Data from Frontier Economics indicates that the British luxury sector is heavily European export orientated, forewarning ‘a loss in value of exports of up to £6.8 billion per year’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The effects of a possible no-deal Brexit have also been felt at consumer level, as revealed through a survey conducted by Kantar Worldpanel, revealing ’one in ten shoppers claim to be stockpiling food in case of disruption to supplies’. The full report can be downloaded here.
Meanwhile, at manufacturing level, UK businesses are stockpiling reserves in record quantities with 70% citing Brexit as the reason. The full report can be downloaded here.
Despite fears over Brexit, 34% of British consumers have said they are currently better off financially than five years ago according to a Changing consumer prosperity report by Nielson, placing the UK higher than France (27%), Belgium (28%) and Italy (17%) on consumer financial wellbeing and just below the European average of 37%.
A report from Mintel has revealed that 70% of consumers surveyed say they shop with Amazon on at least a monthly basis and 17% state they use the site on a weekly basis. Associate director of retail at Mintel Nick Carroll says although the e-tailer’s growth has no doubt wounded rivals, ‘it is not the ‘killer’ of the high street retailers as it is often thought’.
High streets minister Jake Berry promised to ‘extend the digital services tax to include a ‘2% tax on online retail’’ in an effort to save the high streets following the chancellor’s acknowledgement of retailers’ complaints and the Government’s desire for fair taxation.
When spending plans for the coming half-year were presented by the chancellor, they were met with criticism from leading retail figures over the ‘lack of support for the industry’ regarding future surges in business rates for the high street. Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company representing 600 businesses in Mayfair and London’s West End, said with the ‘uncertainty over Brexit’ and the ‘challenging economic climate’ the ‘chancellor missed a huge opportunity to support retailers and the nation’s high streets’. The chancellor’s spring statement speech can be read in full here.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Dixons Carphone Warehouse £29.1 million for the mis-selling of the mobile phone insurance and technical support service known as ‘Geek Squad’ for the period between December 2008 and June 2015. ‘In January 2014, 35% of policies were cancelled within the first three months from inception … an indicator of a risk of mis-selling’.
Sir Philip Green has appointed restructuring experts to the Arcadia board amid increased speculation of a creditors’ voluntary arrangement.
LK Bennett, which officially collapsed into administration in early March, has been sold to its Chinese franchise partner Rebecca Feng. As part of Feng’s takeover, 21 shops are set to close resulting in a loss of around 110 jobs.
Mike Ashley has labelled the administration of Debenhams a ‘national scandal’ calling for the reversal of the process and vowing to ‘save as many stores as he can’. Ashley highlighted the lack of ‘constructive dialogue or discussion in the period leading up to this outcome’ while ‘as normal, politicians and regulators fiddled as Rome burnt’. 1200 jobs are under threat as 22 stores are due for closure.
Debenhams CEO Sergio Bucher has resigned after Sports direct allegations that ‘administrators were not conducting a ‘genuine’ sale’.
Since February 2018, Asda has removed 6,500 tonnes of plastic from its own-brand packaging. This was done through changes such as ‘swapping pizza trays from polystyrene to cardboard’, ‘taking plastic covers off over 50 million greeting cards’ and much more.
Drapers launched its first sustainable fashion event bringing together more than 300 fashion retail professionals to share best practices and make a commitment to improving the environmental performance of the sector.
Through last year’s Better Cotton Initiative, ‘fashion brands and retailers have collectively sourced more than one million metric tonnes of sustainably certified cotton’, 45% more than the coalition of companies achieved in 2017. Environmental and sustainability manager of H&M Group Cecilia Brännsten hopes to ‘inspire other players in the industry towards a sustainable future’.
John Lewis became the latest high profile brand to take action on the sustainability of its service, pledging to ‘have a fully zero carbon fleet by 2045’. The company stated that it recognised the need for ‘urgent action’ following bleak scientific findings last year and in turn responded with its ‘most ambitious set of targets yet’ aiming for a ‘net zero operation’.
Hootsuite, in partnership with Retail Gazette, has released a report on the state of social media in 2019. This report looks at the ‘key trends impacting social media in retail over the coming 12 months’ including trust and authenticity.
Online-only retailer Ebay says over ‘36,000 businesses started to sell on its online marketplace in 2018’. The company claims this growth, the biggest since 2015, was as a result of people turning to ‘entrepreneurship in order to find greater flexibility and independence in the way they work’.
Last but not least, Amazon has unveiled Project Zero, allowing brands to ‘take down counterfeit products’ without the need for assistance from the company.
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