl now aims to have 1,100 UK stores by the end of 2025, which it said would create about 4,000 new jobs.
· 17/11/21: Through its £18m investment in its wages, Lidl will raise entry pay for its employee from£9.5 to £10 per hours as from the start of the next financial year.
· 24/06/21: Lidl opened its 860th UK store and remains on track to operate 1,000 in the market by end of 2023.
· 15/05/20: Lidl has partnered with InPost to launch collection lockers in 24 of its grocery shops.
· 09/04/20: Lidl has announced it is hiring an additional 2,500 staff.
LloydsPharmacy trading updates and comments:
Loaf trading updates and comments:
Lovehoney trading updates and comments:
Lush trading updates and comments:
M&S Food trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 03/11/20
· Marks & Spencer unveiled a ‘book and shop’ reservation service, available in 566 food stores, which allows customers to book a shopping slot to save the need to potentially queue outside stores.
· 01/09/20: The partnership between Ocado and Waitrose ended today (1 September) as Ocado’s joint venture with Marks and Spencer began.
· 24/08/20: Marks & Spencer is piloting drive-thru order collection at its store in Camberley, Surrey, as well as contactless in-store collection at three shops in partnership with Doddle. M&S now has 239 stores fulfilling online orders –153 more than before the pandemic.
· 14/08/20: Greencore, Northamptonshire-based sandwich supplier for Marks & Spencer announced that almost 300 staff have been forced into self-isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus.
· 12/08/20: Marks & Spencer invested in a new food distribution centre in Milton Keynes which will increase ambient product capacity by up to 60%. The facility is expected to begin full operations next months and recruit 360 workers.
· 05/08/20: Marks & Spencer has put its full food range on Ocado’s website as the pair formally launch their partnership on 1 September, when Ocado will stop selling Waitrose lines.
· 03/08/20: Marks & Spencer cafes have signed up to the government’s ‘eat out to help out’ scheme, passing the hospitality VAT cut onto customers.
· 30/07/20: Marks & Spencer has tripled the number of food stores offering a checkout-free experience from 100 to 310.
· 14/05/20: Marks & Spencer is reopening 49 of its in-store cafes today, serving takeaway hot drinks only following a pilot in five branches. The cafes now include Perspex screens at checkouts and floor markings to prompt social distancing. One employee will staff the café at a time – washing their hands every 30 minutes and straightaway after handling cash.
· 09/04/20: Marks & Spencer is selling a range of food essentials on Deliveroo for the first time.
· 09/04/20: M&S said it was transferring 4,600 staff from its clothing and home departments and cafes to support its food stores.
· Marks & Spencer is giving frontline store and supply chain staff a 15% pay rise and furloughed employees will receive full pay during the coronavirus pandemic.
Made.com trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 14/12/20
· Made.com offered share options to staff after an extremely strong sales performance in 2020. The online furniture retailer gave share options worth more than £10,000 to all 650 staff members as an acknowledgement that it would not have been possible without them.
· 09/04/20: Pureplay retailer, but its showrooms are temporarily closed
MandM trading updates and comments:
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 23/03/22
· Marks & Spencer has opened its regional 50,000 sq ft flagship store in Woking’s new Victoria Place development.
· 14/03/22: Marks & Spencer has announced it will open Early Learning Centre outlets in a handful of stores by the end of this month, in a bid to bolster its appeal to family shoppers.
· 16/02/22: Marks & Spencer announced all store staff will earn at least £10 per hour from April amid labour shortages.
· 25/11/21: Marks & Spencer has received approval from the Westminster City Council to rebuild its Oxford Street flagship store, which currently occupies three buildings at 456-472 Oxford Street. M&S will occupy just two and a half of the new 10 floor, with the remaining floors office space.
· 03/08/21: Marks & Spencer is awarding HGV drivers a £2,000 sign-on bonus as it looks to attract hauliers amid shortages.
· 26/07/21: Marks & Spencer is to launch same-day fashion delivery as it drive online capabilities, making it faster than competitors such as Asos and Next.
· 02/07/21: Marks & Spencer has announced the closure of its 29 bank branches today, with all its current accounts shutting down by the end of next month.
· 23/06/21: Marks & Spencer has announced its partnership with Go Instore to offer customers enhanced shopping experiences through a new Video Expert service.
· 26/05/21: Marks & Spencer reported a £201m loss in the year to 27 March, with revenue down 12% to £8.97bn, despite online sales growth of 54%. Food like-for-like sales edged up 1.3%, while clothing and home sales dropped 32%. It plans to close another 30 shops over the next decade as part of its turnaround plan.
· 04/05/21: Marks & Spencer is recruiting 85 tech specialists following a rise in M&S’s online sales of 34% in the first half of its financial year.
· 19/04/21: Marks & Spencer has started building a new automated online warehouse within its Bradford-based distribution centre, which will create 300 new jobs.
· 26/02/21: Marks & Spencer offers 360 work placements for the months of April and June 2021 in support of the government’s kickstart scheme which helps young people get onto the career ladder.
· 15/01/21: Jaeger has axed more than 200 jobs following its acquisition by Marks & Spencer, as the deal saw M&S acquire the Jaeger brand as well as its stock and supporting marketing assets, but none of the retailer’s 63 stores or staff.
· 11/01/21: Marks & Spencer confirmed the acquisition of Jaeger’s brand for an undisclosed amount.
· 26/10/20: Marks & Spencer will hire 500 additional seasonal staff for its online distribution channel as it expects high Christmas demand. This means the retailer has increased staff numbers by 30% year-on-year to approximately 4,000.
· 18/08/20: Marks & Spencer announced that it will be axing 7000 jobs across its business over the next three months at both management and store levels. This follows the implementation of its digital strategy triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
· 20/07/20: Marks & Spencer is axing 950 management jobs across central operations and stores, as it looks to accelerate the ‘Never the Same Again’ restructuring programme unveiled during the coronavirus crisis.
· 26/06/20: Marks & Spencer and Next are reportedly mulling bids for Victoria’s Secret’s UK division, which fell into administration earlier in June.
Matalan trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 25/06/20
· In its full year update, Matalan said: “We are accelerating the changes in our working practices and drivers of cost efficiency, and have already delivered rapid enhancements to our model during the crisis”. It is, for instance, now fulfilling online orders from 75 stores, alongside distribution centres.
· 07/05/20: Matalan has reportedly asked existing lenders Barclays and Lloyds to inject a combined £50m of government-backed funding into the business to prevent it running out of cash.
