Fashion chain New Look is continuing to cut prices as it tries to turn around its business. New Look wants 80% of its clothes to sell for less than £20. The price cuts come amid falling sales. Like-for-like sales plunged by 11.7% in the financial year which ended in March, and website sales tumbled 19%. It is trying to broaden its appeal to include older customers, giving it an age target range of between 18 and 45. Results from New Look, which has hundreds of stores and has been a High Street presence since 1969, contrast sharply with online rival Boohoo, which also reported results. Sales of its three brands, Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal were 53% higher in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter last year. Boohoo brands target customers aged between 18 and 28, with clothes priced at about £15. Under its turnaround plan, the company is cutting 1,000 jobs and closing 60 stores. The plan will cut the fashion chain's rents by between 15% to 55% across its remaining 393 stores.
Sunday, 17 June 2018
Discount retailer Poundworld has appointed administrators, putting 5,100 jobs at risk. The move came after talks with a potential buyer, R Capital, collapsed leaving Poundworld with no option other than administration. Poundworld, which serves two million customers a week from 335 stores, also trades under the Bargain Buys name. Administrators Deloitte stress the stores will continue to trade as normal with no redundancies at this time. It said in a statement: "Like many high street retailers, Poundworld has suffered from high product cost inflation, decreasing footfall, weaker consumer confidence and an increasingly competitive discount retail market. Poundworld has been losing money for the past two years. Losses for the financial year 2016-17 were £17.1m, up from £5.4m the year before.
McDonald's will replace plastic straws with paper ones in all its UK and Ireland restaurants, starting from September. It is the latest company to opt out of some single-use plastic products which can take hundreds of years to decompose if not recycled. The restaurant chain uses 1.8 million straws a day in the UK. "Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws," the firm said. This decision follows a successful trial in selected restaurants earlier this year. The move to paper straws will be completed next year.
Friday, 8 June 2018
Department store chain House of Fraser is to close 31 of its 59 shops, affecting 6,000 jobs, as part of a rescue deal. If the plan is approved, 2,000 House of Fraser jobs will go, along with 4,000 brand and concession roles. The stores scheduled for closure, which include its flagship London Oxford Street store, will stay open until early 2019, House of Fraser said. The firm's boss said the decision to close stores was "as tough as it gets". Speaking to the BBC, House of Fraser chief executive Alex Williamson described the move as "brutal", adding "we have not taken this decision lightly". "It is very dramatic for people that we care about a great deal," he said. "I find it personally very emotional, and I am not making this decision based on anything other than what I consider to be absolutely the best option for House of Fraser and all of our stakeholders." It's been struggling for a long time. And in the last year, the increasingly tough conditions on the High Street has exposed its weaknesses, with the result that its problems have finally come to a head.
Salad Cream, one of the UK's most traditional condiments may be renamed Sandwich Cream, it has been reported. Its maker, Heinz, says that only 14% of those who buy the sauce use it on salads, with many more preferring to use it in sandwiches. A spokesman for Heinz told trade magazine the Grocer that the name no longer "fairly represents the product's ingredients or usage occasions." It would be the first name change for the product since its launch in 1914. Fans of the traditional name went on social media to express their anger. Heinz is considering adopting the name Sandwich Cream to better reflect how the country uses the condiment and to appeal to "younger shoppers". The condiment became a national favourite during the 1940s, Heinz says, when ketchup was unavailable and salad cream was used to add flavour to bland war-time rations. There is now a consultation under way on the new name and an official announcement is expected in September.