European Retail Correspondent
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Jun 28, 2011

N Brown sees 2011 peak of consumer pain

LONDON (Reuters) – N Brown Group Plc (BWNG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the British home shopping clothing group that targets older and larger consumers, expects the financial health of its customers to improve in 2012 and is hopeful of a pick-up in spending.

“We think this year’s going to be the peak in the pain,” Finance Director Dean Moore told the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Tuesday.

Jun 28, 2011

Asda, Sainsbury fire warnings over UK economy

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – Two bulwarks of Britain’s retail
sector — supermarket groups Asda and Sainsbury –
painted a bleak picture on Tuesday, as the pound hit a 13-month
low against a basket of currencies on worries about the economy.

Consumers are in recession, the chief financial officer of
Asda, the British arm of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart , told
the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit.

Jun 27, 2011

Ocado sees growth at 30 percent without constraints

LONDON (Reuters) – British online grocer Ocado (OCDO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) believes its sales growth would be about 30 percent if it were not held back by capacity constraints, its chief executive told the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Monday.

Tim Steiner was also relaxed about a pick up in competition in the online grocery market, saying Ocado would become more differentiated from rivals by offering a larger choice of goods and the ability to deliver non-food items with groceries.

Jun 27, 2011

U.S. retail to outpace European: Deloitte

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. retailers will return to modest growth in time for the holiday season, outpacing their counterparts in Europe which will suffer the effects of a debt crisis for years to come, according to consultants Deloitte.

Ira Kalish, director of economics and consumer business at Deloitte, told the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit that Germany should boost domestic demand to stimulate imports from debt-laden European economies like Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Jun 27, 2011

Tesco gears up for autumn push in banking

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s third-biggest retailer, will make its long-awaited push into banking this autumn, and will not do so by buying Lloyds (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) branches or bidding for state-owned Northern Rock.

Andrew Higginson, head of Tesco’s retail services business, told the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Monday that the British group was focused on expanding its own operations.

Jun 27, 2011

European stores struggle to diversify: Bain

LONDON (Reuters)- Fewer than 40 percent of European retailers are successful with moves to diversify into faster-growing foreign markets, store formats and services, according to research by consultancy Bain & Co.

The study, made exclusively available to the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Monday, concluded store groups needed to work harder to find original concepts, adapt them to local markets, test them more scientifically and then run them through a dedicated team.

Jun 25, 2011

Retailers scout new paths in shaky times

CHICAGO/LONDON (Reuters) – Retailers and the companies that provide their wares are searching for new ways to grow as shoppers are still not confident enough about the economy to open their wallets and spend.

Executives speaking at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit, which begins Monday, will discuss what the current climate could mean for the important holiday season, when chains typically ring up the bulk of their sales. They will also talk about the prospects for deals in the sector, where there has been buzz about takeovers and public offerings.

Jun 24, 2011

Retailers set alarm bells ringing on European growth

By James Davey and Mark Potter

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters – European shoppers are cutting back on discretionary purchases like televisions and furniture as their incomes are squeezed, fuelling fears the region’s faltering economic recovery could slide into reverse.

Consumers, facing rising prices and the trickle-down effect of government austerity measures, are even trying to economise on everyday items like groceries, cherry-picking goods on promotion, buying cheaper own-brand products and shopping more in hard-discount stores.

Jun 24, 2011

Analysis – Retailers set alarm bells ringing on European growth

By James Davey and Mark Potter

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters – European shoppers are cutting back on discretionary purchases like televisions and furniture as their incomes are squeezed, fuelling fears the region’s faltering economic recovery could slide into reverse.

Consumers, facing rising prices and the trickle-down effect of government austerity measures, are even trying to economise on everyday items like groceries, cherry-picking goods on promotion, buying cheaper own-brand products and shopping more in hard-discount stores.

Jun 22, 2011

Kesa may sell Comet as trade worsens

LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) – Kesa , Europe’s No. 3
electricals retailer, is considering the sale of its loss-making
Comet chain in the UK after trade across the group worsened in
its new financial year.

Chairman David Newlands told reporters on Wednesday the
group was looking at a full range of options for Comet,
including its disposal or the formation of a joint venture.

    • About Mark

      "Based in London, UK. Responsible for ThomsonReuters coverage of European retail companies. Previously worked as Chief Correspondent of UK Equities and before that as reporter on the UK company news desk."
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