Matchfashion.com trading updates and comments:
McColl's trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 09/05/22
· Morrisons has successfully acquired the embattled convenience store chain McColl’s out of administration. The deal means that all of McColl’s 16,000 staff and 1,100 stores, which include 270 Morrisons Daily formats, will be transferred to Morrisons’ ownership.
· 06/05/22: McColl’s has fallen into administration and has appointed PwC as administrators. In a statement, McColl’s said its banks had declined to extend the waiver on its covenants.
· 29/11/21: McColl’s revealed plans to increase the number of Morrisons Daily stores. The convenience specialist had previously planned to convert 350 of its shops into the Morrisons Daily format, but will now increase that number to 450 under a new agreement with the supermarket giant.
· 09/04/20: McColl’s has partnered with Deliveroo for a home delivery service. Deliveries will be made from some 120 McColl’s stores, which will expand to over 300 shops across the country.
Missguided trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 31/05/22
· Frasers Group has bought fast fashion retailer Missguided out of administration for £20m. Missguided will continue to operate as a standalone business following the acquisition.
· 25/10/21: Missguided founder Nitin Passi has appointed AlixPartners as it seeks £50m emergency funding from outside investors amid the supply chain crisis straining finances.
Monsoon trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 30/11/21
· Monsoon has opened another boutique store in Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre.
· 13/04/21: Monsoon launched new boutique store concept in London’s Marylebone High Street. The fashion retailer’s new concept store is the first in a series of 30 new boutiques planned in locations across the UK and Ireland.
· 10/06/20: Monsoon and Accessorize founder Peter Simon has bought the business out of administration through a new holding company Adena for up to £15m. This has secured the head office, distribution centre and ecommerce arm. It is now in talks with landlords to reach terms to save “as many as 100 stores”. Simon said: ““Monsoon and Accessorize will both emerge smaller and stronger after this”.
· 28/05/20: Monsoon Accessorize is set to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators, having lined up FRP Advisory to handle the process.
Moonpig trading updates and comments:
Morrisons trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 10/06/22
· Morrisons has implemented a 2% increase on the base pay for staff across the UK. This makes the grocer the highest-paying supermarket in the country at £10.20 an hour.
· 05/05/22: Morrisons has successfully acquired the embattled convenience store chain McColl’s out of administration. The deal means that all of McColl’s 16,000 staff and 1,100 stores, which include 270 Morrisons Daily formats, will be transferred to Morrisons’ ownership.
· 05/04/22: Morrisons’ new owner Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is looking to sell £500m of the grocer’s portfolio of manufacturing and distribution centres in the UK. It comes as Morrisons warns over the impacts of Ukraine disruption and inflation, with shoppers cutting their spend as living costs rise.
· 29/11/21: McColl’s revealed plans to increase the number of Morrisons Daily stores. The convenience specialist had previously planned to convert 350 of its shops into the Morrisons Daily format, but will now increase that number to 450 under a new agreement with the supermarket giant.
· 06/10/21: Morrisons announced it is set to hire 3,000 extra staff this Christmas for its distribution centres and manufacturing sites to meet demand during the festive period. The grocer guarantees a pay of at least £10 per hour.
· 04/10/21: Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is set to take control of Morrisons after winning the auction for the supermarket group with a £7bn bid.
· 06/08/21: The consortium led by US private equity Fortress has increased its offer for Morrisons, valuing the grocer at £6.7bn from £6.3bn previously. Shareholders will vote on 27 August.
· 21/07/21: Private equity Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is reportedly working on another bid for Morrisons, following American investment firm Fortress’s £6.3bn takeover offer for the grocer.
· 05/07/21: Following the rejection of a £5.5 billion takeover bid from US private equity firm CD&R, Morrisons has finally agreed to a £6.3 billion takeover bid from Fortress.
· 02/03/21: Morrisons acquires Cornish seafood supplier Falfish for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition sees Falfish’s co-owner Mark Greet alongside 140 existing employees join Morrisons.
· 01/03/21: Morrisons extends its wholesale partnership with McColl’s, meaning the grocery will now be McColl’s sole wholesale supplier until 2027. McColl’s stores will carry a full range of Morrisons convenience products.
· 13/01/21: Morrisons announced a pay rise of approximately 9% for 96,000 of their staff. This will see a minimum hourly rate of £10 when the deal comes into effect in April.
· 23/11/20: Next has partnered with Morrisons on a trial of collect and return ‘pods’ in supermarket car parks in Leominster, Herefordshire and Canvey Island, Essex. The pilot has been aimed in locations where there is not a nearby Next store.
· 30/09/20: Morrisons is creating 1,000 new picking jobs across 50 stores to help it fulfil orders on its services with Amazon and Prime.
· 24/09/20: Morrisons has launched a home delivery subscription box, with customers able to sign up for weekly, fortnightly or monthly deliveries of food boxes without needing to book delivery slots.
· 02/09/20: Growing demand for flowers has seen Morrisons hiring 180 florists, seeing new stalls installed in stores.
· 26/05/20: Morrisons is set to open its first standalone clothing and homewares store to drive its Nutmeg clothing range as well as its own-brand homewares.
· 13/05/20: Morrisons has introduced a ‘speedy shopping’ system for those looking to make smaller basket purchases. Three speedy customers are being invited into stores for every one customer looking to make a larger trolley shop.
· 11/05/20: Morrisons and Pret a Manger are using partnerships with Amazon to offer new online services. Morrisons said 40 of its stores are fulfilling same-day deliveries through Prime Now.
· 09/04/20: Morrisons announced a new partnership with Deliveroo to offer home grocery delivery from stores.
· Morrisons announced it would create 3,500 jobs and expand its home delivery service to handle the pandemic. It also shared plans for a “colleague hardship fund” and pledged to pay smaller suppliers immediately to help them deal with the uncertainty.
· Morrisons is upping its capacity to enable it to hand out £10m of food to food banks during the virus outbreak; by operating its bakery, egg and fruit and vegetable packing sites for an extra hour every day.
· Morrisons will give full-time staff a £1,050 bonus, compared to the £350 average last year, for those continuing to work during the coronavirus crisis.
Moss Bros trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 27/11/20
· Moss Bros launched a CVA to restructure its cost base and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. The retailer’s sales have been battered amid Covid restrictions and event cancelations.
· 01/09/20: KPMG have been called in by Moss Bros to look as options to reduce store numbers and head count as it grapples with the impact of falling demand because of the coronavirus.
· 26/05/20: Investment firm Brigadier Acquisition found that it has been unable to abandon its £22m bid for Moss Bros. The deal will now be completed.
· 13/05/20: On 13 May, Moss Bros reopened its online platform, having closed its ecommerce and store operations on 26 March.
