The Center for Retail Research has put forward a much disturbing report confirming that shoplifting has hit an all time high in UK and recession is being blamed as the major cause for this surge. Commissioned by Checkpoint Systems, the report asserted that there was a rise in the "middle-class" shoplifters.
The report has put forward an interesting and distressing discovery that people are now shoplifting not to sell things, but to sustain their regular standard of living.
British online retailer Play. com leaked the personal details of numerous customers by sending emails containing personal information to the wrong customers.
Many customers received emails reporting the dispatch of orders they did not place, and when the emails were opened they revealed the names and addresses of other customers of the online retailer.
A Play. com customer told BBC that he received more than 80 emails and each email revealed other customers' names as well as orders placed by them.
Next, the British fashion retailer lifted its profit forecast for the year after reporting better-than-expected sales for the third quarter.
Next, which operates 500 shops plus a well-built home shopping business, said sales at the Directory home shopping business surged 5.1 per cent.
Next said like-for-like sales dropped 1.3 per cent during the period as compared with a forecast of decline of 2-4 per cent.
Next said in a statement, "The consumer environment remains subdued, but has been more benign than we anticipated."
Associated British Foods, the owner of the discount fashion retailer Primark, has posted an increase of 12 per cent in revenue to £9.3 billion this year.
But, ABF said its pre-tax profits dipped 6 per cent to settle at £495 million, while adjusted pre-tax profits jumped to £655 million, gaining 4 per cent.
ABF said its performance hurt by a £65 million loss, mainly due to the rationalization of its US packaged oil business.
However, like-for-like sales at the Primark stores jumped 7 per cent.
British retailer Marks & Spencer has announced its plans to sell about 400 branded products, ranging from grocery products like Kellogg's and Coca-Cola to household products such as Fairy and Pantene.
The retailer said that it would not drop or replace any of its existing products and prices would be matched against other supermarkets.
Sir Stuart Rose, executive chairman of the company, said, "It will be so much more for convenient for our customers to get what they need from M&S rather than having to go elsewhere."
Figures released by the British Retail Consortium reveal that consumer confidence jumped to its highest level in the last 18 months in October, though labour market is still down.
The BRC consumer confidence index jumped to 75 points in October, representing a gain of 10 points on the all-time low of 65 in April. However, the index is still much below levels recorded two-three years ago.
Justin Sargent, MD of market analyst Nielsen, said, "This latest poll shows that the confidence of the nation continues to improve."
UK's First Quench Retailing Ltd., the beleaguered owner of the Threshers off-licence chain, went into administration, putting the future of about 6,500 workers at risk.
First Quench, which operates around 1,300 outlets and also owns The Local and Wine Rack chains, had been struggling hard because of cut-throat competition for drink sales from superstores. First Quench, which suffered a loss of £30 million in 2008, confirmed that KPMG was appointed as administrator.
Lancashire-based retailer Matalan has confirmed speculation that it was mulling over offers for the business.
Budget fashion chain Matalan is said to be a £1.5 billion target for a number private equity firms.
However, Matalan's CEO Alistair McGeorge informed that the clothing chain had received many unsolicited offers, which were being considered by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Volumes of retail sales remained flat in September for the second consecutive month, dashing hopes for solid economic recovery.
Figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics showed that sales were stagnant in September as compared with previous month.
Analysts had projected an increase of 0.5 per cent in sales for September.
As per the ONS, food inflation dropped to below 2 per cent last month from around 8 per cent during the same period last year.
The operator of Argos and Homebase stores, Home Retail Group, said its pre-tax profit jumped 1 per cent to settle at £123 million during the six-month period ended August 29.
Total sales at Home Retail Group soared 3 per cent to settle at £2.8 billion same period.
Same-store sales at Homebase jumped 3 per cent, while Argos reported a fall of 2 per cent in sales from last year.
Argos profits stood at £79.7 million, down £6 million from a year earlier.
UK retail sales soared significantly in September, providing cautious optimism that country's economy is on track to recovery.
As per British Retail Consortium, retail sales excluding new store openings jumped 2.8 per cent, while total sales soared 4.9 per cent as compared with the same period of previous year.
The figures are best since January last year, though the BRC cautioned that these figures were compared with a particularly frail September previous year when sales dropped 1.5 per cent due to financial market turmoil and wet weather.
Supermarket chain J Sainsbury said Wednesday that its same-store sales increased by 5.4 per cent during the fiscal second-quarter of the year ended October 3.
J Sainsbury said it performed well in a challenging consumer environment; however it warned that growth could slow down in future as inflation eases.
Justin King, CEO of the Sainsbury, said the company was "well-positioned going forward."
The firm has witnessed its same-store sales growth down from 7.8 per cent in the previous quarter.
Tesco Plc, the world's third-largest retailer, reported a humble growth of 2.7 per cent in UK sales for the first half of 2009.
In the first six months, Tesco’s UK sales soared to £20.6 billion; however this was much slower as compared with 10 per cent growth witnessed previous year.
However, Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco, said, “Our UK business is delivering solid growth and improving volumes.”
Sir Terry said in an interview that he was expecting a slow & steady economic revival.
Tesco has showed its resentment against the competition watchdog’s recommendation of a test that would make it harder for dominant supermarket chains to open new stores in particular areas shutting out rivals by building more stores to existing outlets.
Under the ‘competition test’, UK planning authorities will be advised by the Office of Fair Trading on the potential impact of any new development.
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