,

Lidl leapfrogs Waitrose in UK supermarket league

Lidl
Lidl has beaten Waitrose into seventh place in the UK supermarket rankings, dominated as usual by Tesco.

The German discounter has achieved 5.2% of the Kantar Worldpanel market share, up from 4.5% this time last year – beating Waitrose, which remained static on 5.1%. The latest rankings are:

  1. Tesco
  2. Sainsbury’s
  3. Asda
  4. Morrisons
  5. Aldi
  6. The Co-operative
  7. Lidl
  8. Waitrose
  9. Iceland
  10. Ocado

“There is good news for the UK’s largest retailers, as the recovery which has so far defined 2017 continues apace,” explained Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel. “All four of Britain’s biggest grocers managed to grow sales for the fifth consecutive period, a run of collective success not seen since 2013.

“However, this welcome period of sustained growth hasn’t been enough to entirely offset pressure from the discounters: the big four now account for just 69.3% of the UK grocery market – down from 76.3% five years ago – and that looks set to fall further in the coming months.”

The latest data covers a 12-week period ending 13 August, with 10 million households visiting Lidl to stock up on alcohol and fresh produce in particular.

, , , ,

Evo Payments and AA announce new partnership and brand

Brian Cleary, managing director, Evo Ireland and UK.

Dublin-headquartered Evo Payments international has announced a deal with the AA in the UK to provide card pay technology to UK merchants under the new CardPay brand.

The deal is the first of its kind for the AA, which is moving into B2B financial services on the back of high consumer trust research rankings.

The service will be managed from Evo’s Dublin HQ where it operates under the BOI Payment Acceptance brand, a collaboration between Evo and Bank of Ireland.

“We are very excited to announce this new partnership with the AA,” said Evo Ireland and UK managing director Brian Cleary. “BOIPA only entered the payments market in early 2015, and in a very short space of time we have been hugely successful in delivering a superior payment service and value proposition for businesses across Ireland.

“From small corner shops and online traders to some of the country’s large corporates, Irish business owners have been quick to recognise the obvious benefits of our products, including the ability to process more transactions, experience reduced banking costs, and less exposure to theft and the misappropriation of cash.

“Applying these same principles to the UK market felt like a logical next step, and in partnering with the AA we are joining up with a universally trusted brand that prides itself on its market-leading financial products and first-class customer service.”

The deal follows a jobs announcement earlier this year, with 50 new roles created amid a €9.1m investment and the opening of a new Irish HQ – bringing the company’s headcount to 120 serving Ireland, North America and Europe.

AA Financial Services director David Searle also welcomed the news.

“From roadside emergencies to home insurance and savings, the AA has always been trusted to stand by the consumer’s side, whatever happens, and campaign for a better deal. With nearly a fifth of our members also running a small business, we have for some time been looking at what we can do to help, particularly given the current economic climate.

“UK small businesses are the bedrock of the country’s economic confidence. The challenges many SMEs have with payment terminals, often relating to opaque pricing tariffs and surprise add-ons, need to be put right and the status quo needs to be disrupted.

“Our partnership with EVO allows us to become a force for change in the UK card payments market, to bring greater simplicity, trust, and fairness for our members – which is at the heart of everything we do.”

, , ,

Amazon doubles London R&D headcount with new head office

amzn_uk-logo
US multinational online giant Amazon has opened a new head office for its UK operations, in a move that grows its London R&D staff from 450 to 900.

The company has announced that it will take all 15 floors of its new London Development Centre in Shoreditch, taking its London corporate and R&D headcount to over 5,000 across its three facilities. It has invested over £6.4bn in the UK since 2010, and will add 5,000 UK jobs this year as its UK workforce will reach 24,000.

According to its UK country manager, Doug Gurr, “London is one of the world’s truly great cities and home to some of the most talented, creative people on the planet, and we are delighted to provide our teams of innovators with a new, purpose-built workplace.

“While we open a new development centre to house today’s innovators, we also want to help foster the next generation of inventors by funding a million healthy breakfasts to give schoolchildren the fuel to learn, and expand our bursary programme to help more women get university educations for high tech roles.”

The news was also welcomed by Minister for Digital Matt Hancock and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

 

, , ,

Sports Direct profits slashed as Ashley promises ‘Selfridges of sport’

sports-direct-logo
Sports Direct has reported a 58.7% drop in profits before tax, with founder and CEO Mike Ashley blaming a weak pound sterling.

The news came amid the retailer’s preliminary results for the year ended April 30th, and also saw group revenue rise by 11.7%. Net debt rose to £182.1m, up from £99.7m in the previous year.

“Sports Direct is on course to become the ‘Selfridges’ of sport by migrating to a new generation of stores to showcase the very best products from our third-party brand partners,” said Ashley. “We have invested over £300m in property over the last year, and I am pleased to report that early indications show that trading in our new flagship stores is exceeding expectations.

