Falling footfall and squeezed margins knocked retailers in run-as much as Christmas 

Retailers endured within the run-as much as Christmas as shoppers steered obvious of high street shops and margins were squeezed by greater costs, Black Friday discounts an internet-based shopping.

Total footfall dropped 3.5pc in ­December in contrast to this past year, the greatest fall since March 2013, based on figures in the British Retail Consortium and retail analysts Springboard, rich in roads and shopping centres the toughest hit.

Separate research through the Retail Think Tank, which is a member of ­accounting giant KPMG and research firm Ipsos Retail Performance, stated the sector’s ­financial health within the so-known as “Golden Quarter” fell the very first time since 2012 because of the “worsening” economic system, fragile consumer confidence and tighter margins affecting non-food retailers particularly.

BRC leader Helen Dickinson stated falling footfall reflected squeezed incomes along with a move towards e-commerce. She stated: “Households needed to use their cash more carefully, researching products online, instead of venturing out to stores to browse.

“Retail parks fared slightly much better than high roads by supplying Christmas shoppers using the draw and ease of parking, easy click-and-collect, and leisure facilities.”

The RTT stated heavy discounting and much more internet sales, resulting in greater ­logistics costs, injured retailers’ profitability within the three-month period which are the sector’s most powerful.

RTT member Jonathan De Mello, of analysts Harper Dennis Hobbs, stated: “Demand driven by promotion has stored retailers busy, however with margins squeezed so tight, the advantage of the additional sales won’t have had the preferred, or needed, impact.”

John Lewis warns of ‘volatile’ economy despite record Black Friday sales

A record Black Friday helped John Lewis publish strong development in the increase to Christmas however the worker-owned store cautioned intense competition along with a “volatile” economy would weigh on its full-year results.

Sales at John Lewis Partnership, including Waitrose, rose 2.5pc close to £2bn within the six days to December 30, boosted by 3.6pc growth at its mall chain.

Black Friday was the greatest day’s sales in John Lewis’s history, with revenues that week up 7.2pc year-on-year. Electricals rose 5pc over the period, and garments improved by an identical amount, but homeware dipped .3pc.

The partnership’s top line growth was pulled lower with a slower expansion at Waitrose, where sales at stores open several year rose 1.5pc. JLP said when the time had incorporated New Year’s Eve, because it did this past year, like-for-like growth would be for sale 2.1pc.

The supermarket’s sales were boosted by the popularity of Heston Blumenthal’s “Citrus Sherbet Lazy Gin”, because it offered a month’s price of stock in a single day.

However the store warned its financial obligations were growing in accordance with cashflow and it is chairman Mister Charlie Mayfield stated: “Searching ahead to 2018/19 we predict buying and selling to become volatile because of the economic atmosphere and anticipate that competitive intensity continues, driven through the structural changes happening within the retail industry.”

Christmas hangover for high street shops with £2.5bn in undesirable presents to become came back

Retailers are anticipated to become lumbered with £2.5bn price of undesirable presents within the Christmas period.

A boom in shopping online means information mill getting to cope with ­increasingly challenging amounts of ­returns, based on logistics consultancy LCP.

“The cost retailers need to pay for online growth is fairly substantial,” Stuart Higgins, LCP’s director of retail,  said.

Footwear have undoubtedly the greatest return rate in a whopping 28pc, adopted by clothes on 20pc and homewares on 15pc.   In addition to organizing for that products to become came back, retailers need to spend money and time making certain these products will be ready to be sold again – by ironing clothes or checking electrical products’ fuses, for example.

Busy Christmas shop could cause headaches for retailers once the returns come through

LClubpenguin states the normal online order costs £2-£3 more to process than an in-store purchase.  

“Not will just this ton of returns put additional demands on retailers’ back-finish operations during among the busiest occasions of the season, it will likewise impact their stores like a third of returns is into stores just like they’re launching their The month of january sales,” Mr Higgins stated.

Distance-selling rules mean online stores must allow people to ­return their items for any 100 % refund if they change their mind throughout a ­14-day “cooling off” period.

Warm October leaves retailers feeling sick

A warm October leaves United kingdom fashion retailers feeling sick after non-food sales fell towards the cheapest level for 5 years, based on BRC-KPMG sales monitor.

Shops endured a couple.2pc slip in non-food sales along with a 2.9pc slide on the like-for-like basis. Within the this past year, total non-food sales recorded a couple.1pc decline, the greatest drop since BRC-KPMG’s records started this year.

The downbeat results follows warnings from high-street bellwether Next a week ago that recent buying and selling have been “extremely volatile”. The bearish tone spooked the marketplace because it is at sharp contrast to September, when cooler temperatures shifted winter clothes and also the yearly back-to-school interest in uniforms drove an outburst in sales.

