UK retail correspondent
James's Feed
Apr 11, 2014

Tesco’s problems mount as profit set to fall again

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is expected to report a 6 percent fall in annual profit next week, a second straight decline which would pile the pressure on boss Phil Clarke who is struggling to turn around Britain’s biggest retailer.

Having dominated the high street for years, the 95-year-old Tesco stunned the industry in 2012 when it issued its first profit warning in two decades. Despite billions of pounds of investment, it has struggled since then and two months ago Clarke abandoned an industry-leading target for operating margin in the UK.

Apr 10, 2014

Britain’s Marks & Spencer shows signs of improvement as clothing sales rise

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted its best quarterly performance in clothing for three years, indicating its turnaround plan may finally be gaining traction after billions of pounds of investment and several false dawns.

Shares in Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, which also sells homeware and upmarket food, rose up to 3.3 percent in early trading on Thursday after it said clothing sales at stores open over a year increased 0.6 percent in the 13 weeks to March 29.

Apr 10, 2014

M&S shows signs of improvement as clothing sales rise

LONDON (Reuters) – Retailer Marks & Spencer posted its best quarterly performance in clothing for three years, indicating its turnaround plan may finally be gaining traction after billions of pounds of investment and several false dawns.

Shares in Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, which also sells homeware and upmarket food, rose up to 3.3 percent in early trading on Thursday after it said clothing sales at stores open over a year increased 0.6 percent in the 13 weeks to March 29.

Apr 10, 2014

Britain’s M&S shows signs of improvement as clothing sales rise

LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) – British retailer Marks &
Spencer posted its best quarterly performance in
clothing for three years, indicating its turnaround plan may
finally be gaining traction after billions of pounds of
investment and several false dawns.

Shares in Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, which also
sells homeware and upmarket food, rose up to 3.3 percent in
early trading on Thursday after it said clothing sales at stores
open over a year increased 0.6 percent in the 13 weeks to March
29.

Apr 8, 2014

British grocers struggle as German discounters expand

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – Britain’s major supermarkets are
cutting prices but will struggle to stop Aldi and Lidl eating
their profits as the German discounters look to double their
share of the 170-billion pound ($282 billion) grocery market in
the next three years.

Market leader Tesco, Wal-Mart owned Asda
and Morrisons have together pledged to make price cuts
worth 2.4 billion pounds though analysts question whether they
can compete on those terms with the discounters, whose no-frills
focus on value won affluent new shoppers in the recession and
look set to win more in the fragile recovery.

Apr 4, 2014

Under-fire McIlwee quits as Tesco finance boss

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) – Tesco’s finance chief
Laurie McIlwee quit on Friday, delivering a fresh blow to CEO
Philip Clarke who is struggling to turn around the British-based
supermarket operator.

Announcing his decision just days before results that are
expected to show another decline in profits, McIlwee said he
would quit the board and resign after five years as CFO but stay
on long enough to hand over to a successor.

Apr 4, 2014

Another fall in clothing sales to pile pressure on M&S

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is set to report an eleventh straight quarterly fall in clothing sales, increasing the pressure on its chief executive to explain why heavy investment has not yet delivered an anticipated turnaround.

Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, which also sells homewares and upmarket foods, will publish fourth-quarter sales on Thursday, ahead of results for 2013-14 on May 20 when it is expected to deliver a third straight year of falling profit.

Apr 3, 2014

Kingfisher bids for Mr Bricolage to bolster French presence

LONDON (Reuters) – Kingfisher (KGF.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Europe’s No. 1 home improvement retailer, moved to strengthen its position in France, its most profitable market, with a 275 million euros ($379 million) takeover bid for smaller rival Mr Bricolage (MBRI.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

The owner of B&Q, the market leader in Britain, already trades as Castorama and Brico Depot in France where it is jostling for the top spot with Group Adeo, which owns the Leroy Merlin chain.

Apr 2, 2014

ASOS says growth story still intact after profit falls

LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) – British online fashion retailer
ASOS said on Wednesday its long-term growth ambitions
were as strong as ever, after it posted a 22 percent fall in
first half profit that reflected a step-up in its investment
programme.

ASOS, whose fast-changing fashions are a global hit with
internet-savvy twentysomethings, been the great success story of
British retailing since it floated at just 20 pence in 2001,
compared with the 1005 GMT price of 5,176 pence, a rise of 0.4
percent on the day.

Apr 1, 2014

British retailer M&S eyes overseas growth as home sales wilt

PARIS, April 1 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest clothing
retailer Marks & Spencer Plc, hit at home by dwindling
sales, plans to expand its international stores by more than a
half as part of a strategy to rebuild the 130-year-old
institution.

M&S, which sparked staff and customer protests when it
backtracked from a previous overseas growth plan and withdrew
from mainland Europe in 2001, said it planned to expand its
overseas profits by 40 percent over three years with the opening
of 250 stores, including 20 food outlets in Paris.

    • 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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