· 12/05/20: Moss Bros is set to reopen online from tomorrow (13 May), having closed its ecommerce and store operations on 26 March. In line with government expectations, the retailer is “developing plans to reopen stores in an orderly manner” from 1 June.
· 22/04/20: Brigadier Acquisition Company is hoping to retract the £22.6m offer it made to acquire Moss Bros in mid-March. It is hoping to lapse its offer because of coronavirus disruption, which saw Moss Bros close all retail operations including online on 26 March.
Mountain Warehouse trading updates and comments:
· On 17 March, Mountain Warehouse warned of 2,000 redundancies as it faced a “catastrophic” sales decline, revealing sales dropped by 50% in recent days and likely to "be worse" going forward.
N Brown trading updates and comments:
Naked Wines trading updates and comments:
New Look trading updates and comments:
· Fashion retailer New Look will open its first ever clearance store this week at The Boulevard outlet centre in Northern Ireland.
· 19/10/21: New Look has opened a new 20,000 sq ft, two-floor flagship store in Liverpool. The retailer’s biggest UK store to date, includes flatscreens that shows customers different ways to style New Look pieces while they are shopping.
· 10/04/21: New Look won a high court battle against a handful of landlords that challenged the retailer’s Company Voluntary Arrangement, allowing it to continue its recovery strategy.
· 01/04/21: New Look has added a boy’s collection to its 915 kids wear and teen range. Retail prices starts from £4.99 for a slogan T-Shirt.
· 17/03/21: New Look faces a High Court battle with four retail landlords over the terms of its CVA. Under the CVA approved last November, landlords would receive no rent on 68 of New Look’s stores for three years and as little as 2% of turnover on 402 others. Landlords argue a “bare minimum market rent” should be paid, despite the CVA’s terms.
· 15/09/20: New Look has had its company voluntary arrangement approved by creditors, moving 402 stores to turnover-based rent agreements of up to 12%.
· 26/08/20: New Look unveiled CVA plans, after conducting a £440m debt-for-equity swap with lender backing.
· 29/06/20: New Look is mulling a pre-pack administration as it works with consultancy CBRE to move to turnover-based rents.
· 04/06/20: New Look has drafted in advisors CBRE and CWM to negotiate a switch to turnover-based rents, as it seeks to slash its property costs at the majority of its 500 stores in UK and Ireland.
Next trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 09/03/22
· Next has signed a new 10-year lease with Manchester's Trafford Centre to create a larger store, expected to open in November 2022. The new store will upsize the brand’s 40,000 sq ft store in the centre, bringing its fashion, beauty, and home offering together in a single 65,000 sq ft store.
· 26/01/22: Next is set to open a 94,000 sq ft department store in Atria Watford that brings together its fashion, beauty and home offer for the first time, including a connecting 4,500 sq ft Victoria’s Secret shop in which Next owns a majority stake in the UK.
· 17/09/21: Next has agreed to operate Gap’s business in the UK and Ireland as a franchise partner. Under the new partnership, which is set to launch in 2022, Gap’s ecommerce business will join Next’s Total Platform, while Gap shop-in-shops will be opened in some Next stores.
· 17/05/21: Mamas & Papas revealed plans to open further concessions within Next after recording strong footfall and sales since non-essential retail reopened in April.
· 22/01/21: Next pulled-out from the acquisition process of part or all of Arcadia’s group as they fell short to meet the price expectation of the vendor.
· 18/01/21: Retailer Next has emerged as a leading bidder to rescue Topshop from administration. If the deal is successful, the retailer plans to partner with hedge fund Davidson Kempner and appoint an external manager to form a new joint venture to run Arcadia.
· 25/08/20: Next is to open beauty stores in three former Intu Debenhams branches.
· 29/04/20: Next has made strong use of the government’s Job Retention Scheme and initially furloughed 88% of its staff across the business as both stores and warehouses shut down. By the end of April, this had reduced to 84% following the reopening of its online operations. The multichannel giant has scenario planned for sales to decline this year between 50-62% in Q2, 19%-33% in Q3, and 17%-28% in the final quarter.
· 14/04/20: Following a three-week suspension, Next resumed selling online at a limited capacity on 14 April. As it grapples social distancing in warehouses, Next is selling online across a limited number of categories such as childrenswear and homewares.
Notonthehighstreet.com trading updates and comments:
· Notonthehighstreet was fully acquired by US private equity firm Green Hill Partners for an undisclosed amount.
Oak Furniture Land
Oak Furniture Land trading updates and comments:
Oasis trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 17/06/20
· Boohoo has acquired the intellectual property of Oasis and Warehouse in a £5.2m deal from Hilco, as part of its plan to capitalise M&A opportunities. Boohoo bought its former stablemates Karen Millen and Coast last year.
· Fell into administration on 16 April.
Ocado trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 06/10/21
· Ocado has partnered with autonomous grocery delivery start-up Wayve that sees the grocer invest £10m in Wayve’s self-driving technology to bring automation to last mile delivery. The technology uses deep learning and cameras to adapt routes in urban environments, and will be used in a 12-month trial on Ocado delivery vans in London.
· 06/07/21: Ocado partners with Alcampo’s parent company Auchan Retail to build a customer fulfilment centre to serve the Madrid region from 2024, with more to be added at later dates.
· 06/05/20: Ocado said its established consumer fulfilment centres (CFC) are running at full capacity, while its Ertih CFC has increased the capacity of orders it can process to 110,000 from 80,000 in Q1.
Office trading updates and comments:
Oliver Bonas trading updates and comments:
Outdoor and Cycle Concepts
Outdoor and Cycle Concepts trading updates and comments:
Paperchase trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 29/04/22
· Paperchase owner Permira Credit has called in advisers to oversee a sale of the retailer, a year after it fell into administration. Permira Credit took control of Paperchase after its pre-pack administration in January 2021 and is being put up for sale as PwC is recruited to oversee the process.
· 27/01/21: Paperchase is set to be sold to Permira Debt Managers. The deal will see approximately 90 of the 125 stores remain open and 1000 jobs saved.
· 05/01/21: Paperchase has issued a notice to appoint administrators imminently, with PwC set to handle the process, as the impact of the pandemic batters sales.
Peacocks trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 06/04/21
· Peacocks has been bought out of administration by an International investment Consortium, backed by Edinburgh Woollen Mill's chief operating officer Steve Simpson. The deal will save 200 stores and 2000 jobs.
· 19/11/20: Peacocks and Jaeger have fallen into administration with 4,700 jobs and 500 shops at risk as its owner failed to find a buyer for the businesses.