However, figures reveal that the sales momentum didn’t last in October as warmer weather dented shoppers’ enthusiasm for purchasing jackets, boots and scarves.

“October marked another turnaround of fortunes for retailers, reinforcing precisely how volatile consumer spend continues to be,Inch stated Paul Martin, mind of retail at KPMG. “Despite the positive picture recently, these latest figures is a real disappointment and never the beginning towards the golden quarter retailers had wished for.”

Based on the Met Office, last month was the joint eighth warmest October on record – equal with 2011. The Met’s data goes back to 1910. Mean temperatures over the United kingdom recently averaged at 11.3 levels centigrade, over a chillier 9.8 levels in 2016.

Earlier this month, Paula Nickolds, md of John Lewis, stated that “October will look pretty harsh for that market” mainly due to the elements.

John Lewis lately reported a 4.8pc slump in sales within the week to October 21, with fashion sales lower by 6.9pc.

“It isn’t a contraction from the market, it’s much more about the vagaries from the weather,” Nickolds said.

However, the slowdown in sales will fan fears that customers happen to be reining in spending as inflation creeps back to the market. Overall United kingdom retail sales fell by 1pc on the like-for-like basis, over a 1.7pc development in October.

“Real consumer spending power continues to be on the downward trend within the this past year because the acceleration in inflation is responsible for shoppers to get more and more careful in thinking about what purchases they are able to afford,” stated Helen Dickinson, leader from the BRC. “Many now face greater borrowing costs, given the increase in rates of interest, that will only actually heap further pressure onto household finances.”

Fresh figures from Barclaycard also implies that consumer spending growth slowed to two.4pc year-on-year recently. Market research of just one,669 adults demonstrated that more than one fourth stated the current rate of interest rise would place a dampener on Christmas spending plans.

Retailers launch their 2017 Christmas adverts, with Asda’s and Argos’s the first one to air

Argos may be the initial store to produce its 2017 Christmas advert, also it features pointy-eared elves, the 2010 must-have children’s toys, and futuristic rocket-powered sleighs. 

The 60-second commercial will air the very first time tonight with prime TV spots during ITV’s Emmerdale and Funnel 4’s Gogglebox.

The advert shows an Argos distribution center in which a troupe of elves are helping Santa to provide thousands and thousands of toys, including this season’s most popular gadgets, for example the Hatchimals Egg Surprise and The Exorcist Robot BB-8.

The action shifts gear as you child’s lengthy-anticipated Christmas present, a Teksta voice-recognition automatic puppy, is located wandering the aisles by an elf. The quick-thinking elf scans the toy to reveal its intended recipient on-screen, whose family’s gifts are departing from gate nine.

A fast chase across the distribution center ensues, in that the elf pulls out all of the stops to guarantee the automatic puppy causes it to be to the sleigh to be delivered towards the child in time for Christmas.

The ad is supposed to illustrate Argos’s dedication to super fast delivery, with internet orders delivered within four hrs, it stated. On Christmas Eve, Steps For Success orders placed by 1pm is going to be delivered by 6pm (susceptible to availability).

Gary Kibble of Argos, stated: “Over the Christmas period our teams will provide 1.seven million products to customers’ homes and process 27 million in-store transactions, and also the go-getting elf within the story reflects our hard-working and dedicated colleagues who frequently go that step further to create Christmas happen for the customers.”

Next week, other major retailers including Aldi, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s are anticipated to produce their Christmas commercials.


Asda also released its festive advert today, that will air on television the very first time this Sunday throughout the ad break for The X Factor on ITV.

The 60-second commercial introduces us to Asda’s Christmas Willy Wonka-style workshop – the Imaginarium – where a youthful girl and her grandfather have sneaked into. 

Walking with the workshop the pair discover the secrets behind Asda’s festive ranges. There’s a giant pop-up Christmas cook book revealing two Asda chefs preparing a Christmas dinner of roast poultry and Wagyu beef dripping roast taters, as well as an adult-only, advanced gin room where truffles are now being infused with gin with a giant “gin laser”.

Eilidh Macaskill of Asda, stated: “By Mixing CGI animation and a few spectacular real existence venues, the Imaginarium is portrayed like a maze of rooms that contains magical machines and enchanting experiments. The ad is really a love letter to the customers and merchandise.Inches

This information will be updated when each advert is launched, so make certain you return here to determine the ads before everybody else.

Moneysupermarket Chief executive officer: I’m pleased our twerking adverts were spoken-about 

Iits near impossible to drum up excitement in regards to a cost comparison website. So for Moneysupermarket’s new leader Mark Lewis, who left the cosy realm of high-street darling John Lewis in April, his job will involve much more attention-seeking than he’s have you been accustomed to.

Even though many awaken each morning having a need to shop (Lewis continues to be retail director of John Lewis, the main executive of Collect+ and also the United kingdom md of eBay), less enthralling is the possibilities of trailing through gas and electricity deals or even the prices of various vehicle insurance firms.

