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Tesco and Dixons Carphone forge new deal

Tesco has confirmed a new deal with Dixons Carphone to trial concessions within some of the retailer’s largest supermarkets.

Dixons Carphone, which owns tech retailer Currys PC World, will launch two new outlets this summer in Tesco Extra stores located in Milton Keynes and Northampton.

Both concessions will stock a range of Currys PC World products, including white goods, computers, televisions and accessories, along with Dixons Carphone laptop repair service.

In a direct response to its key rival Sainsbury’s inclusion of Argos stores, Tesco said the new partnership would offer customers the “best possible range of services”.

Both stores will be on trial for a year before any decisions are made regarding further roll-outs.

“We’re always looking at ways to offer our customers the best possible range of services in our stores,” Tesco UK chief executive Matt Davies said.

“We think this is a winning combination for customers and look forward to opening the first outlet in our Milton Keynes store in July.”

Dixons Carphone’s UK and Ireland chief executive Katie Bickerstaffe said: “Customers tell us they want to pick up the latest electrical products conveniently and at competitive prices, with expert advice and from someone they trust to keep them working seamlessly.

“This trial gives them all of this during a weekly grocery shop, which we hope they will enjoy.”




Mike Coupe Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s core business down, but overall sales up

Sainsbury’s has reported a 0.5 per cent downturn in business in like-for like sales, excluding fuel, in the nine week period to March 11th.

However, the company’s overall sales growth was propped up by a 4.3 per cent increase in like-for-like sales at Argos alone, with a slight acceleration from growth of 4.0 per cent in the previous quarter.

This is good news for Sainsbury’s, which acquired the Home Retail Group, owners of both Argos and Habitat, last September for an estimated £1.4bn.

The company now has over 2,000 stores, which include 601 supermarkets, 773 convenience stores, 739 Argos stores (including concessions) along with three Habitat stores. Sainsbury’s also benefits from online retail of food, clothing, financial services and general merchandise, with the online grocery business reporting a seven per cent growth, with orders up eight per cent.

The Tu clothing brand from Sainsbury’s also faired well, with sales up 5 per cent. The supermarket has registered strong growth in clothing sales over the past three years as sales increased by 8.5 per cent in 2015/16 after hitting a high of 11.9 per cent in the previous year.

According to data from consumer knowledge and data analysis’s, Kantar Wordpanel, supermarkets now account for £1 of every £10 spent on clothing and 23 per cent of items bought.

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda continue to be involved in a bitter price war as budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl continue to take market share from the Big 4.



Waitrose wins strongest Christmas email campaign title…

The email service provider Mailjet has revealed that Waitrose is ahead of its competitor supermarkets in the email campaign stakes, analysing key metrics including the chain’s subject lines, automation, cross-channel marketing and personalisation.

Reaching a total score of 21.3 points out of an available 29.0, this marks the second consecutive victory for Waitrose in the study and represents a significant improvement on the supermarket’s performance from last year, rising 10 per cent overall.

Mid-market brands Tesco and Asda closely followed Waitrose’s success, hitting 20.0 and 19.9 respectively, however, Marks & Spencer struggled to compete scoring just 17.4 in total.

With regards to emails prospecting new consumer audiences, the research places Morrisons and Sainsbury’s joint last as both failed to send any communications to consumers who haven’t yet purchased through their online shopping platforms.

Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet said: “Consumers buy from the brands they build emotional connections with, particularly during the Christmas season. With low scores in critical areas for digital marketing like personalisation and automation, many supermarkets are not making the most of their emails to engage consumers with powerful storytelling.

As Mailjet suggests there has been much discussion on the importance of campaign personalisation this year, just two of the total eight supermarkets surveyed registered a score above 0.0. Specifically, Asda fell short on the top spot for its lack of personalisation, losing five points by omitting any room to add personal messaging to the email in favour of a singularly product-focused, visual structure.

Scotchmer added: “Winning greater share of the market in run up to Christmas holiday relies on having an online and offline campaign that fires on all cylinders. There are opportunities for all of these brands to learn from one another and broaden their use of digital strategies to engage and build loyalty with consumers at this critical period in the retail calendar.”


Thousands of Christmas retail temp jobs still available on UK market…

Surprisingly, 21,000 Christmas jobs are still available in the UK, marking a 24 per cent increase in the number of festive roles since last year as employers are working to fill seasonal contracts for an anticipated festive rush.

With the largest proportion of this year’s vacancies falling in the retail, logistics and sales sectors, data from Adzuna has revealed that big-name online and high street retailers are stocking up on extra staff this winter, leading to thousands of temporary, part-time roles flooding the market.  Average pay for these roles is in decline and advertised pay for seasonal workers has fallen from £11.50 per hour in 2015 to just £9.32 this Christmas season.

Co-founder of Adzuna, Doug Monro said: “With a wealth of negative news hitting the job market in 2016, this boost in festive vacancies is sure to put a smile on the faces of British jobseekers. It’s not all good news, however, as average pay for festive workers looks set to drop significantly compared to last year, suggesting some top retail employers may be hiring more staff for entry level positions and cutting back on higher paid management roles.”

In addition, Royal Mail, Amazon, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer have the most jobs available, with over 70,000 positions predicted between these four major players alone.


Sainsbury’s succeeds in battle to buy Argos…

After a four-month battle, Sainsbury’s has accomplished its takeover of Argos (Home Retail Group) with the owner agreeing to a £1.4 billion takeover.

With Home Retail shareholders holding 12 per cent of the combined business, Sainsbury’s has said that it plans to create a ‘multi-product, multi-channel’, with completion of the acquisition expected to be in the third quarter of this year. Facing competition from international retail holding company Steinhoff, Sainsbury’s can expect to see some Argos stores moving to its store locations as 200 of the 845 Argos stores are expected to close in the coming years due to expiring leases.