· 06/11/20: Edinburgh Wooden Mill and stablemate Ponden Home has fallen into administration, appointing FRP to handle the process, with 750 and 116 roles respectively made redundant with immediate effect.
· 16/10/20: Edinburgh Woollen Mill announced the closure of around 50 eponymous fascias and Peacocks branches, with the loss of about 600 jobs.
· 22/09/20: Philip Day, owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, has reportedly asked for a valuation of the Peacocks business, having appointed FRP to find potential buyers.
Pets at Home
Pets at Home trading updates and comments:
· Pets at Home colleagues will benefit from a share of a potential £11.7m pay out, as part of the biggest gain to date from the company’s Sharesave Scheme. The £2.96m investment into the business made by more than 500 colleagues is now worth £14.6m.
· 01/12/20: Pets at Home announced the sale of its five specialist veterinary businesses for £100m to rival Linnaeus Group.
· 30/11/20: Pets at Home completed the acquisition of veterinary telehealth provider The Vet Connection in a £15m deal as it seeks to increase its digital propositions.
Phase Eight trading updates and comments:
Poundland trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 16/11/21
· Poundland has announced it will open or refurbish nearly 50 stores across the UK in time as we head towards Christmas.
· 18/08/21: Poundland doubles the size of its online delivery service trial by extending to new postcodes in the Midlands and Yorkshire, meaning it is now available to more than 7 million UK consumers.
· 06/08/21: In a bid to attract at least 95 new lorry drivers amid shortages, Poundland is offering to pay for the costs of getting an upgraded HGV Class 1 licence for HGV Class 2 licence-holders, as well as offer a £1,000 bonus to drivers who work out from July to September, with a further £1,000 bonus granted to drivers who work during the golden quarter between October and December.
· 18/06/21: Poundland parent Pepco group announced that it will acquire up to 29 store leases in Austria. Austria would represent the 17th territory for the group and the 15th for the Pepco brand.
· 11/05/21: Poundland has opened its 350th Pep&Co shop-in-shop, as it accelerated expansion of its fashion brand in town centres and retail parks where fashion retailers have been in retreat.
· 30/04/21: Poundland announced earlier this week that it was poised to launch online home delivery as well as click & collect in-store, following a successful test of its new ecommerce operation.
· 06/04/21: Poundland has announced that it plans to open 30 new stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland over the next twelve months. This initiative will create 250 more jobs by September 30.
· 09/10/20: Poundland acquired frozen food retailer Fultons Foods for an undisclosed amount. Poundland said they plan to invest £25m into its grocery proposition over the next two years.
· 16/07/20: Poundland is set to trial its first-ever online delivery service early next year and is set to launch a shop-in-shop concept later this summer. Three stores are set to close with one being converted into an online fulfilment centre.
· 09/04/20: Poundland has temporarily closed 100 stores in locations where it has another outlet in operation nearby, as well as in low footfall shopping centres.
Primark trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 09/02/22
· Greggs has partnered with Primark to launch a clothing range, including 11 limited edition pieces, with plans to open a Greggs café in the apparel retailer’s Birmingham store.
· 21/01/22: Primark vowed not to change the prices of its products despite mounting inflationary pressure. The value fashion retailer however announced that it will axe around 400 employees.
· 20/01/22: Primark is simplifying its retail management team, which is set to see 400 shop floor jobs axed.
· 29/11/21: Primark has announced a €250m (£212m) capital investment in Ireland. The fund is to be used to revamp existing stores and build new distribution centres in its home market. The investment is set to create 700 jobs in stores and at its global headquarters.
· 09/11/21: Primark is set to roll out a dedicated homewares space in 40 stores after a successful trial in its Merry Hill store in Birmingham.
· 18/06/20: Primark expanded to its 14th market as it opened a 49,800sq ft store in Prague, Czech Republic. The new three floors shop has created 300 new jobs.
· 01/06/20: Primark is reopening all of its 153 branches in England on 15 June, and has pulled forward the opening of a new store in Manchester’s Trafford Centre to that day. Primark's 37 shops across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are expected to reopen in late June if guidance allows.
· Primark boss Paul Marchant, ABF group chief executive George Weston and the group’s finance boss John Bason have all asked for their base pay to be temporarily reduced by 50% during the pandemic.
· Primark has created a fund to cover wages of factory workers in countries where orders have been cancelled following temporary store closures. Under its standard terms, the fashion retailer has already paid £1.6bn for stock in its shops, distribution centres and in transit, despite losing sales expected to total £650m a month.
Quiz trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 09/09/20
· Quiz has negotiated more flexible leases after putting its stores business into administration. Rents at 48 reopened stores are now predominantly payable based on turnover, with the average lease length at 24 months. It expects to trade from 60 eventually.
· 13/07/20: Quiz committed to a full review of its supply chain auditing process, following allegations of factory workers making its products in Leicester being paid under the national living wage.
· 10/06/20: Fashion retailer Quiz’s property arm Kast Retail Limited has collapsed into administration, appointing KPMG to handle the process. Quiz’s online, UK concession and international channels are unaffected by the administration. Zandra Retail Limited, another wholly owned subsidiary of Quiz, is set to acquire some of Kast’s assets to ensure Quiz has number of stores to continue it omnichannel strategy.
· 15/04/20: Quiz resumed online trading, but only offering standard delivery, having “significantly reduced” the number of employees working in its distribution centre at any one time in order to enable social distancing
QVC trading updates and comments:
Reiss trading updates and comments:
· Reiss has opened a new 1,650sq ft store in London’s St Pancras.
· 02/12/20: Reiss has opened its latest store in the Western Arcade of London Bridge Station, and offers click-and-collect. Reiss now operates 61 stores and 45 concessions.
River Island trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 14/08/20
· River Island is set to slash 350 jobs across its store estate as it battles to survive the ongoing coronavirus crisis. This is the second job cut wave after the retailer announced it axed 250 office workers earlier in July.
· 05/08/20: River Island is mulling a CVA in a bid to close some stores and cut rents.
· 07/07/20: River Island is axing 250 head office roles as it looks to cut costs, as “the pandemic will change our marketplace for years to come”.
· 15/04/20: River Island are dispatching online orders again after a temporary suspension
· River Island has closed its UK warehouse to protect the health of its employees.
Robert Dyas trading updates and comments:
Sainsbury's trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 11/04/22
· 01/03/22: Sainsbury’s announced that it would close 200 in-store cafes by the spring, putting some 2,000 roles at risk of redundancy. The grocer will instead roll out a further 30 of its Restaurant Hub food hall formats and a further 30 Starbucks coffee shops over the next year as it looks to redevelop its in-store and delivery food offerings.