Mr Lewis is comfortable with this – he admits overcoming this inertia is his greatest challenge as boss from the business, which began existence like a mortgage listings site in 1993 and switched co-founder Simon Nixon into a billionaire.

The audacious adverts are targeted at combating this insufficient interest. Moneysupermarket has provided it a great go, using its selection of dance-off commercials having a crotch-grabbing bodyguard or perhaps a businessman in hot pants causing this type of stir that it’s been probably the most were not impressed with advert in great britan for 3 years consecutively after viewers found the moves distasteful. This past year, three of Moneysupermarket’s adverts made the Advertising Standards Authority’s listing of top ten most were not impressed with commercials.

Moneysupermarket is in competition with Comparethemarket, that has had huge success off the rear of its meerkat adverts 

“We’re very aware we’re inside a pretty a low interest rate category – we must find methods to be engaging,” admits Lewis, an old advertising executive themself. “It’s a fundamental part of our business – we have to have entertaining advertising depict a significant message.”

Suggesting that attention is nice attention with regards to marketing a company within this sector, Lewis insists the complaints over their adverts (2,500 this past year) aren’t any problem. “I’m pleased our strutting and dancing builders are spoken-about advertising – lots of people loved them,” he stated. “These complaints haven’t been upheld as well as in any situation we’ve [new adverts featuring] Skeletor and that he-Man who’re catching the attention using the revival of Dirty Dancing.”

But Skeletor and that he-Man face lots of competition. Despite the fact that Moneysupermarket is Britain’s greatest cost comparison site by a few margin, having a market capitalisation of £1.7bn, its nearest rival Comparethemarket has grabbed public attention using its imaginary Russian meerkat Aleksandr Orlov – a furry animal very popular that it’s been switched right into a lovable toy, had his catchphrase “Simples” make the Collins British Dictionary and attracted greater than 65,000 supporters on Twitter. Probably the most effective promotional initiatives ever, it transformed the way in which cost comparison websites market themselves.

Moneysupermarket has searched for to trap attention using its advertising

But britain’s competition watchdog just sounded out a significant message of their own – one which neither Aleksandr Orlov or Skeletor will probably flourish in detracting from. The public’s confidence in cost comparison sites continues to be sliding, with concerns concerning the industry forcing your competition and Markets Authority to produce an analysis in to the sector last September.

In its conclusion recently, the watchdog stated it’d launched a probe into one site – thought as Comparethemarket – over insurance deals that may be resulting in greater prices for purchasers. Additionally, it advised that individuals use several website for the greatest deal and organized new rules for that sector to really make it simpler that people realise why deals are purchased how they are, and just how their private data will get used.

“It’s no section of concern for all of us really – we believe transparency for that customer about how companies like ours operate [..] belongs to us doing our responsibility,Inches Lewis states when requested concerning the watchdog’s conclusions, selecting his words carefully. “There’s no challenge there. There is a listing of areas which we’re very supportive of.”

moneysupermarket shares

But as the wider message in the CMA was broadly upbeat – it stated 90pc of individuals were pleased with the service they were given – there isn’t any denying that cost comparison websites jump on people’s nerves. TV commercials aside, Moneysupermarket was slammed by having an £80,000 fine captured for pumping out seven million emails to individuals who’d opted from receiving direct marketing, something Lewis admits would be a mistake that shouldn’t have happened. By having an ambitious goal in order to save people £2bn on their own household bills through the finish of the season, up from £1.1bn in June, occurrences such as this really are a indication the organization has to pay attention to keeping its current subscriber base on side nearly as much as it will on brash adverts targeted at raising awareness.

“[Within the next couple of years] you will see us attempt to deepen the relationships we’ve using the millions of users using our services,” Lewis adds, though he gives little away when it comes to exactly how he plans to get this done.

“When you appear out within the next couple of years, we believe household incomes have grown to be a bit extended, so our services [will] be relevant.”

If that’s true, then your question for that Cambridge maths graduate is how you can make certain people take serious notice – he claims that sixty-six per cent of homes might be on the better energy tariff, but don’t understand they are able to easily result in the switch. Coming each year following the firm’s founder Simon Nixon offered his final £124m stake in the industry and ten years because it listed – shares have risen from 170p to 318p in that time – time could also be ripe for change, and Lewis hints that M&A deals might be around the cards.

Mark Lewis accustomed to work on high-street store John Lewis

“We will appear at adjacent possibilities,” he stated when asked about potential deals. “This business includes a good record for growing through acquisitions – it isn’t that lengthy ago that people acquired Moneysavingexpert [this year]. We believe you will find possibilities.”

The possibilities and challenges ahead can be really dissimilar to those the 48-year-old faced in the former job because the retail guru of John Lewis. Why did he decide to help make the switch? He insists his decision was independent towards the retailer’s Chief executive officer change (some reported he had left after not receiving the function).

