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Retail round up - The Sunday papers

Next's Simon Wolfson backs Vat rise to clear debt, Sainsbury’s staff share bumper £70m bonus, Mohamed al-Fayed in £1.5bn Harrods sale, Sainsbury set to remain silent over sales, ECI prepares bids for Shearings and restaurant chains,Paul Taylor in new venture...

SUNDAY PAPERS

Retail round up - The Sunday papers

Next's Simon Wolfson backs Vat rise to clear debt, Sainsbury’s staff share bumper £70m bonus, Mohamed al-Fayed in £1.5bn Harrods sale, Sainsbury set to remain silent over sales, ECI prepares bids for Shearings and restaurant chains,Paul Taylor in new venture...

The Sunday Times

Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next, the high street retailer, has backed a potential Vat increase to help tackle Britain’s debt crisis.Wolfson, an adviser to the Conservative party who is tipped to become a working peer, told The Sunday Times that the new government should prioritise efficiency savings, but that Vat would be an “obvious choice” if taxes had to rise.Any Vat increase should be delayed — perhaps until January 2011 — to give the economy time to adjust, and it should go no higher than 20%, he said. “As long as the retail industry is given plenty of notice, say January 2011, this is manage-able. Ironically, the boost to sterling from a credible deficit reduction plan could well offset some inflationary pressure from Vat,” Wolfson added. Full article here.

Staff at J Sainsbury are expected to share an estimated £70m bonus pool after a buoyant year for Britain’s third-biggest supermarket chain.The retailer, led by Justin King, chief executive, is predicted to report that profits have risen from £519m to more than £600m when it unveils full-year results this week. More than 120,000 staff at the grocer will share in the bonus. They will, on average, get £580 each. Full article here.

Mohamed Al-Fayed signalled his plans to retire yesterday by selling Harrods to the Qatari royal family for £1.5 billion. The Egyptian billionaire will make what could be his last big public appearance this Wednesday when Fulham, the football club that he owns, play Atletico Madrid in the final of the Europa League in Hamburg. The sale of Harrods will almost certainly have put paid to Fayed’s long-held ambition to be entombed on the roof of the store in a pyramid — like a modern-day pharaoh. Full article here.

The Sunday Telegraph
J Sainsbury is this week expected to announce a 15pc rise in pre-tax profits over the year to the end of March. However, the retailer will stop short of updating the market on trading since its year end. The move will do nothing to dampen speculation that Sainsbury's has suffered from a similar sales slowdown to rival Wm Morrison.Last week Morrison shocked the market by saying that like-for-like sales growth had fallen from 6.5pc over Christmas to just 0.8pc over recent weeks. It blamed the "virtual elimination" of inflation and a general market-wide slowdown for the poor figure. Full article here.

The Independent on Sunday
ECI Partners is preparing for a spending spree in the leisure sector. The London and Manchester-based, mid-market, private-equity group is believed to be considering bids for Shearings, the Wigan-based coach-holiday company, and the Ha Ha Bar & Grill and La Tasca chains, which are being sold by Bay Restaurant. Full article here.

Paul Taylor, the one-time bricklayer who tried and failed to buy J Sainsbury in 2007, is close to agreeing a property joint venture with a leading City fund manager.Mr Taylor's vehicle, Three Delta, is understood to have been looking to form a partnership with a fund to buy commercial properties worth at least £50m. Typically, Three Delta would find suitable deals and the fund would manage the investments.An announcement on an agreement is believed to be imminent.

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What are the best customer loyalty, marketing and CRM strategies ?

You will find the answers at The Retail Bulletin Customer Loyalty Conference June 22nd 2010,   Free for retailers to attend.

Speakers already confirmed from Hertz Europe Limited, B&Q plc, Argos, The Carphone Warehouse Group PLC, Aurora Fashions, Nectar, Waterstones, M&S...

With less disposable income in their pockets and a variety of shopping channels at their fingertips, today’s shoppers are becoming more and more difficult to retain.  With higher expectations of customer service and an increased demand for lower prices; keeping customers loyal in today’s challenging economy is the key to retail survival.

Retailers who are ignoring customer loyalty are increasingly going out of business. Those with innovative loyalty strategies, however, are increasing their market share and profits as they refocus their initiatives around the needs of today’s multichannel shopper.

Ultimately it’s about focussing on YOUR customer but how can you understand their needs, how can you keep them loyal in a multichannel marketplace and how can you decide which loyalty initiatives you should choose? How can you engage your customers in a personalised, multichannel journey and how match their price and customer service expectations to keep them loyal?

Following on from the massive success of our recent events, Retail Bulletin Conferences are delighted to launch The Retail Bulletin Customer Loyalty Conference June 22nd 2010. 

With excellent networking opportunities throughout the day and a chance to ask our retail loyalty experts your burning questions during our interactive sessions, this crucial, free to attend conference will focus on:

Driving Customer Loyalty In A Challenging Multichannel Marketplace
Focusing Your Customer Strategy Through A Clearer Understanding Of Current Customer Loyalty Trends
Understanding Which Loyalty Initiatives You Should Choose To Maximise Profits And Engage Your Customers
Understanding The Impact Of Social Media On Your Customers’ Loyalty
Maximising Profits And Customer Retention Through An Engaging, Personalised Multichannel Experience
Driving ROI and Loyalty Through Effective Cross Channel Data Management, Business Intelligence and Customer Analytics
Establishing Best Practices Of Measuring The Success Of Your Customer Loyalty Initiatives To Demonstrate ROI
Boosting Your Bottom Line Through Exceptional Cross Channel Customer Service Levels
Assessing Where Multichannel Loyalty Is Headed In The Next 2 Years

The event is free to attend for retailers. To register click here.

For sponsorship, networking, speaking and other opportunities contact Ian Sprange ians@theretailbulletin.com or call 01737 647100

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