· 07/10/21: Sainsbury’s announced that all its staffs would see their basic hourly pay rate increased from £9.50 an hour to £10 minimum across the UK, while online delivery drivers would see their pay jump to £11.50 an hour, from March 6.
· 01/10/21; Sainsbury’s is creating 22,000 seasonal roles as part of its “biggest ever Christmas recruitment drive”, with seasonal roles posted four weeks earlier than last year.
· 23/09/21: Sainsbury’s restarted its same-day delivery service, having paused it during the Covid outbreak. By the end of October, the grocer is expanding the service to 100 new stores, plus 100 new click-and-collect points.
· 07/06/21: Sainsbury’s has launched four new Neighbourhood Hub stores this year, bringing the total number of sites under the new fascia to seven.
· 13/05/21: Sainsbury’s is to launch three Carluccio’s store-in-store concepts, marking the dining brand’s first move into supermarkets. The Caffè Carluccio’s format will offer both eat-in and takeaway options, and available through Sainsbury’s Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats partnerships.
· 13/04/21: Sainsbury’s has entered a two-year deal with Deliveroo to extend its delivery trials to 100 stores.
· 04/03/21: Sainsbury’s is set to slash 500 roles at its London head office, including in the supermarket’s Tu clothing division. The grocer will also close one of its London fulfilment centres in a bid to reinvest in its new ‘food first’ agenda.
· 25/11/20: Patisserie Valerie is set to launch a range of cakes and pastries in 250 Sainsbury’s stores as part of a new tie-up with the grocer.
· 30/10/20: Sainsbury’s has announced partnerships with Uber Eats and Deliveroo to bolster home deliveries, giving customers access to more than 1,000 products. Both services are set to roll out in London before being expanded across the UK.
· 27/07/20: Sainsbury’s is testing a virtual queuing app, saving the need to physically queue outside stores, in a bid to help it “respond quickly” if increased restrictions were brought back during local lockdowns. Shoppers would receive a notification when they are at the front of the queue.
· 15/05/20: Sainsbury’s is partnering with Stuart, part of courier firm DPD Group, to expand its Chop Chop bike delivery service to 20 UK cities outside of London by mid-June. The expansion is set to increase online delivery capacity by a further 400% and supports the grocer’s bid to increase the number of delivery slots to 600,000 per week.
· 24/04/20: In a bid to reduce queues, Sainsbury’s is extending its opening hours from 8am until 10pm, with opening hours in many convenience stores extended to 11pm. It will also reopening its petrol filling station stores.
· 24/04/20: Additionally, Sainsbury’s is installing additional protective screens at manned checkouts in a further 150 stores.
· 24/04/20: Sainsbury’s is aiming to offer 600,000 online slots per week by the end of April, as boss Mike Coupe says its home delivery and click-and-collect services “are in more demand than ever before”. Its on-demand delivery service ChopChop is also being extended to London zones 1 and 2.
· Sainsbury’s has reintroduced its rapid home delivery service, Chop Chop, using its Blackfriars convenience store as a dark store.
Schuh trading updates and comments:
· Following its suspension online, Schuh resumes online trading, with its fulfilment centres operating with 10 staff or less at any one time, working two metres apart, and with access to work station cleaning kits and hand sanitiser stations.
Screwfix trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 16/05/22
· Screwfix will create 800 retail jobs by January as part of plans to open 80 new shops across the UK and Ireland. The DIY specialist opened 70 new shops in 2021, and the additions this year will take its total stores to 870.
· 12/08/21: Screwfix has rolled out its 60-minute Sprint delivery option across 30 new cities following a trial in Bristol, with a delivery charge of £5.
· 28/06/21: Screwfix has partnered with courier service Gophr to offer half-hour deliveries in Bristol.
· 15/03/21: Screwfix announced plans to open 50 new stores across the UK and Ireland this year. This will create 600 jobs in areas such as retail management, service assistants and supervisors.
· 28/01/21: Screwfix reported a £2bn sales performance in the year to January 2021. The DIY retailer also opened 30 new stores across the UK and Ireland in 2020, bringing its total store estate to 725.
· 27/08/20: Screwfix plans to open 40 new UK and Ireland stores by the end of the year, creating 460 new jobs across retail management, service assistance and supervisor roles.
· 09/04/20: After a successful trial of social distancing measures at 14 stores over the weekend, B&Q reopened 61outlets yesterday and a further 80 today bringing the total number opened to 155.
· B&Q and Screwfix parent Kingfisher warned of "significant uncertainty on sales and demand' after closing its 221 stores in France and 28 of its stores in Spain.
ScS trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 30/07/20
· The raft of orders post-lockdown sets ScS up in a strong position going forward, as many of the order will be delivered in the first quarter of its new financial year.
· 26/05/20: In an update to the City, ScS said as of May 23 it had reopened 80 stores and begun deliveries, having previously closed both its store and online arms on 23 March. The retailer said it holds £48.3m in cash and has “continued to review and reduce cash expenditure to protect our liquidity short term”.
Selfridges trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 10/01/22
· Selfridges saw sales plummet 40% to £508.5m in the 52 weeks to 30 January 2021. The department store chain reported an operating loss of £136.7m in the same period, compared to an operating profit of £113.8m in the previous year. In order to cut down costs, 14% of its staff were impacted by redundancy over the year to January 2021
· 24/12/21: The Weston family has sold the luxury retail group Selfridges to retailer Signa Holding and property company Central Group. Though the financial details of the transactions were not publicly disclosed, the BBC reported that the sale was made for £4bn.
· 02/12/21: Selfridges owners the Weston family have reportedly agreed to sell the department store to Thailand’s Central Group. The deal could be completed by the end of this year.
· 26/07/21: The owners of the Selfridges have launched a formal auction of the department store business. Bids are expected to start at £4bn, and Credit Suisse is expected to distribute information memoranda to potential buyers.
· 22/06/21: Selfridges launched garden centres across its London, Manchester and Birmingham stores, as well as online.
· 11/06/21: Selfridges has allegedly received an unsolicited approach from an unknown buyer in a bid that could see the department store group being sold for at least £4bn.
· 28/07/20: Selfridges is axing 14% of its headcount – or around 450 jobs – as it warned sales across the chain would be “significantly less than they were in 2019”.
Shoe Zone trading updates and comments:
· Shoe Zone is set to open a new store in Southampton later this year. The 2,688 sq ft store at 69 Above Bar Street is expected to open its doors on 11 December. By 2020 Shoe Zone's store portfolio had grown to 53 out-of-town stores and seven "new concept hybrid" stores, selling both branded and own-brand styles, as well as 398 high street shops.
