UK retail correspondent
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Jun 30, 2015

Tesco seeks fresh start with suppliers who survive cull

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – Suppliers to Tesco can
expect a better deal from Britain’s biggest supermarket chain as
it tries to sustain a tentative revival — providing their wares
survive a cull that is removing thousands of products from

Last week Tesco enjoyed the first fruits of a radical
shake-up of its 3,000 British suppliers as new deals and changes
to product ranges helped to feed price reductions that drove
better than expected quarterly sales.

Jun 30, 2015

Ocado says edging closer to first overseas deal

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – British online grocer Ocado
is closing in on its first technology deal with an
overseas retailer, it said on Tuesday, disappointing investors
who had hoped for news of a firm transaction.

Ocado shares, up around 30 percent in the last three months,
fell as much as 5.5 percent in early trading.

Jun 26, 2015

Tesco shows signs of UK recovery as turnaround plan takes shape

LONDON (Reuters) – Price cuts and better service helped Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to win back shoppers in the first quarter of its financial year, Britain’s biggest retailer said on Friday, suggesting new boss Dave Lewis’s turnaround plan is starting to bear fruit.

Tesco has had a horrendous 18 months, with competition from fast-growing discounters Aldi and Lidl compounded by an accounting scandal that drove it to a record annual loss.

Jun 26, 2015

Tesco shows signs of recovery in key home market

LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest supermarket
operator Tesco said sales had declined less than
expected in its first quarter, indicating a tentative recovery
in its key home market could be starting to move on to a
stronger footing.

Tesco, which endured a horrendous 18 months marred by profit
warnings, a record statutory loss and an accounting scandal,
said on Friday sales at British stores open for more than a year
fell 1.3 percent over the 13 weeks to May 30, against analyst
forecasts of a decline of between 1.6 percent and 3 percent.

Jun 25, 2015

Debenhams boss says new austerity fears put brake on spending

LONDON (Reuters) – Fears over the possible impact of new British government spending cuts was dampening consumer confidence even though shoppers had more money to spend, the boss of department store chain Debenhams said.

Britain’s newly re-elected Conservative government is pressing ahead with plans to cut welfare spending by 12 billion pounds ($18.8 billion). Finance minister George Osborne is expected to give details of measures in his budget statement on July 8.

Jun 19, 2015

Tesco’s nascent UK recovery seen stalling

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest retailer, Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research), is expected to report next week that a tentative recovery in its key home market has stalled.

Its sales update on Friday, ahead of a potentially stormy annual shareholders’ meeting later in the day, could also see new boss Dave Lewis formally announce that the supermarket operator is examining the possible disposal of its South Korean business, Homeplus.

Jun 18, 2015

UK’s Poundland cautious on outlook as sales growth slows

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) – British single price discount
retailer Poundland cautioned on Thursday that it
expects first-half trading to be subdued after sales growth
slowed for a fourth quarter in a row.

Poundland Chief Executive Jim McCarthy dismissed the
suggestion the tide was turning against discounters, saying the
latest growth slowdown in the first quarter of its financial
year was partly due to the weak euro.

Jun 11, 2015

UK’s Argos hurt by electricals sales dip

LONDON (Reuters) – Waning demand in Britain for TVs and computers drove a second straight quarterly sales decline at Home Retail’s (HOME.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Argos, but the chain said it was still winning market share and forecast an improved performance in its second half.

Home Retail, which also runs do-it-yourself chain Homebase, is transforming its larger, more profitable Argos arm from a catalogue-based retailer into a digital-oriented business, targeting higher sales from mobiles and tablet PCs and making collections faster and easier.

Jun 10, 2015

Sainsbury’s says growth plan working despite falling sales

LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) – Investors bought in to British
supermarket chain Sainsbury’s insistence that its
strategy is working, lifting its share price by 5 percent on
Wednesday despite a sixth straight quarter of declining
underlying sales.

Bets against the sector are at record highs, with
Sainsbury’s and Morrisons the most shorted stocks on
Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 index amid fierce
competition with discount rivals that has contributed to record
price deflation.

Jun 4, 2015

Morrisons patriarch endorses new management

BRADFORD, England, June 4 (Reuters) – The new management of
Britain’s fourth-biggest supermarket Morrisons got
public support on Thursday from the company’s influential former
boss Ken Morrison, helping to defuse tension at its shareholder
meeting over strategy and pay.

In March, Morrisons reported its lowest profit in eight
years and said it would cut its dividend, setting the scene for
a potentially fractious investor gathering. Like rivals Tesco
, Asda and Sainsbury’s, Morrisons is
battling record food price deflation and waging a price war to
stem the loss of shoppers to discounters Aldi and Lidl.

    • 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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