European Retail Correspondent
Mark's Feed
Sep 14, 2011

John Lewis expects more pain

LONDON (Reuters) – Bellwether retailer John Lewis JLP.UL reported an 18 percent drop in its first-half profit, hit by discounting at its department stores and a step up in investment, and forecast tough trading conditions would persist into 2012.

The employee-owned group, which runs upmarket grocer Waitrose as well as the country’s biggest department store chain, said it made a profit before tax of 91.2 million pounds in the six months ended July 30.

Sep 14, 2011

John Lewis’s profit drops, expects more pain

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Bellwether British retailer John
Lewis reported an 18 percent drop in its first-half
profit, hit by discounting at its department stores and a step
up in investment, and forecast tough trading conditions would
persist into 2012.

The employee-owned group, which runs upmarket grocer
Waitrose as well as Britain’s biggest department store chain,
said it made a profit before tax of 91.2 million pounds ($144
million) in the six months ended July 30.

Sep 12, 2011

Homebase to do itself up, focus on decorating

AYLESFORD, England (Reuters) – Homebase, Britain’s second-biggest home improvements retailer behind Kingfisher’s B&Q chain, plans to step up its focus on decorating and services as it battles to win share in a struggling marketplace.

The chain, owned by Home Retail Group, said on Monday it was launching a range of own-brand interior decorating products called Home of Style and it would test new product areas like carpets, as well as offering services such as painting and decorating and lawn maintenance.

Sep 12, 2011

UK retailer Homebase to do itself up, focus on decorating

AYLESFORD, England, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Homebase, Britain’s
second-biggest home improvements retailer behind Kingfisher’s
B&Q chain, plans to step up its focus on decorating and
services as it battles to win share in a struggling marketplace.

The chain, owned by Home Retail Group , said on
Monday it was launching a range of own-brand interior decorating
products called Home of Style and it would test new product
areas like carpets, as well as offering services such as
painting and decorating and lawn maintenance.

Sep 8, 2011

Olympics shopping centre may have to settle for silver

LONDON (Reuters) – A less-affluent catchment area, stronger competition and more congested roads mean Europe’s biggest urban shopping centre, which opens in east London next week, may struggle to match the success of its sister mall in the west of the city.

Few analysts doubt Westfield Stratford will pull in millions of Britons over the coming weeks, despite a gloomy economic backdrop, as shoppers flock to explore its 300 retail outlets and 50 cafes and restaurants in the run-up to Christmas.

Sep 8, 2011

Fresh foods help Morrisons win wary shoppers

LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Britain’s Wm Morrison
Supermarkets beat forecasts with an 8 percent rise in
first-half profit as a focus on fresh foods, low prices and
promotions helped it to win custom from bigger rivals in a tough
consumer environment.

Chief Executive Dalton Philips said on Thursday there was a
new professionalism in the way customers were shopping as rising
prices, muted wages growth and government cutbacks drive the
biggest drop in spending power since the early 1980s.

Sep 7, 2011

Analysis: UK Olympics mall may have to settle for silver

LONDON (Reuters) – A less-affluent catchment area, stronger competition and more congested roads mean Europe’s biggest urban shopping center, which opens in east London next week, may struggle to match the success of its sister mall in the west of the city.

Few analysts doubt Westfield Stratford will pull in millions of Britons over the coming weeks, despite a gloomy economic backdrop, as shoppers flock to explore its 300 retail outlets and 50 cafes and restaurants in the run-up to Christmas.

Sep 7, 2011

Analysis – Olympics mall may have to settle for silver

LONDON (Reuters) – A less-affluent catchment area, stronger competition and more congested roads mean Europe’s biggest urban shopping centre, which opens in east London next week, may struggle to match the success of its sister mall in the west of the city.

Few analysts doubt Westfield Stratford will pull in millions of Britons over the coming weeks, despite a gloomy economic backdrop, as shoppers flock to explore its 300 retail outlets and 50 cafes and restaurants in the run-up to Christmas.

Sep 7, 2011

Dixons retrenches as shoppers curb spending

LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Dixons , Europe’s
second-biggest electricals retailer, is cutting more costs and
trimming investment plans to counter a drop in sales and profit
margins as shoppers rein in spending in the face of rising
prices and government austerity.

The group, home to the Currys and PC World chains in
Britain, said on Wednesday it would cut an extra 10 million
pounds ($16 million) of costs and limit capital spending to 100
million pounds, down from an original plan of 110-160 million.

Sep 1, 2011

Tesco taps Goldman to advise on Japan store

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco Plc (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s third-biggest retailer, has hired Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to advise it on the sale of its Japan stores, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The British supermarket group put its loss-making Japanese business up for sale on Wednesday, ending an eight-year attempt to break into a retail market that has proven tough for foreign retailers to crack.

    • 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."
    • Follow Mark