· 10/11/21: Shoe Zone is opening a new store in the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Tonbridge, Kent, on 26 November.
· 23/06/20: Shoe Zone unveiled plans to close 20 stores to cut costs in its half year results, reporting a pre-tax loss of £2.5m in the six months to 4 April. The retailer cautioned that coronavirus shockwaves will “be felt for several years”.
Sofa.com (Frasers Group)
Sofa.com trading updates and comments:
Sofology (DFS Group)
Sofology trading updates and comments:
Superdrug (AS Watson Group)
Superdrug trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 09/11/21
· Superdrug has revealed plans to expand its delivery service to include super-fast two-hour rapid home delivery from nearly 300 stores nationwide.
· 09/04/20: AS Watson – parent to Superdrug, The Perfume Shop and Savers – has unveiled a £40m financial support scheme for employees affected by the virus.
Superdry trading updates and comments:
· Superdry and Robert Goddard fashion will open stores in Lincoln’s Cornhill quarter in the later part of the year.
· 21/07/20: Gatemore Capital has acquired a 3.37% stake in Superdry, as the hedge fund is “confident the business is poised to benefit from the trend towards casualwear which has been accelerated by Covid-19”.
Sweaty Betty trading updates and comments:
Tapi trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 08/06/20
· Tapi has secured £16m of investment as it eyes profitability within 18 months. It is taking a gradual approach to store openings through appointment only using its ‘Queue Buster’ program, which enables consumers to join a virtual store queue by texting or scanning a QR, allowing shoppers go elsewhere until they are allowed in.
Ted Baker trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 04/04/22
· Ted Baker is formally putting itself up for sale, following unsolicited bids from private equity firm Sycamore Partners and an unnamed third party.
· 11/03/22: Ted Baker has signed a franchise agreement with Aldrich Group that will see the company open 30 new stores for Ted Baker over the next decade.
· 23/02/22: Ted Baker reported a 35% rise in sales YoY in the 12 weeks to 29 January. The fashion retailer has signed a franchise agreement which will see three new UK stores opening each year for the next three years.
· 23/07/21: Ted Baker has announced plans to move its headquarters in Fitzrovia following a 10-year lease agreement with Westminster City Council. The retailer expects to move into the space during Summer 2022.
· 20/07/20: Ted Baker is cutting 25% of its overall workforce, or 500 jobs, axing 200 roles from its head office, with the remainder across stores and concessions.
· 20/04/20: Ted Baker announced that it is launching a virtual pop-up store dubbed Ted’s Bazaar, selling A4 prints, T-shirt. Beanies, tea-towels and mugs, with profits going to local community charities that support Covid-19. The virtual store will be hosted on the retailer’s existing website with its first collection released on 1 May.
Tesco trading updates and comments:
· Tesco has revealed plans for a £200m investment in its workers, which will involve increasing hourly pay rates for store and warehouse staff by 5.8%. The base pay for store and customer fulfilment centre workers will increase from £9.55 an hour to £10.10 – effective from 24 July.
· 28/02/22: Tesco has expanded its rapid delivery partnership with Gorillas into the north of England, fulfilling customer orders from its Stretford Extra store. Gorillas said customers in the Manchester area would be “able to order a large range of Tesco products to their door within minutes.”
· 23/02/22: Tesco has extended its partnership with on-demand grocery firm Gorillas to Manchester.
· 01/02/22: Tesco has announced that is moving overnight stock replenishment to the daytime in 85 stores. The move is expected to put more than 1,400 roles at risk.
· 31/01/22: Tesco announced that it will be closing its seven short-lived Jack’s store format and cutting hundreds of counters, putting 130 jobs across the business at risk.
· 15/12/21: Tesco has struck a pay deal with trade union Usdaw to fend off a strike by workers at nine of its distribution centres. The union had threatened the retailer to launch a strike from December 20 until Christmas Eve if Tesco did not improve its pay offer.
· 02/08/21: Tesco is offering HGV drivers a £1,000 sign-on bonus for hauliers that can start working before the end of September. Aldi has also reportedly increased wages for its lorry drivers.
· 23/06/21: Decathlon has partnered with Tesco to open its first shop-in-shop in Wales.
· 21/06/21: Tesco expanded its Whoosh one-hour delivery service to a further 11 stores in London and Bristol. Chief executive Ken Murphy described the rapid grocery delivery space as “a hot market”.
· 09/06/21: Tesco announced a 2.7% pay rise to staff working on shop floors and warehouses. This takes hourly wages from £9.30 to £9.55.
· 26/05/21: Tesco launched its Whoosh rapid delivery service in Wolverhampton to enable one-hour grocery deliveries to customers, with orders fulfilled from its Willenhall Express store.
· 27/04/21: Clothing group AK Retail Holdings announced it is to launch dual-branded Yours Clothing and BadRhino shop-in-shops in two Tesco stores.
· 08/03/21: Tesco has put thousands of store manager roles into consultation as it launches a restructuring program at its larger superstores and Extra stores. Affected departments include checkout, fresh food and F&F, with department managers being replaced with team or lead manager positions – but Tesco confirmed there are to be no redundancies as a result.
· 10/11/20: Tesco is to pay 10% bonus for hours worked over Christmas and New Year, while Lidl is investing £8m to increase pay for 20,000 workers ahead of the busy Christmas period.
· 24/08/20: Tesco is to create 16,000 jobs following “exceptional” growth in its online business during the pandemic, including 10,000 new picker jobs and 3,000 new delivery drivers.
· 17/08/20: Tesco plans to add free delivery to its Clubcard plus membership scheme in retaliation to Amazon’s free home deliveries.
· 26/06/20: Tesco’s UK sales were up 9% in its first quarter to 30 May, driven by a 49% jump in online sales and up by 90% at the peak in May. Tesco has doubled its online delivery slots to 1.3 million, having invested £4m into the initiative, which it said has been partially offset by the business rates relief.
· Tesco said the virus could add £650m to £925m in extra costs due to additional distribution, staff and store expenses. Some 50,000 staff have been absent amid the virus, but had recruited more than 45,000 new staff since 20 March.
· However, Tesco has said that if customer behaviour normalises by August, the additional cost headwinds could be largely offset.
· Tesco cut stores opening hours at its 24-hour stores in order to give staff time to restock – shutting at 10pm and open again at 6am
· Tesco is seeking 20,000 new people
The Body Shop
The Body Shop trading updates and comments:
The Co-operative Food
The Co-operative Food trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 03/08/22
· The Co-op has extended its partnership with Deliveroo by three years as it looks to offer rapid home delivery from 110 additional stores across the UK.
