Tesco has announced plans to launch a new discount brand called Jack’s which will compete directly with discount giants Lidl and Aldi. The first store is planned to open in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire with another opening in Immingham, Lincolnshire. Chief Executive Dave Lewis said "We have been thinking about what customers want, and bringing it to them in the most cost-effective, value-orientated way possible," he told the BBC. "The objective is to be the lowest cost for customers." It is claimed that the price point will be lower at Jacks than Aldi and Lidl and Tesco have announced they initially plan to open 10-15 stores over the next six months. As Tesco celebrates 100 years of trading, they will honour Tesco’s founder Jack Cohen, by naming the new venture after him.
Summer grocery sales across the board were boosted by the hot weather and the World Cup. Aldi enjoyed the greatest growth, increasing sales in the period to September 9th by 13.9%. Looking to the big four, Tesco’s sales rose by 1.9% Sainsburys by 1.6%, Morrisons by 3% and Asda by 3.1%. During the bank holiday period consumers spent £228M more on alcohol and £74M more on ice cream. Supermarkets’ convenience format stores were especially boosted with a collective sales increase of 7.6% compared to last year, as consumers shopped locally for drinks and barbecue supplies.
John Lewis has announced that profits were down by 98.8% despite sales rising by 0.8%. Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield attributed the drop to the erosion of margins due to discounting by competitors. The partnership is also investing heavily in both the John Lewis and Waitrose brands as they refit shops and bring in new technology to prepare for the future. Mayfied said: “These are challenging times in retail. Profits before exceptionals are always lower and more volatile in the first half than the second half. It is especially so this half year, driven mainly by John Lewis where gross margin has been squeezed in what has been the most promotional market we’ve seen in almost a decade.”
Details of the House of Fraser deal have been released as it announces that it will not be stocking any in-house brands from now onwards. Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley has claimed that he is in talks with landlords as his aim is to keep 80% of the estate open. Some landlords are reportedly being offered a small percentage of a store’s turnover and some no rent at all, whereas others are being offered the full rent amounts. The no-rent deals will last 2 years, subject to a three month break clause but will receive an amount equivalent to the business rates and a service charge. It has been confirmed that House of Fraser’s flagship store on Oxford street in London, will stay open.
Lidl UK has acquired a 38 acre site in Leeds which will house a new distribution warehouse. This will be Lidl’s 17th distribution site and forms part of an ambitious expansion plan. The new site will take up 60,000 square meters and could create up to 500 jobs for the area. Lidl opened in the UK for the first time in 1994 and now has over 720 stores nationwide. The Lidl UK board director for expansion and development, said: “As we continue to open new stores and serve more customers across the country, it’s important that we also continue to build foundations for the future. This latest investment joins a long line of Lidl warehouses set to open over the next seven years, which are all vital in supporting our growth.”
Department store Harvey Nichols has temporarily rebranded itself as ‘Holly Nichols’ to mark the start of a campaign celebrating women called ‘Let’s hear it for the girls’ which will last throughout September. The store in Knightsbridge has even changed the storefront to feature an illuminated sign featuring the new name and the temporary branding will feature on shopping bags and other collateral throughout the store. Harvey Nichols has also launched a website www.hollynichols.com and have updated all social media channels to support the campaign. Harvey Nichols as a history of supporting women in retail and seven out of nine of its board members are women.
Debenhams has launched new branding as part of its overhaul plans. The new logo, which was conceived with Debenhams’ creative partner, Mother and includes friendly images, a new typeface and a fresh new colour system. The new branding is being rolled out across all digital channels as well as being at the forefront of store modernisation.
Mastercard has revealed that almost half of all in-store card transactions are now contactless across Europe. Recent data shows that most European countries are accepting the technology, some more than others, as contactless transactions in Poland make up over 80% in the year-to-date. This comes as Europeans embrace a cashless economy “Europe is leading the way in contactless payments and what is consistent across the board, despite the economy and development status of each country, is the consumers’ adoption behaviour to embrace contactless technology. We’re increasingly seeing various European markets demonstrating swift adoptions of the technology as consumers increase their trust in the technology,” said Javier Perez, president Mastercard Europe.
This week has seen Hermes and CPPIB put the South Bank Central development in London on the market for £280m. The scheme, which covers 2.6 acres on London’s Southbank, includes 191 apartments, 263,905 sq ft of commercial space, of which 33,353 sq ft is retail space called The Gallery.
Taunton Deane Borough Council has announced plans to redevelop Taunton’s 25,000 sq ft riverside scheme, Coal Orchard. The scheme features 42 apartments with parking, retail units, office space and a riverfront plaza. The regeneration work is due to begin in 2019 and is hoped to b complete by spring 2020. Executive Councillor for Business Development. Mace Projects Director, Andrew Clancy, said: “We are excited by the potential of the Coal Orchard site, one that we have been working on with the council for the past three years.”
Two new tenants have been found for 20,000 sq ft of space the St Catherine Retail Park in Perth, Scotland. Homesense and Tapi Carpets and Floors have taken 10,000 sq ft units each and another 15,000 sq ft is under offer to a another retailer. This only leaves 10,000 sq ft available at the scheme, which is managed by Savilles IM on behalf of EPISO Boxes GP. Other tenants at the park are The Range, Bensons for Beds, Costa and Greggs.
Breakfast-to-go brand Moma is opening a pop-up restaurant in Soho, London from 5-6th October with the aim of showcasing the versatility of its new jumbo oat range. The ‘Oat Cuisine Experience’ will offer an eight course-tasting menu comprising only of oat products, with vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options, all for £4. The oat-based dishes will include bakes peaches, rosemary oat focaccia bread and vegetarian oat burgers. Tom Mercer, Moma Foods’ founder, said: “With the launch of our new jumbo oats, we wanted to share our passion for this simple but delicious and versatile ingredient, and showcase how it can be used for breakfast, dinner and everything in between.”
Coca-Cola announced this week that they are looking into developing cannabis-based drinks as their next product diversification. As sales of fizzy drinks have been declining over the past years, Coca-cola have launched several alternative product lines including water and juices and recently announced that they were purchasing Costa Coffee from Whitbread. They are looking into providing drinks with Cannabidiol, which derives from cannabis which can help ease pain and inflammation, but has no psychoactive effect. In a statement, Coca-cola said: “Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive cannabidiol as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.".
Absolut Vodka is opening a ‘multi-sensory experience’ for a week from 3rd October in Soho, London which will all focus around the porn star martini, in line with London’s Cocktail Week. The experience will include four floors which will focus around each element of the cocktail including a mist-filled Vanilla Forest and bubble maze.
Sushisamba, the Latin American and Japanese fusion restaurant is opening a new 9,000 sq ft site in Covent Garden. The brand combines Pervuvian, Brazillian and Japanese cuisine to create a delicious menu including Brazilian Churrasco Rio Grande of ribeye and a seafood stew with shrimp, seabass and squid. This will be Sushisamba’s second London opening, alongside Liverpool street which opened in 2012.John Um, Sushisamba’s corporate chef, said: We see the iconic nature of Covent Garden as a way for us to push our culinary creativity even further and put a fresh twist on this location that will individualise it from our other locations.”