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UK Retail Briefing - February 2012

UK Retail Briefing is a monthly briefing providing news and analysis that includes company results, store openings, cross-border moves, M & A activities, executive changes and property developments. Additionally each month, UK Retail Briefing focuses on a key issue or specific UK retail sector. The month's retail news is then analysed sector by sector, making this an invaluable resource for all with an interest in the UK retail industry.

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Table of contents

  1. Analyst Comment

    • Matching prices
      • The problem of being the leader
        • Who isn’t matching Tesco these days?
          • Taking price out of the equation
            • What can Tesco do?
            • Headlines for the Month

              • Grocers
                • Clothing
                  • Footwear
                    • Multi-sector retailing
                      • Mixed goods
                        • Miscellaneous specialists
                          • Department stores
                            • Electricals retailing
                              • Music, video, and games retailing
                                • Furniture retailing
                                  • Home shopping
                                    • Health and beauty retailing
                                      • Books and stationery retailing
                                        • Sports and leisure goods retailing
                                          • Jewellery
                                            • Toys and games retailing
                                            • Retail Sales – Background and Outlook

                                              • Key points
                                                • Retail sales trends
                                                  • Figure 1: Retail sales trends, 2011-12
                                                • The BRC data for January
                                                  • Figure 2: UK retail sales y/y growth, BRC vs ONS, 2010-11
                                                • John Lewis
                                                  • Figure 3: John Lewis: Year-on-year growth, 2010-12
                                                • Inflation and wages
                                                  • Figure 4: RPI vs Average weekly earnings growth, 2008-12
                                                • Inflation fell again
                                                  • Figure 5: Annual percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for selected product groups, 2011-12
                                                • Looking forward
                                                • Sector Focus – Food Retailers

                                                    • Mintel’s Tracker survey
                                                      • Figure 6: Mintel Tracker Survey extracts: Agreement with statements on grocery shopping, Dec 2009, Dec 2010, Dec 2011
                                                    • Sector relatives
                                                      • Figure 7: Food retailers’ sales as % of all retail sales (excl. fuel), 2006 -11
                                                    • Retail sales data
                                                      • Figure 8: Food retailers’ sales, 2006-11
                                                      • Figure 9: Food retailers’ real-terms year-on-year sales growth, 2006-11
                                                    • Inflation
                                                      • Figure 10: Consumer prices inflation, selected categories, Jan 2010-Dec 2011
                                                      • Figure 11: Year-on-year change in food commodity prices, Jan 2011-Jan 2012
                                                    • Consumer expenditure
                                                      • Leading retailers
                                                        • Christmas performances
                                                          • What to do with a problem like Tesco?
                                                            • What do these results tell us?
                                                              • Figure 13: Leading food retailers, 2010/11
                                                          • News Analysis