· 22/07/22: The Co-op is to cut 400 head office jobs, with the majority of the redundancies will be in its customer support centre team, amid “tough trading environment”.
· 06/09/21: The Co-op has announced its partnership with The Original Factory Shop concessions that would see the later open up to 30 stores in Co-op’s food stores over the next 15 months.
· 22/04/21: The Co-op is to remove team manager roles across its c-stores, but insisted there will be no redundancies as part of the process.
· 19/03/21: The Co-op plans to double its franchise estate to 30 stores by the end of this year.
· 25/11/20: The Co-op has announced the expansion of its robot home-delivery service. The retailer plans to launch click and collect from 1000 stores by 2021.
· 21/10/20: Co-op announced a partnership with Gophr to provide same day delivery in Scotland.
· 04/09/20: The Co-op unveiled a £130m investment programme to create 1,000 new jobs and open around 50 new shops, as its online sales through Deliveroo step up and convenience stores benefit from more local shopping following lockdown.
· 11/08/20: Convenience store retailer the Co-op has extended its delivery partnership with Deliveroo to cover 400 of its stores in the UK.
· 26/06/20: The Co-op has warned that it has seen an increase in violence against shopworkers since the coronavirus outbreak, with incidents up 140% in the year to May, and called on the government to introduce legislation to protect store staff.
· 03/06/20: The Co-op has expanded its robot delivery service with Sharship Technologies, as the number of customers using the service in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire has “more than doubled” since lockdown, with transaction values up four-fold. The retailer expects same-day delivery from more than 650 UK stores to be available by the end of the year.
· 24/04/20: The Co-op warned that it faces additional costs of more than £200m due to the coronavirus crisis, which will only “in part” be offset by business rates relief and increased food sales. The business has, for instance, taken on 7,000 new workers since the start of the outbreak.
· 09/04/20: The Co-op revealed it is to hire 5,000 new temporary store staff to meet coronavirus demand, for quicker store replenishment and online order fulfilment.
· Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells is taking a 20% pay cut over the next three months
The Entertainer trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 23/12/20
· The Entertainer has confirmed that all its shops will be operating on a click and collect basis with its customers until Christmas Eve.
· 02/11/20: Currys PC World and The Entertainer extended opening hours in the run-up to lockdown closures.
· 29/05/20: The Entertainer is set to reopen all 173 of its stores on 15 June with a new ‘ready in 10’ service. The fast-track service allows shoppers queuing for the store to make an order from their smartphone, which can be collected in-store within 10 minutes, and enables customers to tell a store colleague at the door what they want and be fast-tracked to the checkout.
The Hut Group
The Hut Group trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 12/05/21
· THG is set to acquire US-based manufacturer of skincare and haircare products Bentley Laboratories in a $255m (£180m) deal. The acquisition is expected to be completed within the next 30 days.
· 23/04/21: The Hut Group is set to acquire healthy snack bar manufacturer Brighter Foods for a cash amount of £43m. The deal, which has been conditionally agreed, is expected to complete next month.
· 29/12/20: The Hut Group has acquired the US-based skincare retailer Dermstore.com. The group also invested in nutrition suppliers, Claremont ingredients and David Berryman.
· 22/06/20: The Hut Group’s technology arm THG Ingenuity has signed more than £100m of new deals with beauty brands Elemis, PZ Cussons Beauty, Burt’s Bees and Revolution Beauty. The partnerships are set to accelerate the brand’s transition to a direct-to-consumer model.
The Range trading updates and comments:
The Very Group
The Very Group trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 24/06/20
· Very Group is axing 141 roles across head office and customer care, while creating 100 new roles in its technology division as it looks to reshape its business.
The White Company
The White Company trading updates and comments:
· The White Company has opened a new concept store in Leicestershire's Market, Harborough.
The Works trading updates and comments:
TK Maxx trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 23/09/21
· TJX Europe, the parent company of TK Maxx, has begun hiring up to 2,000 young people in the UK under a government work placement programme. The scheme will provide specialist employability training and resources in partnership with The Prince’s Trust.
· 30/04/20: TK Maxx has restarted selling online – more than two weeks after it stopped taking orders. It has set daily order limits and warned that lead times could be extended. The retailer has also adopted contactless deliveries with its partner Hermes.
· TK Maxx has closed its distribution centre and is not taking new online orders.
TM Lewin trading updates and comments:
· TM Lewin’s main lender PETRA Group has struck a deal to acquire the retailer after it fell into administration for the second time in less than two years. The apparel retailer has closed all 66 of its physical shops as part of the insolvency, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.
· 18/03/22: TM Lewin fell into administration for the second time since the pandemic begun. TM Lewin said pandemic restrictions and hybrid working continued to have negative impacts on its finances.
· 17/03/22: TM Lewin is reportedly at the brink of administration as it considers lining up advisers to handle the process. Lenders to the company are considering the appointment of Interpath Advisory to handle the insolvency process.
· 30/06/20: TM Lewin is to close all of its UK stores, having collapsed into administration but been bought back by owner Torque Brands in a pre-pack deal that did not include its shops. Over 600 jobs are now at risk.
· 13/05/20: TM Lewin has been acquired by private equity Torque Brands.
Topps Tiles at Home trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 19/05/20
· In a half year update, Topps Tiles said online revenues have surged to three times pre-pandemic levels, but warned that overall sales were “down significantly” because of store closures. The retailer plans to have 250 stores “fully opened” by the end of May, with the remaining 100 opened by the end of June.
Topshop (Arcadia Group)
Topshop trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 07/07/21
· Topshop’s administrators – Deloitte pays Lady Tina Green a total amount of £50m. This comes as pensioners and smaller suppliers face a further wait to recover what they are owed by the collapsed chain.
· 11/01/21: US clothing firm G-III Apparel has allegedly made a bid to acquire Arcadia’s brands including Topshop and Miss Selfridge.
· 04/01/21: Arcadia’s administrators appoint estate agents to advise on the sale of Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford Street, London.
· 11/12/20: Topshop’s administrators hope to receive offers of up to £200m for the flagship shops in Arcadia’s fashion empire.
· 30/11/20: Arcadia group tumbled into administration, putting 13,000 employees at risk. The group’s 444 UK stores will continue trading while the administrators seek buyers.
· 25/08/20: Arcadia has been accused of offering some furloughed employees being made redundant less favourable notice terms, with payments reportedly based on reduced furlough rates.
· 27/07/20: Fashion house Arcadia, which includes Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton, has reportedly proposed additional cost-cutting to The Pensions Regulator.
