UK retail correspondent
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Aug 18, 2015

Wal-Mart’s British supermarket chain Asda hits ‘nadir’

LONDON (Reuters) – Wal-Mart’s (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) British supermarket chain Asda slumped to its worst quarterly sales performance in the 16 years it has been owned by the U.S. group, with results on Tuesday highlighting its struggles in the face of an onslaught from the discounters.

Asda and rivals Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Morrisons (MRW.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and market leader Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are losing ground in a fierce price war sparked by lower prices at Aldi [ALDIEI.UL] and Lidl [LIDUK.UL], but industry analysts Kantar Worldpanel said last month that Asda was faring worst.

Aug 18, 2015

Supermarket chain Asda hits sales ‘nadir’

LONDON (Reuters) – Wal-Mart’s (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) British supermarket chain Asda slumped to its worst quarterly sales performance in the 16 years it has been owned by the U.S. group, with results on Tuesday highlighting its struggles in the face of an onslaught from the discounters.

Asda and rivals Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L: Quote, Profile, Research), Morrisons (MRW.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and market leader Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) are losing ground in a fierce price war sparked by lower prices at Aldi [ALDIEI.UL] and Lidl [LIDUK.UL], but industry analysts Kantar Worldpanel said last month that Asda was faring worst.

Aug 18, 2015

British supermarket chain Asda hits sales ‘nadir’

LONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Wal-Mart’s British
supermarket chain Asda slumped to its worst quarterly sales
performance in the 16 years it has been owned by the U.S. group,
with results on Tuesday highlighting its struggles in the face
of an onslaught from the discounters.

Asda and rivals Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and
market leader Tesco are losing ground in a fierce price
war sparked by lower prices at Aldi and Lidl
, but industry analysts Kantar Worldpanel said last
month that Asda was faring worst.

Jul 30, 2015

Thomas Cook says Tunisia, Greece and forex to dent profit

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – Travel firm Thomas Cook
has warned that cancellations of holidays to Tunisia after a
beach gun attack, concerns regarding Greece’s potential exit
from the euro and a currency hit would knock 64 million pounds
($100 million) off this year’s profit.

Shares in the London-listed group, down 13 percent since
June 26 when a gunman killed 38 mainly British holidaymakers in
a Tunisian beach massacre claimed by Islamic State militants,
recovered from early losses to be marginally up by mid-morning.

Jul 28, 2015

Sainsbury’s overtakes Asda to become UK’s No.2 supermarket

LONDON (Reuters) – Asda, the British arm of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), on Tuesday lost its status as Britain’s No. 2 supermarket group to rival Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as industry data confirmed it as the sector laggard.

Asda’s sales fell 2.7 percent over the 12 weeks to July 19, reducing its market share to 16.4 percent from 17.0 percent in the same period last year, researcher Kantar Worldpanel said.

Jul 28, 2015

Next lifts profit expectations after first-half beat

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) – Next, Britain’s
second-largest clothing retailer, nudged up its annual sales and
profit forecasts after beating its own guidance for first-half
sales growth, boosted by warm weather in June and July.

Shares in the firm, which trades from more than 500 shops in
Britain and Ireland, about 200 mainly franchised stores overseas
and the Directory catalogue and internet business, rose up to 2
percent on Tuesday — near to their record high — after it also
said it would pay another special dividend, its third this year.

Jul 27, 2015

Reckitt Benckiser raises guidance after strong half

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Consumer goods maker Reckitt
Benckiser raised annual revenue and profit margin targets
after a forecast-beating first-half performance on Monday led by
consumer health and hygiene in most of its markets around the
world.

Shares in the British manufacturer of Durex condoms, Dettol
disinfectant and Nurofen painkillers rose by as much as 2.9
percent on Monday, close to their record high, after it also
said it would hit the upper end of targeted cost savings ahead
of schedule. Shares have risen 23 percent over the last year.

Jul 17, 2015

M&S veteran eyes top job as takes on clothing role

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – Steve Rowe’s switch from running
Marks & Spencer’s food business to heading its general
merchandise arm could make or break his chances of succeeding
Marc Bolland as chief executive, arguably the most prestigious
job in British retail.

Rowe has led the upmarket food division for three years,
delivering 23 straight quarters of underlying sales growth and
an outperformance of the wider industry, helping M&S post a
first rise in profit in four years in 2014-15.

Jul 16, 2015

Marks & Spencer clothing boss quits firm for new role

LONDON (Reuters) – John Dixon, the head of Marks & Spencer’s non-food division, has quit Britain’s biggest clothing retailer to become chief executive of another company, M&S said on Thursday.

The 131-year-old M&S said Dixon, whose purview spans clothing, shoes and homeware, would step down from the M&S board immediately and leave the company on a date to be agreed. His destination was not disclosed.

Jul 15, 2015

Burberry committed to Hong Kong despite sales slowdown

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) – Falling sales in Burberry’s
Hong Kong market will not deter the British luxury
brand from its commitment to one of its most profitable regions,
it said on Wednesday.

Pro-democracy protests in the city, which accounts for
around 10 percent of Burberry’s total retail and wholesale sales
gathered pace last year, keeping mainland Chinese tourists
away.

    • 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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