                                                            • Grocers
                                                              • Asda
                                                                • …outperforms rivals over Christmas
                                                                  • …to invest £500m in stores and supply chain
                                                                    • Booths sales up as shoppers entertain over Christmas
                                                                      • Iceland deadline nears as Walker lines up £150m
                                                                        • Morrisons
                                                                          • …acquires meat processing facility
                                                                            • …brings back pay day offers
                                                                              • New People's Supermarket to open in Hackney
                                                                                • Sainsbury's
                                                                                  • …launches Matthew Williamson designer shopper
                                                                                    • …sees 'record-breaking' Christmas
                                                                                      • Tesco
                                                                                        • …aims to regain sales through voucher campaign
                                                                                          • …considers closing Home Plus stores
                                                                                            • …enters F&F partnership in Saudi Arabia
                                                                                              • …expands international technology for F&F
                                                                                                • …reports "disappointing" Christmas with like-for-likes falling 2.2%
                                                                                                  • …to drop carbon reduction logo
                                                                                                    • The Co-operative
                                                                                                      • …adds 28 stores after acquiring David Sands
                                                                                                        • …posts Christmas sales uplift
                                                                                                          • Ugo discount grocer sold after just a year
                                                                                                            • Waitrose
                                                                                                              • …and Boots scale back partnership
                                                                                                                • …to introduce contactless payments
                                                                                                                  • …to open more convenience stores in London
                                                                                                                    • Food specialists
                                                                                                                      • Greggs reports boosted Christmas sales
                                                                                                                        • Hotel Chocolat considering launch of beauty products
                                                                                                                          • Thorntons suffers poor Christmas performance
                                                                                                                            • Off-licences
                                                                                                                              • Majestic Wine posts Christmas sales rise
                                                                                                                                • Clothing retailing
                                                                                                                                  • Agent Provocateur like-for-like sales rise over Christmas
                                                                                                                                    • Bestseller appoints UK sales reps to drive wholesale
                                                                                                                                      • Blue Inc enjoys positive Christmas
                                                                                                                                        • Bonmarche
                                                                                                                                          • …appoints GA to manage store closures
                                                                                                                                            • …bought out of pre-pack by Sun European
                                                                                                                                              • …stores to close as part of rescue deal
                                                                                                                                                • Bravissimo performance driven by Pepperberry
                                                                                                                                                  • Burberry reports rising sales due to outerwear and leather goods
                                                                                                                                                    • Coach posts rise in second quarter profits
                                                                                                                                                      • Edinburgh Woollen Mill
                                                                                                                                                        • …bids for Peacocks
                                                                                                                                                          • …plans 150 new stores as it eyes Peacocks property
                                                                                                                                                            • …pulls out of Peacocks talks
                                                                                                                                                              • French Connection issues profit warning
                                                                                                                                                                • Howies bought back by management
                                                                                                                                                                  • Jaeger full year profits fall
                                                                                                                                                                    • Karen Millen to launch sites in more European countries
                                                                                                                                                                      • La Senza acquired by Alshaya UK
                                                                                                                                                                        • Madhouse bought in pre-pack deal
                                                                                                                                                                          • Matalan reports sales growth
                                                                                                                                                                            • McArthurGlen reports record trading in December
                                                                                                                                                                              • Mulberry reports strong like-for-likes over Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                                • New Look
                                                                                                                                                                                  • …considers closing 100 stores
                                                                                                                                                                                    • …reports strong Christmas trading
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Peacocks
                                                                                                                                                                                        • …receives six bids from potential buyers
                                                                                                                                                                                          • …refuses to honour gift vouchers
                                                                                                                                                                                            • …sale sees new surprise bidder
                                                                                                                                                                                              • …struggles as RBS pulls out of rescue deal
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Primark sees strong Christmas trading
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Pumpkin Patch in administration
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Select to double stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • SuperGroup
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …Christmas sales rise
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …reports January sales slowdown
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ted Baker delivers "excellent" Christmas performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Topman overseas success encouraging
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • White Stuff reports 2% year-on-year rise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Footwear retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Barratts stores acquired by Ziff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dolcis bought out of administration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Dr Martens up for sale
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Office
