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Retail round up – the Sunday papers

Amazon reports record breaking "Black Friday", Lidl plans to more than double number of stores in UK, B&Q staff share £15m pre-Christmas payout, Tesco feels heat as sales fall again, Newsagent McColl’s in £200m float, Tesco urged to cut down new stores, John Lewis to create ‘high streets’ under one roof, Boohoo in full cry abroad, Ethical cosmetics company Lush takes 'bullying' Amazon to court.


Retail round up – the Sunday papers

Sunday Telegraph
Amazon said customers ordered four million items on "Black Friday" the highest in its 15 year history.The announcement came less than 48 hours ahead of "Cyber Monday" which is predicted to be the busiest day of the year for online shopping. Sales on Friday November 29, known as "Black Friday", reached four million items. This beat the previous record of last year's "Cyber Monday", when saw more than three and a half million items ordered on site, at a rate of around 41 items per second. That meant that a delivery lorry packed with Cyber Monday orders left one of Amazon’s eight UK fulfillment centres every two minutes and 10 seconds.

Discount food retailer Lidl is plotting an ambitious expansion drive that will result in it more than doubling in size in Britain, with its UK managing director claiming that grocery shopping in the country is entering a “new era”. In his first ever newspaper interview, Ronny Gottschlich said the retailer wants to expand from 600 stores at present to up to 1,500. He said that “Maidstone Mums”, once too embarrassed to be seen in the shops, now realise that it is good value and quality.

Workers at B&Q and Screwfix are celebrating a £15m windfall after a share incentive scheme for the DIY retailer paid out. More than 1,400 head office and store workers will collect an average profit of £6,867 from the scheme, with some employees earning more than £40,000. The ShareSave scheme was launched in 2008 as a five-year plan, with a smaller three-year scheme launched in 2010.


Sunday Times
Tesco is braced for another fall in sales, cranking up the pressure on its chief executive after more than two years of disappointing trading. Britain’s biggest supermarket is expected to reveal a drop of between 1% and 1.8% in its domestic market for the three months to November 23, when it reports on Wednesday. The most negative estimate is from Barclays, one of its corporate brokers.

One of Britain’s biggest chains of convenience stores is plotting a £200m float. McColl’s Retail Group, which runs 1,265 shops and newsagents across the country, plans to make its market debut early in the new year. The chain, whose roots go back 112 years, has hired advisers at Numis to handle the listing. A float is expected to provide an exit for Caird Capital, which owns a 20% stake.


Mail on Sunday
Tesco will come under pressure this week to justify its store expansion programme when it unveils a drop in UK sales. Chief executive Phil Clarke is expected to say on Wednesday that like-for-like sales fell 1.5 per cent in the three months to the end of November. It has already cut back store growth plans but City analysts said it must look at them again in the light of its investment in online delivery and digital services.

John Lewis, Britain’s biggest department store chain, plans to recreate the high street in its shops by introducing a host of services including barbers, opticians, bureaux de change, restaurants – even post offices. Retail director Andrew Murphy said he had identified 700,000 sq ft of space in John Lewis’s 30 department stores in preparation for the plan. That is the equivalent to its three biggest stores including Oxford Street in London, which is the largest at 285,000 sq ft.

A major assault on international markets is being planned by internet fashion sensation Boohoo as it prepares for a £500million flotation next year. The retailer is targeting France and Germany as it seeks to prove itself to investors as an ‘Asos mark II’. Boohoo releases figures this week that are expected to show sales more than doubled to top £60 million in its last financial year to February.


In one corner, there is Lush, the relatively small cosmetics company that takes a strong ethical stance on issues such as the environment, animal testing and giving to charity. And in the other, there is the might of Amazon. Lush does not allow Amazon to sell its products and its co-founder, Mark Constantine, is extremely critical of the way the US company operates. But when visitors to Amazon type the word "lush" into its search field, they are directed to alternative cosmetic products that the online giant suggests they might like to buy instead. Now Lush is taking Amazon to court, claiming it is infringing its trademark.

Forthcoming events you should not miss from The Retail Bulletin: 5th Omnichannel Retailing Summit, 5th February 2014 and 3rd International Expansion Summit, 25th March 2014.

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