News

Bira welcomes Mica as a new division

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) confirmed today (Wednesday August 14) an investment in Mica, which will see the UK co-operative group of 50-plus DIY, hardware and garden shops join the association as a new division. Bira will become a major shareholder in Mica. Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre said: “This …

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BHETA secures Challenge 25 strategy for kitchen knives

Following a meeting between BHETA (British Enhancement Trade Association) and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) to discuss the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group’s (RASG) Challenge 25 scheme retailing strategy, BHETA has confirmed to members that this initiative can now be extended to cover the sale of other aged-related …

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Giftware Association to host Meet the Buyer with Oliver Bonas

The Giftware Association (GA) is offering its members the chance to take part in a Meet The Buyer session on October 24 with the buying team of homeware and fashion chain Oliver Bonas. Oliver Bonas bills itself as an independent British lifestyle retailer, operating over 70 stores across the UK. …

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John Lewis shoppers focus on back-to-school products and technology

Total sales at John Lewis & Partners were up 0.4% last week (to Saturday August 10) on the same week last year, with customers focusing on back-to-school products and technology. The department store group’s trading director Simon Coble said: “Home sales were down 2.7% but textiles and home accessories were …

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Comfort food on the menu for Waitrose customers

Total sales excluding fuel were down 1.7% at Waitrose & Partners last week (to Saturday August 10) compared with the same week last year. The supermarket multiple’s supply chain director Wim van Aalst commented: “In a week of changeable weather, sales of comfort foods such as Indian and Chinese ready …

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Lakeland launches members-only club

Lakeland has introduced a club for customers that offers benefits when they shop with the housewares chain. The retailer said: ‘It’s been a long time coming, but we are unbelievably excited to be able to announce the arrival of myLakeland: our shiny new members-only club for wonderful customers. ‘We’re passionate …

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Debenhams appoints new ceo

Debenhams Group announced the appointment of Stefaan Vansteenkiste as chief executive officer (ceo) on August 8 Stefaan joined the department store chain in April 2019 as chief restructuring officer and has been working closely with the executive team on a new business plan to deliver a turnaround. The retailer said: …

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Retail footfall declines by 1.9% in July

New figures have revealed that retail footfall was down 1.9% last month, which represents the worst July decline since 2012. According to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard covering the four weeks from June 30 to July 27 July, high street footfall dropped by 2.7%, following an …

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Magpie pairs up with Peanuts for homeware range

Giftware and homeware manufacturer Magpie has collaborated with American cartoonist Charles M. Shultz’s fabulous comic strip Peanuts (which features the characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy the dog) to create a range of homewares. Magpie said: ‘With a long-time love of Snoopy and the gang, we’re super excited to launch our …

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Mary Portas to headline Autumn Fair speaker line-up

Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas will speak at Autumn Fair 2019, which runs from September 1 to September 4 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Show organiser ITE Group said: ‘As part of a live Q&A session, Mary will talk about how retailers should be creating communities out of their …

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