“I’ve been thinking about how people spend their cash – my mother accustomed to operate a market stall and that i increased up focusing on an industry stall,” he stated.

“You learn there that money’s precious.Inches

Former M&S top lady Laura Wade-Gery joins John Lewis board

Former Marks & Spencer high-flyer Laura Wade-Gery is joining rival John Lewis Partnership’s board like a non-executive director.

Ms Wade-Gery, who ran M&S’s store an internet-based operations, have been previously tipped to consider over from former leader Marc Bolland. However, whilst on maternity leave Mr Bolland left the company sooner than planned and company veteran Steve Rowe was named as his successor.

Ms Wade-Gery left M&S for maternity leave in August 2015, initially for four several weeks before extending it to some year.

Laura Wade-Gery had run M&S stores an internet-based operations

She announced she wouldn’t be coming back towards the store in September 2016 after 5 years using the business and stated that her time from the business saw “some significant alterations in both my own existence and in the industryInch. 

Ms Wade-Gery, an old Tesco director and daughter of the senior diplomat, was immortalised in William Dalrymple’s travel novel, In Xanadu, after she retraced Marco Polo’s 13th century voyage from Palestine to China with Mr Dalrymple, a buddy who she met at Cambridge College, in the late Eighties. 

Mister Charlie Mayfield, chairman from the John Lewis Partnership, stated: “I’m very happy to announce the appointment of Laura Wade-Gery who brings an abundance of experience of business and retailing. She’ll develop the force and depth from the John Lewis Partnership board.”

The John Lewis Partnership board consists of a mixture of 14 hired and democratically elected ‘partners’ to mirror the worker-owned structure of the organization. 

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August Bank Holiday Monday DIY stores opening hrs: Homebase, Wickes, Ikea and much more

For all individuals stuck slogging away at work within the lengthy summer time, hang on inside. Bank Holiday is coming, and believe to invest it than taking in some sun within the garden while a little bit of DIY. 

You might be organised and plan in advance, but when not, don’t be concerned.

Should you uncover you have the incorrect colour paint or require a different screwdriver around the Bank Holiday Monday, you may still pop right into a DIY store, even though some stores may close earlier. 

Here’s the outlet occasions for the big DIY stores, plus the kind of Argos, John Lewis and Currys PC World this August bank holiday weekend.

Instantly United kingdom Bank Holidays in 2017


It’s never been simpler to buy online from Argos – you are able to now click-and-collect and have your item sent to a Sainsbury’s ahead from the Bank Holiday weekend – but using the British weather, there’s no telling when you might need a paddling pool or parasol, and you simply may need to go out to purchase one around the lengthy weekend.

Fortunately, stores is going to be open on Bank Holiday weekend, mostly in the normal hrs of between 9am and 5.30pm.

However, Argos advises people to check individual store occasions, that exist through its locator here. 

50 finest lengthy weekends

Currys PC World

The worst has happened. The Television has damaged right at the beginning of the financial institution Holiday weekend and also the children are bored following a lengthy summer time break. 

Luckily, electricals specialist Currys PC World is going to be operating normal store hrs within the Bank Holiday weekend, so either between 9am and 6pm or 7pm with respect to the store.

You should check out their store locator to understand the opening occasions of the local Currys PC World. 


Fingers entered the elements holds out and believe to invest a financial institution Holiday weekend than out cycling. If you have outgrown your bike (or simply fancy allowing yourself a replacement), then grab yourself lower to Halfords.

The out-of-town store is open normally on Saturday or sunday, with stores open on Monday at 9am only until 6pm in nearly all cases.

The shop locator details which store is open when.

Halfords is going to be operating reduced hrs on Monday Credit: Marina Imperi/Marina Imperi


Homebase stores in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is going to be open at normal hrs on Saturday or sunday, and between 7am and 8pm around the Bank Holiday Monday.

However, customers should check the retailer’s website prior to making the trip.


With three full days consecutively, the financial institution Holiday weekend is a perfect time to achieve that much-needed obvious-out, and pop the remainder away in certain neat storage.

All Ikea stores is going to be open within the Bank Holiday weekend, though opening occasions will be different from one store to another, so it is best to check out the Swedish retailer’s website for up-to-date store information. 

At worst you can leave having a free wooden pencil

John Lewis

From food processors to furniture, and candle lights to utensils, John Lewis stocks just about everything if you are searching for something new of decor. 

For even the Bank Holiday Monday, most shops is going to be open between 10am and 6pm, but this isn’t all shops, so make certain you time your visit by checking the shop locator on its website. 


Wickes stores are open between your normal hrs on Saturday or sunday, and will also be open 6:30am to 9pm around the Bank Holiday Monday, though this might not affect all stores. 

You should check the local store’s opening hours here.

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