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Retail round up - The Friday  papers.

John Lewis gets 'staycation' boost, One in 10 shoppers do not receive the goods they pay for inadvance, Unilever warns of a tough five years ahead, Bank wants extra £50bn for 'fragile' economy,Superdrug suffers loss of £7.4m in 2008, Scrappage scheme drives surge in sales of private cars, US retail sales fall on caution and cold weather, Gaggia UK's future hangs in the balance...

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail round up - The Friday papers.

The Daily Telegraph
John Lewis, the employee-owned group viewed as a barometer of British retail spending, posted a third consecutive big rise in weekly sales at its department stores, boosted by the "staycation" phenomenon.The group, which also runs the upmarket Waitrose supermarket chain, said on Friday sales at its 27 department stores rose 5.6pc year-on-year to 50m in the week to August 1.That followed rises of 6.3pc and 5.3pc in the two previous weeks as more British consumers holidayed in the UK or stayed at home rather than embark on foreign travels. Full article here.

As many as one in 10 shoppers do not receive the goods they pay for in advance due to retailers and suppliers collapsing amid the recession, new figures have disclosed.Campaigners suggested less than half get their money back, with average losses reaching 250 per shopper.The areas where consumers are most likely to get caught out include electrical goods, books, music, clothing and holidays, according to consumer group Consumer Focus.It is calling for new measures to protect consumers' prepayments and suggested shoppers should also be moved up the list of creditors who receive a share of proceeds when the assets of an insolvent company are sold off. Full article here.

Unilever's chief executive warned branded-goods makers will have to work harder to get consumers to pay for their products rather than choose supermarket own-label for at least the next five years, as the recession makes shoppers reassess spending patterns."The consumer is increasingly value-conscious and I don't think that is going to change," said Paul Polman, chief executive. "Consumption is going to change I don't expect the next five years to be easy." To convince shoppers to spend more on its Domestos bleach or PG Tips teabags rather than buy own-label, Unilever and its rivals must ensure their products are unique or the best quality for the price, Mr Polman said. Full article here.

The Independent
The "fragile" state of financial conditions and the continuing shortage of lending by the banks were cited by the Bank of England as its reasons for a substantial expansion in its policy of quantitative easing.A further 50bn of "QE", which is likened to printing money, was authorised by the Chancellor Alistair Darling yesterday, a clear signal that the authorities remain concerned about the speed and strength of a recovery, despite a run of better news in recent days on the property market, manufacturing output and business confidence. Full article here.

Superdrug, the AS Watson-owned health and beauty retailer, plunged to a pre-tax loss last year, but said its sales performance had improved in 2009.Jeremy Seigal, the chief executive of AS Watson Health & Beauty UK, largely attributed the loss at the 911-store retailer to it investing margin in clearing "a lot of slow-moving and the wrong stock". Superdrug has removed about 80 per cent of the old stock, which included some MP3 and DVD players. Full article here.

The Times
The Governments cash for bangers scheme gave the car industry a much- needed boost last month as sales increased for the first time in 15 months.Sales to private buyers rose by a third as more than 30,000 people traded in their old vehicles during July, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed. That took the total of new car registrations to 157,149, up 2.4 per cent on registrations in July of last year. Full article here.

US retail sales were down in July, marking the 11th consecutive month of decline. Continuing poor weather, a reduction in the number of tax-free shopping days and buyers who now do not want to pay full prices contributed to the falls.There were also signs that in their efforts to reduce their inventories, some retailers may have become over cautious on stock levels, leaving them with too few opportunities for clearance sales.Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, the research house, said the highly successful "cash for clunkers" car scrappage scheme, which boosted July car sales, also acted as a possible drain on discretionary retail spending. Full article here.

Gaggia UK, the British distributor of the caffeine addicts coffee machine of choice, was last night teetering on the brink of administration. A recorded message on the companys telephone sales line said that Gaggia could not take any orders and would contact customers with details about repairs. Full article here.

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