“We will continue to invest and make decisions for the long term, whilst trying to conservatively manage the currency volatility that is reflected in our full year results. As previously announced, the devaluation of sterling against the US dollar has led to a significant impact on EBITDA and profits in FY17. We have put in place hedging arrangements to minimise the short-term impact of currency volatility, but like many UK retailers we remain exposed to medium/long term currency fluctuations. Our results were also impacted by provisions and depreciation charges.

“I would like to thank all our people at Sports Direct for ensuring that we continue to move forward together whilst elevating our retail proposition.”

The group has spent much of the year in the headlines for its treatment of workers and Ashley’s colourful conduct as reported in recent High Court proceedings.

, ,

VIDEO: How having your own business is like never working a day in your life

Nick Wheeler video
Nick Wheeler, Chief Executive and founder of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts

Ruraidh Conlon O’Reilly speaks with entrepreneur Nick Wheeler about the “constantly changing” entrepreneurial landscape.

Successful businessman Wheeler was in Dublin to speak with guests at the KPMG Inspire Series, which features guest speakers from across the business spectrum, from leading entrepreneurs to venture capital and business leadership and management experts.

Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts is a leading UK shirts and menswear maker, which has taken the traditional retail model and added a highly successful online presence, quickly becoming one of Europe’s leading online retailers.

The full interview with Wheeler will be available over the coming weeks.

, , ,

UK entrepreneur Nick Wheeler kicks off KPMG Dublin series

Picture credit/Julien Behal
NO FEE
27/06/2017
KPMG today launched a new series of speaker events for business, the KPMG Inspire Series, with it’s first speaker being entrepreneur Nick Wheeler, Chief Executive of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts, a leading UK shirts and menswear maker which has taken the traditional bricks and mortar retail model and added a highly successful online presence, quickly becoming one of Europe’s leading online retailers.  Nick Wheeler spoke to guests at a lunch in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Ely Place, Dublin.Picture shows Nick Wheeler with Olivia Lynch, Partner and Head of Private Enterprise at KPMG in Ireland at the RHA Gallery,Dublin in front of a painting by Blaise Smith one of the artists featured in the RHA’s 187th Annual Exhibition.
Pic Julien Behal Photography/No Fee
More info contact Nuala Buttner Q4 PR 085-1744275
KPMG has launched a new series of speaker events for business, the KPMG Inspire Series, with UK entrepreneur Nick Wheeler, chief executive of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts.

Successful businessman Wheeler spoke to guests at a lunch in the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin at the KPMG Inspire Series yesterday. The series will feature guest speakers from across the business spectrum, from leading entrepreneurs to venture capital and business leadership and management experts.

Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts is a leading UK shirts and menswear maker, which has taken the traditional retail model and added a highly successful online presence, quickly becoming one of Europe’s leading online retailers.

Olivia Lynch, Partner and Head of Private Enterprise at KPMG in Ireland said: “We have created the Inspire Series to share the very best business insights on how to build, grow and transform a business. At KPMG Private Enterprise, we have a long and proud history of working shoulder to shoulder with Irish entrepreneurs, helping them to move through the various stages of the development of their businesses, from the early days to scaling up. We’re always looking for new ways to share insights and that’s what led us to launch the KPMG Inspire Series.”

She continued: “We are delighted to be joined today by shirt entrepreneur Nick Wheeler. Nick has taken a highly conventional business, making and selling high quality shirts and menswear, and has transformed it into a global, business with bricks and mortar stores in Paris, London and New York, and, probably most important in the modern business era, a huge global online presence. Across the traditional and new retail platforms, Nick’s business sells over five million shirts a year. His passion to succeed as an entrepreneur is inspirational and we hope will encourage those enterprises attending today to be similarly motivated and inspired.”

The next event in the series will feature Julie Meyer of Ariadne Capital on fundraising and investment opportunities.

, , ,

UK election results hit consumer confidence – YouGov

supermarket-2354521_1920
The indecisive outcome of this month’s general election damaged consumer confidence, according to data released by YouGov.

The research firm saw a sharp dip in the important economic measurement immediately after the vote.

“UK consumer confidence slumped sharply after the indecisive result of the general election, falling to levels comparable to the immediate aftermath of last year’s vote to leave the EU, our latest analysis with the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows,” explained YouGov head of reports Stephen Harmston.

“We found that in the first eight days of June – before the results were known – the YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index stood at 109.1, around the same level it was at the month before the snap election was declared. However, in the first twelve days after the votes were counted, the Index fell to 105.2.”

YouGov identified two key drivers in the data: lack of confidence over property prices, and a “slow puncture” in people’s household finances.

“However, the data suggests that the job security and business activity measures, both for the last 30 days and the next 12 months, are proving relatively resilient,” said Harmston.

 

,

UK supermarkets report positive Christmas trading results

marks-and-spencer-logo
There is good news for Tesco, M&S and Morrisons as Christmas sales figures and Kantar market share data have been released.