· 01/07/20: Arcadia is set to axe around 500 head office jobs as it looks to cut costs during the pandemic. Buying and design teams at Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins are reportedly impacted.
· 18/04/20: It has been reported that Arcadia has given notice on at least 100 store leases, which could lead to renegotiations or closures by the end of the summer.
· 09/04/20: In a bid to cut costs, Topshop parent Arcadia is deferring pension payments and has written to suppliers to inform them that it will be cancelling orders and extending its payment terms to 90 days.
· Arcadia's board and senior leadership is taking a pay cut of between 25% and 50% amid the virus. Topshop boss Ian Grabiner has chosen 'to receive no salary or benefits until further notice’.
· Arcadia is looking to borrow £50m against its Daventry distribution centre as the group fights for survival.
· Financial Times has reported that Arcadia is expected to close “dozens more branches” on top of its planned closures.
Uniqlo trading updates and comments:
Urban Outfitters trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 29/03/21
· Nike has announced plans to cut ties with a further seven major retailers including Urban Outfitters and Macy’s, as it continues to shift towards direct-to-consumer sales.
Victoria Plum trading updates and comments:
Victorian Plumbing trading updates and comments:
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Waitrose (John Lewis Partnership)
Waitrose trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 14/07/21
· John Lewis and Waitrose plan to cut 1,000 store jobs to simplify management structures and reinvest in the customer experience and visual merchandising. The redundancies average three people per store across 331 Waitrose branches and 34 John Lewis stores.
· 29/04/21: Waitrose has entered a partnership with Hotel Chocolat to sell a selection of the chocolatier’s products in its supermarkets and online, including dedicated bays and gondola ends. It marks the first time that Waitrose has entered into such a deal with a third-party.
· 27/04/21: Waitrose extended its partnership with Deliveroo to 110 new stores, as it plans to offer home delivery options across multiple locations and on a wide variety of products by the end of summer. Waitrose will create 400 new roles to fulfil orders ready to be collected and delivered by the app’s riders.
· 11/11/20: Waitrose is set to increase its food service counters in-stores, following news that Sainsbury’s is shuttering food counters. Waitrose will also relaunch its fish and meat counter online next year.
· 29/10/20: Waitrose announced it will recruit an extra 1,850 order pickers and delivery drivers – both temporary and permanent – in response to surging online demand as we enter the Christmas season.
· 12/10/20: Waitrose has launched its first website for overseas shoppers in the United Arab Emirates.
· 16/09/20: Waitrose is set to close three stores and sell another to Tesco by the end of the year, putting 124 staff at risk of redundancy.
· 28/08/20: Waitrose is trialling a new service with Deliveroo at five of its stores, offering consumers a limited range of grocery products for delivery in just 30 minutes.
· 05/05/20: Waitrose is opening a new customer fulfilment centre in London’s Enfield on Thursday, reporting that this would see it double the number of available online delivery slots for Londoners by September, adding 13,000 weekly delivery slots.
· 17/04/20: Waitrose’s same day delivery slots are set to increase from 2,000 to 7,000 per week, while its click-and-collect slots are increasing by 10,000 per week to over 30,000 slots a week.
Waterstones trading updates and comments:
Whistles trading updates and comments:
White Stuff trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 07/05/20
· White Stuff is preparing to make a “significant” number of redundancies as demand plummets.
WHSmith trading updates and comments:
· WH Smith has announced that it will open 18 new stores across key airports such as Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester, and Birmingham. The new stores will trade as InMotion, WHSmith’s US brand. These new stores are expected to deliver sales of around £60m per year.
· 28/04/21: WHSmith plans to launch a £325m fundraise through the issue of convertible bonds to finance the opening of 100 new travel stores, 60 of which in North America. Boss Carl Cowling hailed: “We are now operationally stronger than prior to the pandemic.”
· 10/08/20: WHSmith is reportedly threatening landlords with a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to push the cuts through if they don’t agree to ad hoc changes and rent holidays. The retailer has drafted in property adviser Gerald Eve to try to thrash out deals with landlords across its portfolio of 575 town centre stores and 560 travel hub locations across the UK.
· 05/08/20: WHSmith’s unveiled restructuring plans that could see as many as 1,500 redundancies, mostly in travel locations where sales dived 73% year-on-year in July as just 53% of its travel locations have reopened so far. It plans to close 14 small stores in travel locations..
Wickes trading updates and comments:
· Wickes, Toolstation and Tile Giant parent Travis Perkins is set to cut 2,500 UK jobs and close 165 stores – 8% of its portfolio – as it suffers weak demand for building materials due to the pandemic. Closures would focus on smaller branches where social distancing is difficult to implement.
· 30/04/20: On 30 April, Wickes reopened six stores to the public with shorter opening hours.
WiggleCRC trading updates and comments:
Wilko trading updates and comments:
· Wilko, the home and garden retailer announced its plan to close 15 stores as they failed to find favourable terms on expired leased contract. Store closures will impact 300 Wilko employees. However, the retailer said it wants to find alternative positions for existing staff at nearby stores.
Net-a-Porter trading updates and comments:
· Net-a-Porter has closed its London warehouse.
Zalando trading updates and comments:
Last updated: 22/06/21
· Zalando and Sephora have announced a new partnership to create a prestigious online beauty destination for Zalando shoppers, in a bid to reinvent how they shop beauty online.
· 19/10/20: Fashion pureplay Zalando announced the acquisition of Swiss computer vision technology company Fision, in a bid to develop their virtual dressing room capabilities.
· 07/05/20: Zalando expects total sales to grow between 10% and 20% this year, having added 50 new partners to its luxury fashion marketplace in the past three weeks, including Vaude, American Eagle Outfitters and Lipsy London.
· 09/04/20: Zalando said it will keep its warehouses open to preserve “business continuity” despite a noticeable fall in demand from customers in areas that have been in lockdown.
Zara trading updates and comments:
· Zara is opening a new 48,800 sq ft store in Battersea's new retail, home and leisure development later this year.
· 03/06/21: Zara has opened a new 36,500 sq ft flagship store in St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff.
· 07/04/21: Zara is opening a new 36,500 sq ft store in St David’s Dewi Sant shopping centre in Cardiff, Wales this summer. The store format includes new omnichannel retail integration, with an automated collection point, self-service system, and dedicated refund till.
· 10/06/20: Zara owner Inditex announced a strategic shift for stores to act as “fashion distribution hubs [in] the world’s leading cities”. Group chair and chief executive Pablo Isla announced plans to invest €900m a year over the next three years to grow online and focus on large stores. By the end of next year, Inditex plans to open 450 new stores and shut up to 1,200 smaller stores.