Sunday Papers Roundup
Store revamps and price cuts are boosting Tesco, Philip Clarke will say as sales fall. Philip Clarke will attempt to silence his critics this week by insisting that store revamps and price cuts are boosting Tesco, despite the company suffering its worst sales performance for decades. City analysts are forecasting that the supermarket chain, of which Mr Clarke is chief executive, could report a decline in UK like-for-likes of up to 4.2% when it updates on trading for the last three months on Wednesday.
Analysts expect Tesco's first-quarter sales numbers on Wednesday to be the worst sales figures the retailer has published in living memory. Philip Clarke is under pressure to act. Besieged at home and abroad — thanks to struggling UK sales and troubled overseas ambitions — the Tesco chief executive must find a way to ensure the nation’s largest supermarket chain once again finds favour with the City’s investor community. It is not an easy task.
Mail on Sunday
Supermarket giant Tesco has signed a ground-breaking deal with House of Fraser to sell the department store’s products through its website in its latest bid to revive slumping sales. The plan will be hailed by beleaguered Tesco chief Phil Clarke this week as a key step in reviving its fortunes, but the plan will coincide with another set of disappointing sales figures. House of Fraser will benefit from Tesco’s huge customer base and marketing clout while the supermarket will extend its reach into more premium products.
Last week we reported on the latest efforts by Mars to put the squeeze on suppliers by delaying payment times or demanding price cuts. This week we see a similar row emerging in the world of book publishing. Amazon’s near stranglehold on book sales means it can afford to fight hard and ruthlessly against publishers, with even the biggest such as Hachette finding themselves on the back foot. There are distinct features to the Amazon situation, but at root it is about a dominant business throwing its weight around.
Brian Brick is helping to make billionaire investor George Soros a little bit richer. As chief executive of Moss Bros – the clothing retailer famous for its hire suits – Brick has helped turn around what in the early 2000s was a basket case, with the shares coming within a whisker of a 15-year high last week. Soros’s fund management company saw the recovery possibilities early and bought a 10 per cent stake exactly two years ago this weekend. That stake has since tripled in value.
Squeezed by luxury M&S and price-aware Asda, Tesco will post its worst quarterly trading figures for two decades. It has long been a central part of the lives of millions throughout the land. The seemingly all-conquering supermarket chain even spawned a new word, “Tescopoly”, among campaigners who blamed it for all manner of ills from devastating traditional high streets to fostering animal cruelty. While, as market leader, it became the “whipping boy” for such issues, a great swathe of the British public remained loyal.
The government is funding a £2 million initiative to create apps designed to help struggling local retailers compete. A future trip to the high street could start with pre-booking your parking spot by mobile app and sending out an alert to local shops to tell them what you are heading into town to buy. Once there, you might find might yourself searching for a new T-shirt from inside the changing room if you find the one you took to try on doesn't suit. These are among the 21 technology projects the government has funded to the tune of £2 million in the hope they can help high street retailers.
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