June 17, 2020
Travis Perkins, the builder’s merchant which owns brands including Wickes and Toolstation has released plans to close 8% of its store portfolio resulting in the loss of 2.5k jobs in response to poor demand during the pandemic. Many stores to close will be the smaller branches where social distancing is difficult.
Poundstretcher has launched a CVA to restructure the business and review its estate of 450 stores across the country. The value retailer has brought in KPMG in support negotiations to move to a rental scheme based on individual stores ‘commercial merits’.
Fashion retailers Joules has announced that it expects to end the financial year with a loss of between £2 and £3 million. The pandemic has exacerbated the issue of falling sales this year, however the retailer has released a plan to reopen stores in a phased approach over the coming weeks and months and reported a 40% uplift in online sales during lockdown.
Charity shops are expecting an influx of donations after 3 months of lockdown has led to many cleaning out homes and saving items for charity shops to reopen. Oxfam’s head of audience and strategic planning Fee Gilfeather said “From a shopper perspective I think that people can expect to find some really great treasures to buy, because everybody’s had a lockdown clear-out, and I think that charity shops are going to be full of some really great gems that people have cleared out of their homes,”
Holland & Barrett and Booths are the two latest brands to partner up with Deliveroo in a bid to expand its reach during lockdown. Health retailer Holland & Barrett will make 200 of its most popular products available in a bid to make supplements and other health foods available to those shielding or in vulnerable groups. Meanwhile Booths will offer 300 items from one store only in Salford Media City, but they plan to roll the partnership out across other stores should the partnership prove successful.
Sausage roll fans rejoice! Greggs will open 800 stores on Thursday for takeaway only in the first major step in its return post lockdown. The bakery brand has also announced it will postpone its planned new store openings and in place will accelerate progress with click and collect and delivery channels.
One of the winners of the pandemic is Costcutter, which announced this week that it has continued to attract new business owners and has been opening new stores throughout the pandemic. A store owner in Birmingham claims that he has seen daily footfall triple to 1,000 and weekly sales grow from £5,000 to £30,000.
Pret A Manger has launched a click and collect service from five London stores where customers will be able to order online and collect via a hatch so they do not have to enter a store. If the initiative at the first five trial stores is successful, they hope to roll it out across the network. Pret digital transformation director Alex Chisholm said: “As more of our customers change their daily routines, we’ve been looking at how Pret can meet their needs…Click and collect is a great way of offering a fast, contact-free service for our freshly made food and we look forward to making it available to more customers in the coming months.”
Ice cream and dessert parlour Creams will introduce QR codes into menus and play an ice-cream van jingle to remind staff to wash their hands and to sanitise surfaces on a regular basis. The QR codes can be scanned by customers and will send their order straight to the till, reducing the contact with staff. Both initiatives are part of the chain's bid to protect customers and staff when it can reopen doors in July.