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …reports strong Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …to revamp website and launch overseas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Multi-sector retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Marks & Spencer reports stronger food sales while general merchandise suffers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mixed goods retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 99p Stores looks to sell business for £60m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Poundland like-for-like sales up 5.9%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Poundstretcher
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …closes transactional website
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …quick to acquire up to 20 Ugo stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Argos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …cuts or freezes 11,000 prices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …like-for-likes fall 8.8%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Original Factory Shop reports growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Miscellaneous specialists
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Evans Cycles revenues rise but profits fall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Garden Centre Group in exclusivity talks with Terra Firma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Halfords sees like-for-likes drop of 4.8%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • LS Travel adds Watermark Bookstore to rail portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Mothercare
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …reconsiders UK stores after arrival of new boss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …sales rise driven by promotions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …to launch range with Jools Oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Past Times
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …closes 47 stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …officially in administration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Pets at Home reports like-for-like sales growth over Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • QD reports solid Christmas and plans expansion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Snappy Snaps sales rise 6.7% over Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Woolworths stores almost filled
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Department stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Debenhams has strong Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fortnum & Mason reports record sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Harvey Nichols launches new concept store in Liverpool One
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • House of Fraser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …posts "pleasing" sales growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …to extend collaboration with Mary Portas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • John Lewis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …launches trend-led women's label JL Weekend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …Partnership sales up 10%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …sales driven by Clearance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • DIY retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • B&Q invests £12m in product ranges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Carpetright
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …Ireland business in recovery despite group profit warning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …issues profit warning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Topps Tiles sales down 4.2% in first quarter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Electricals retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Carphone Warehouse reports 4.7% like-for-like rise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Comet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • …acquisition by OpCapita complete
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …cuts staff by 450
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …reports weak Christmas trading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dixons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …boss Browett exits for Apple
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …launches Knowhow Movies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …reports falling like-for-likes over Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Maplin reports strong December
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Phones 4U reports sales rise in final quarter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Music, video, and games retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Game Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …granted breathing space from banks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …like-for-likes fall as margins hit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …marketing boss exits as 46 jobs put at risk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …sets Friday deadline for first round bids for overseas business
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …to offload overseas operations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • GameStop closes stores in Northern Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • HMV gets breathing space
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Furniture retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dunelm growth continues in strong H1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Furniture Village sales rise but profit falls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ikea's profit rises 10.3%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Lakeland launches new best practice mobile optimised website
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Amazon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …beats HMV to top UK entertainment retailer place
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …expands sporting range for Olympics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …eyes chilled food offensive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Asos sales and margins up
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Boohoo full-year profits grow
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Feelunique.com increases overseas marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Flying Brands reports sales fall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Kiddicare acquires 10 former Best Buy stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • My-Wardrobe plans international launch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • N Brown reports like-for-likes rise 2%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ocado
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …enjoys late surge in Christmas sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …plans 'aggressive' marketing push
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …pre-tax losses improve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …to cut prices in online price war
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Shop Direct chief Newton-Jones to leave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The Hut reports record sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Health and beauty retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Boots sees sales rise more than 3% in December
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lush Christmas "exceeds expectations"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Superdrug delivers "solid" festive growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Book and stationery retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Foyles reports Christmas sales up 20%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hallmark plans out international expansion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ryman profits driven by ecommerce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Works reports strong Christmas performance and new CEO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • WHSmith reports like-for-likes fall 5%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sports and leisure goods retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Blacks set to be back in the black within a year
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Decathlon eyes Best Buy stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • JD Sports
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • …formally acquires Blacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …posts festive like-for-likes rise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jewellers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Folli Follie enjoys 64% increase in sales over Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • LVMH considers bid for Aurum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Signet UK sales rise 1.8% over Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Toys and games retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hamleys posts record sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hawkins Bazaar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …bought forward by former owner Primary Capital
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …close to finding buyer as further stores shut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hornby sale hit by weak Christmas trading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Entertainer outperforms toy market by 22.1%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Economy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • BRC: Stronger Christmas "reflects one-off factors"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cost of retail crime rises 31%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • CPI at 4.2% in December
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Glasgow Buchanan Street now 91% let
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Government launches Portas pilot to revive high street
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • January retail like-for-like sales fall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kantar:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …reveals Sainsbury's market share highest since March 2003
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …Tesco market share falls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Meadowhall applies for 70,000 sq ft extension
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • More shoppers do Christmas shopping via smartphone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • ONS: Retailers see December sales rise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Retail employment rises 0.5% but weak outlook remains
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Scottish retail sales worst since at least 1999
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Shop price inflation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …fall to near-two year low
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …hits 16-month low in December
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Vacancy rates highlight north-south divide
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Weekly spending power falls by £12

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                UK Retail Briefing - February 2012

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