Retail Times is an independently owned website reporting on local and global retail markets. It delivers original and unique retail news and is first with the detail; discovering, exploring and revealing the latest retail trends, opinion and innovation in this vibrant business sector.
Following today’s release of Mothercare FY figures for 2018/19, Emily Salter, retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments: "Mothercare has emerged from the first full year of its strategic transformation plan with little evidence of recovery as total UK sales fell £44.9m to £336.6m, trading from a reduced store estate of 79 stores (from 134 in FY2017/18) as a result of its CVA. The retailer is one of many to blame its poor performance on difficult trading conditions in the UK, as well as weakened consumer confidence in the brand due to negative publicity and long term underinvestment, contributing to a disastrous H1 when total UK sales plummeted by 18.4%. Mothercare performed substantially better in its international markets, reporting growth in Russia, China and Indonesia as it tries to develop a global brand. The retailer’s share price increased by 18% in early trading as it reported seeing some signs of recovery in the UK market in the first few months of FY2019/20.
Retail sales to international shoppers in Europe grew by a healthy 11% in April following a torrid period a year earlier. The latest sales figures mark a 19-percentage-point improvement on April 2018’s 8% sales dip – a period that followed a string of terror attacks across the continent which deterred many international shoppers from visiting major European shopping destinations.
Westfield and British Vogue are delighted to announce they will be joining forces to create a ‘Weekend of Wellness’ at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City in June. This will be the first set of wellness events that British Vogue has hosted, and will provide busy Londoners with an opportunity to slow down from the stresses and pressures of daily life, and prioritise the body and the mind.
ICON Outlet at The O2, the 210,000sq ft premium urban outlet developed by AEG and Crosstree Real Estate Partners has announced the signing of Showcase, an exclusive fashion events company, bringing together the world’s leading brands into a new fashion landmark in London. The new 3,400sq ft showroom in ICON Outlet will host its first retail event in June. The signing will complement The O2’s 360-degree experience which merges retail at ICON Outlet with dining and world class entertainment.
On the 20 May, the Tobacco Products Directive came into force; initially affecting the manufacture, distribution and sale of cigarettes and roll your own tobacco . Products will not be allowed into the market, if they are not uniquely serialised and the data of the specific packs and transactions being captured and shared throughout the supply chain. By 2024, this will encompass all other tobacco products. The purpose of the TPD is to pursue a high level of health protection for European citizens while ensuring control of contraband and that appropriate taxes are being paid.
Following yesterday’s news (Wednesday 22 May) that Arcadia is to close 23 stores as part of its CVA proposal, Chloe Collins, senior retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the chains current challenges: "The proposed closure of only 23 UK stores (4% of its current UK estate) and rent reductions at 194 stores, as part of its CVA, will not be enough to save Arcadia in a world where rising online sales continue to threaten the high street. The closures would leave a large portfolio of 543 stores remaining, and with only £50m to be invested as part of the proposal, any attempt to pay for an increase in store standards would be spread too thinly to make up for years of underinvestment.