Retail round up - the Sunday papers
Shoppers are set to splash out more than £5bn in just four days in a boost for flagging retailers. Barclays expects £5.2bn to be spent on debit cards between yesterday and Christmas Eve. More than £1.1bn will be spent on Tuesday alone as many people have left their shopping late because Christmas falls midweek.
Lenstore.co.uk, set up in 2008 by husband and wife Mitesh Patel and Olga Nuryaeva, has been bought by Vision Express, which has more than 300 opticians across Britain. The price has not been disclosed. Last year Lenstore had sales of £1.5m and it expects to report £10m this year. It has about 150,000 customers. “We decided contact lens wearers needed the option to buy in stores as well as online,” said Patel.
Two electronic cigarette entrepreneurs are sitting on a paper fortune after selling out to a US rival for $70m (£43m). Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corporation has paid a mixture of cash and shares to buy Vapestick from the founders and majority owners Michael Clapper and Michiel Carmel.
Mail on Sunday
Oxfam is to revamp all its 700 shops and launch its first new television advertising campaign for 20 years in a bid to reverse falling sales. The charity will launch its ad on primetime TV on Boxing Day and, according to chief executive Mark Goldring, will mark a move away from tugging heart strings and aim instead to tell a positive story. Goldring also said Oxfam would revamp its shops after a trial at 35 stores last year led to a 10 to 20 per cent increase in sales.
Marks & Spencer is expected to open a store in Australia next year marking the chain’s first venture Down Under. The company is understood to be considering locating the store in a major development in central Sydney. Australia is likely to become one of the new battlefronts between leading clothes chains. Spanish-owned Zara has already opened seven stores in Australia with three in Sydney alone. Another M&S rival, H&M, is also planning an Australian outlet next year.
Attacks on the controversial payday loan industry from politicians and church leaders are hitting home with the number of people planning to borrow money in that way plunging over the past year, according to research seen exclusively by The Mail on Sunday. A survey carried out by pollsters ComRes found that the number of people likely to take out a payday loan has almost halved in the past year.
Festive spending is expected to hit £45,000 a second tomorrow in what is set to be the busiest shopping day in British history.Analysts are predicting consumers will spend a record £3.9 billion over 24 hours in a last-minute surge of present-buying.Spending will average £2.7 million a minute, with the peak coming between 1pm and 2pm, during office workers’ lunch breaks.
The country may have been battered by squally wind and heavy rain, but shoppers descended on Britain's high streets and shopping centres yesterday as struggling retailers slashed prices in a "Panic Saturday" fire sale after one of the slowest build-ups to Christmas on record. The last Saturday before Christmas is traditionally a peak shopping day, hence its "Panic" nickname, but according to Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, a slow year for retailers has made it more important than ever.
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