UK retail correspondent
James's Feed
Nov 5, 2015

Morrisons sales dented by deflation and move to kick voucher habit

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Morrisons, Britain’s
fourth biggest supermarkets operator, reported another fall in
quarterly underlying sales on Thursday, hit by its own price
cuts and a move to wean itself off money-off vouchers.

The company, which trails market leader Tesco,
Wal-Mart’s Asda and Sainsbury’s in annual
sales, has not reported positive underlying sales since the
fourth quarter of its 2011-12 year.

Nov 4, 2015

M&S raises profit margin forecast for clothing despite sales dip

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday raised its annual forecast for margins in clothing and homewares even though quarterly sales fell in this troubled division.

The 131-year-old group also beat forecasts for first-half profit and increased its dividend, sending its shares up 3.7 percent.

Nov 3, 2015

Primark owner AB Foods says currency effects to dent profit

LONDON, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Associated British Foods,
owner of the Primark fashion chain and AB Sugar, warned on
Tuesday that currency moves will dent earnings in its new
financial year if current exchange rates persist.

The company, which also has major grocery, agriculture and
ingredients businesses, reported a 2 percent fall in 2014/15
earnings and forecast that currency pressures would lead to a
“modest decline” in 2015/16.

Oct 23, 2015

Sainsbury’s experiments to win back shoppers

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – British grocer Sainsbury
is trialing radically different supermarket layouts and an
increased range of checkout options as it seeks to respond to
changing shopping trends.

All of Britain’s big four supermarkets – market leader Tesco
, Wal-Mart’s Asda, Sainsbury and Morrison
– have seen sales and profits hurt by changes to
consumer habits that have stuck since the economic downturn.

Oct 22, 2015

Debenhams boss to step down next year

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Debenhams, Britain’s
second-largest department store group, said on Thursday Chief
Executive Michael Sharp would step down sometime next year,
following media reports that investors wanted a change at the
top of the company.

The retailer said Sharp, who has worked for Debenhams or its
predecessor, the Burton Group, for 30 years and became CEO in
September 2011, had always intended to serve a five year term.

Oct 21, 2015

‘Black Friday’ nerves trigger Home Retail profit warning

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Home Retail, Britain’s
biggest household goods retailer, warned on its profit outlook
on Wednesday, blaming uncertainty ahead of the key Christmas
trading period and increased investment at its Argos chain.

Shares in the firm, which also runs do-it-yourself chain
Homebase, fell up to 16 percent after it forecast profit for its
2015-16 year would be slightly below the bottom end of the
current range of analysts’ forecasts.

Oct 15, 2015

Burberry shares tumble as China slowdown hits sales growth

LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – A sharp sales slowdown in Hong
Kong and China led Britain’s Burberry to miss sales
growth forecasts on Thursday and warn of an increasingly
challenging environment for luxury goods sales, hammering its
shares to a near three-year low.

Carol Fairweather, chief financial officer of the
159-year-old brand famous for British-made trench coats and
cashmere scarves, highlighted increased Chinese and global stock
market volatility, currency swings and concerns over slowing
economic growth.

Oct 13, 2015

Asda forced to wait after hiring Sainsbury’s executive

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Supermarket Asda, the
British arm of Wal-Mart, has lured a top executive from
rival Sainsbury’s to be its new chief operating
officer, although it could be a year before he can start work.

Asda said on Tuesday it had appointed Roger Burnley,
currently Sainsbury’s retail and operations director, to the COO

Oct 7, 2015

Tesco shows signs of recovery after profit collapse

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco TSCO.L said it was trading ahead of expectations and outperforming rivals after a move to sacrifice profitability in favor of price cuts and better services won back customers.

Reporting results a week after rival Sainsbury’s SBRY.L showed it too was getting to grips with the turmoil hitting the sector, Tesco showed a steady improvement in underlying sales in its home market which enabled it to reiterate its full-year profit outlook.

Oct 6, 2015

Tesco simplifies supplier payment terms in wake of scandal

LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) – British supermarket chain Tesco
will further simplify its relationship with suppliers
by standardising payment terms, it said on Tuesday, in the wake
of an accounting scandal last year.

The country’s biggest retailer said it would no longer use a
combination of complex and varied payment terms and will instead
introduce a new standard approach for suppliers in each of its
product categories, with specific concessions offered to help
small and medium-sized businesses.

    • About James

      "Based in London I cover the UK retail and consumer sector with an emphasis on quoted companies and broader macro themes. I was previously an equities reporter at Extel, AFX and Thomson Financial."
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