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UK Retail Briefing - April 2009

March sees the first of the retail results – and a very mixed bag they promise to be. But the retail season got off to a good start with some excellent figures from Morrisons.

Food retailers

Morrisons’ figures were excellent, and while it is coming from a low base it deserves credit for achieving a turnaround in very tough trading conditions. Sainsbury’s, up against more challenging comparatives also reported strong sales growth. Aldi’s sales figures were a little disappointing after the growth reported in 2008. M&S is the only food retailer to be reporting sales falls.

The NBTY (Holland & Barrett) acquisition of Julian Graves has been referred to the Competition Commission – far from an obvious decision and one wonders if the CC is short of work.

Clothing

The news from clothing was almost uniformly bad. Profit falls or losses were the order of the day, even for previous high flyers like Ted Baker. The one bright spot was Peacocks benefitting not only from trading down, but from adding that necessary amount of fashionability as well.

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Table of contents

  1. Analyst’s Comment

    • A change in attitudes
      • Saving not spending
        • The double whammy
        • Headlines of the Month

            • Food retailers
              • Clothing
                • Mixed goods
                  • Department stores
                    • Homewares
                      • Miscellaneous
                        • Home shopping
                        • Retail Sales – Background and Outlook

                            • Retail sales trends
                                • Figure 1: Retail sales trends, 2008-09
                              • Early indications for March
                                • Figure 2: UK retail sales y/y growth, BRC vs ONS, 2007/09
                                • Figure 3: John Lewis: Year-on-year growth, 2008-09
                              • Inflation and wages
                                • Figure 4: RPI vs Wage rate growth, 2007-09
                              • Inflation has begun to fall back
                                • Figure 5: Annual percentage change in Retail Price Index for selected product groups, Aug 2007-Feb 2009
                              • Looking forward
                              • Sector Focus – Mixed Goods

                                  • Sales trends
                                    • Figure 6: Mixed goods retailers, sales trends, 1999-2008
                                    • Figure 7: Mixed goods retailers relative to all retail sales, 1998-2008
                                  • 2009
                                    • Retail price inflation
                                      • Consumer expenditure
                                        • Figure 8: Consumer expenditure on selected product categories (£m), 2004-08
                                      • Leading retailers
                                        • Figure 9: Mixed goods retailers – Leading players, 2007/08
                                    • Advertising News

                                      • New campaigns
                                        • Asda brings back "pocket tap" ad
                                          • Greggs rolls out Easter campaign
                                            • John Lewis kicks off Home campaign
                                              • Accounts gains and losses
                                                • Co-operative reviews £32m media business
                                                  • HomeForm retains DLKW for £15m account
                                                  • Executive Appointments

                                                    • Asda appoints new marketing chief
                                                      • Asos hires new finance director
                                                        • Jessops receives restructuring officer
                                                          • Kingfisher chairman announces retirement
                                                            • New Look chairman steps down
                                                              • Moss Bros appoints Brick as new chief
                                                                • Theo Fennell chief departs
                                                                • Advertising Expenditure

                                                                    • Figure 10: Total advertising expenditure by all advertisers (£m), Jan 2005-Jan 2009
                                                                    • Figure 11: Total advertising expenditure by all retail advertisers (£m), Jan 2005-Jan 2009
                                                                  • Use of media
                                                                    • Figure 12: Use of media by retail and all advertisers (£m), Jan 2008-Jan 2009
                                                                    • Figure 13: Use of media by retail and all advertisers (%), Jan 2008-Jan 2009
                                                                  • Top 25 retail advertisers
                                                                    • Figure 14: Top 25 retailers by adspend (£), Dec 2008-Jan 2009
                                                                • The Month in UK Retailing

                                                                  • Grocers
                                                                    • Aldi posts sales increase
                                                                      • Asda increases pressure on suppliers
                                                                        • Morrisons
                                                                          • … sees rise in FY profits
                                                                            • … will weather downturn, says CEO
                                                                              • Netto and Iceland team up for store development
                                                                                • Sainsbury's reports robust Q4 results
                                                                                  • Tesco
                                                                                    • … scales down housing project
                                                                                      • … to open in-store banks
                                                                                        • Waitrose to launch in motorway service stations
                                                                                          • Other food specialists
                                                                                            • Holland & Barrett/Julian Graves merger goes to Competition Commission
                                                                                              • Clothing retailing
                                                                                                • French Connection posts FY loss
                                                                                                  • Hobbs sees FY profits fall
                                                                                                    • La Senza attracts “Dragon’s” attention
                                                                                                      • Laura Ashley posts FY profit drop
                                                                                                        • Moss Bros posts £5m FY loss
                                                                                                          • Mulberry stake sold to Kaupthing
                                                                                                            • Peacocks reports soaring sales
                                                                                                              • Ted Baker FY profits plunge 11.4%
                                                                                                                • Mixed goods retailing
                                                                                                                  • Mothercare posts impressive FY results
                                                                                                                    • WH Smith trials pick 'n' mix
                                                                                                                      • Multi-sector retailing
                                                                                                                        • Home Retail Group posts Argos, Homebase results
                                                                                                                          • M&S
                                                                                                                            • … extends branded product trial
                                                                                                                              • … shareholders to revolt over Sir Stuart Rose
                                                                                                                                • … sees sales fall
                                                                                                                                  • Next posts 11% decline in FY operating profit
                                                                                                                                    • Department stores
                                                                                                                                      • Beales LFLs down but "better than average"
                                                                                                                                        • Debenhams
                                                                                                                                          • … H1 results hit by "extremely difficult" conditions
                                                                                                                                            • … ponders Russian re-entry
                                                                                                                                              • Harvey Nichols sees profits fall 40%
                                                                                                                                                • John Lewis suffers 26.4% drop in profit
                                                                                                                                                  • DIY retailing
                                                                                                                                                    • Kingfisher posts FY sales, profit increase
                                                                                                                                                      • Robert Dyas plots buyout deal
                                                                                                                                                        • Travis Perkins plans £300m rights issue
                                                                                                                                                          • Electrical retailing
                                                                                                                                                            • DSGi mulls rights issue
                                                                                                                                                              • Carpet retailing
                                                                                                                                                                • Allied Carpets saved by investment fund
                                                                                                                                                                  • Furniture retailing
                                                                                                                                                                    • Dreams sleeps easy with FY profits up 18%
                                                                                                                                                                      • Land of Leather founders plot sofa chain launch
                                                                                                                                                                        • Smallbone bought out of pre-pack administration
                                                                                                                                                                          • Home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                            • Findel closes Cotswold and Letterbox
                                                                                                                                                                              • Flying Brands reports 53% profit drop
                                                                                                                                                                                • Ideal Shopping takes £9.2m hit
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ocado offers "Instant Order" choosing service
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Book and stationery retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Clinton Cards
                                                                                                                                                                                        • … agrees new loan deal
                                                                                                                                                                                          • … suffers profit slump
                                                                                                                                                                                            • WH Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                              • … entertainment website goes live
                                                                                                                                                                                                • … trials pick 'n' mix
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sports and leisure goods retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Blacks Leisure warns of losses
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • JJB
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • … outlines refinancing plans
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • … health clubs to be bought by Whelan
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • … 23% stake goes from Ronnie to Ashley
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • … founder transfers 71% stake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Jewellers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Aurum chairman confident of future
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Signet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • … renegotiates debt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • … suffers loss in 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Photographic retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Jessops receives restructuring officer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            UK Retail Briefing - April 2009

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