Tesco has reported a 0.7% rise in the UK, as CEO Dave Lewis explained: “We are very encouraged by the sustained strong progress that we are making across the group. In the UK, we saw our eighth consecutive quarter of volume growth and delivered a third successful Christmas.

“Our fresh food ranges proved particularly popular, outperforming the market with great quality, innovative new products and even more affordable prices.”

Marks and Spencer is also celebrating, as its sales for the 13 weeks to the end of the year have risen by 4.5% in the UK; 1.3% on a like-for-like basis. I am pleased with the customer response we have seen to the changes we are making in line with our plan for the business,” said CEO Steve Rowe.

In Clothing & Home, better ranges, better availability and better prices helped to improve our performance in a difficult marketplace. We also continued to substantially reduce discounting, including over Black Friday.

Our Food business continues to grow market share, with customers recognising our product as special and different. Our Simply Food store pipeline remains strong.

As we look forward, our Q4 reported numbers will be adversely affected by sale timing and a later Easter.”

Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have also reported better-than-expected news for the period.

Meanwhile, analysts Kantar have revealed the latest market share for the supermarket sector, headed again by Tesco (28.2%, down 0.1%), Sainsbury’s (16.7%, down 0.3%) and Asda (16.2%, down 15.5%).

Year-on-year market growth has been helped by comparisons to a weaker Christmas in 2015, but sales were also buoyed by strong consumer appetite for festive celebration after a turbulent year, explained Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight. “Shoppers spent £480 million more at the tills than in 2015, leading to record sales for the Christmas period.”

, , ,

“She only makes the tea”: 10 reasons why employers don’t pay the minimum wage

coffee-1699185_1920
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published a list of the most bizarre excuses why businesses refuse to pay the minimum wage.

It is topped by “The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage,” followed by “It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first,” and in third place was “I thought it was ok to pay foreign workers below the National Minimum Wage as they aren’t British and therefore don’t have the right to be paid it”.

The move comes as the government launches a £1.7m awareness campaign aimed at educating workers regarding their entitlements.

“There are no excuses for underpaying staff what they are legally entitled to,” explained Business Minister Margot James. “This campaign will raise awareness among the lowest paid in society about what they must legally receive and I would encourage anyone who thinks they may be paid less to contact Acas as soon as possible.

“Every call is followed up by HMRC and we are determined to make sure everybody in work receives a fair wage,” she said. The National Living Wage will increase to £7.50 per hour this spring, with the National Minimum Wage ranging from £4.05 to £7.05.

That list in full:
  1. The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
  2. It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first 3 months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.
  3. I thought it was ok to pay foreign workers below the National Minimum Wage as they aren’t British and therefore don’t have the right to be paid it.
  4. She doesn’t deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.
  5. I’ve got an agreement with my workers that I won’t pay them the National Minimum Wage; they understand and they even signed a contract to this effect.
  6. My accountant and I speak a different language – he doesn’t understand me and that’s why he doesn’t pay my workers the correct wages.
  7. My workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to people who work for themselves.
  8. My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they’re actually serving someone.
  9. My employee is still learning so they aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
  10. The National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to my business.
,

Boom year for the most British of drinks

gin rum
Gin sales in the UK break the £1bn mark for the first time ever

Gin has seen a resurgence as the trendy tipple of choice recently and 2016 has so far been a record year for the aromatic spirit. According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s latest Market Report gin sales in pubs, bars and restaurants (on trade) in 12 months (to 1/10/16) went up +19%, on the same period last year, worth £619m.

The amount of gin sold in our shops, supermarkets and off licences (off trade) which in 12 months (to 5/11/16)  went up +13%, worth £437m.

All in all gin sales broke the £1bn sales mark in the on-and-off trade for the first time ever in in the UK in 2016, 6 months ahead of forecasts, making it a record breaking year for gin.

For six consecutive quarters, on trade sales of gin have seen double digit growth, outperforming every other spirits category; 283,000 hectolitres, the equivalent of 40 million bottles, of gin have been sold in the on and off trade in UK in the last twelve months which works out as 1.12bn gin and tonics.

Quality over quantity

However government data shows that UK alcohol consumption per capita has dropped by a fifth over the last ten years. It appears that even though the market is shrinking, drinkers are choosing more premium products, like gin. Sales of sparkling wines including Champagne, was the next biggest growth sector, with sales up 12%.

Overall, the wider British alcohol market rose 2% to £40bn. Following the cut in spirits duty in the 2015 budget, spirits duty income increased on the previous year by £125m (+4.1%) from April 2015 to March 2016 inclusive.

Export success

British gin has also seen a huge export growth; 3 out of every 4 bottles of gin imported around the world are from the UK. British gin is now sold overseas in 139 countries around the world with America, Canada, Spain and Germany buying the most. British gin exports to the USA have risen by a staggering 553% in the last decade with £159m worth of British gin sold to the Americans in 2015.

Whether this growth can be sustained is another matter – every trend reaches its peak and now rum looks set to be the next contender for hip tipple of choice.