Online Retail News In Brief (8 November 2017)


In case you missed them, we’ve pulled together a few online retail news highlights from around the web this week.

Here are some of the latest stories in online retail.

Christmas adverts arrive

Major retailers have been posting and broadcasting their Christmas adverts. Recent launches include Argos’s rocket sleighs, Aldi’s carrots, M&S’s Paddington Bear, and Tesco’s Turkey.

So far, many have taken a notably light-hearted approach this year, not opting to emulate the appeal-to-emotion tone that has characterised some of the major ads of recent years, such as John Lewis’s 2015 Man on the Moon campaign, or Sainsbury’s 2014 WW1-themed ad.

John Lewis has yet to reveal its 2017 Christmas advert, but reports speculate that this four-second teaser might be the first glimpse.


Non-food October growth slowest since 2011

October saw just 0.2% growth in non-food sales, according the BRC. Like-for-like, sales were down 1%.

The BRC attributed this poor performance to families opting to take half-term trips rather than going shopping, and the caution that comes with inflation, which has made shoppers "ever more cautious in considering what purchases they can afford".

For more monthly sales data, including year-on-year growth, average basket values, and conversion rates, download the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Sales Index.

Business rates may be lower than expected

Reports suggest that Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to revise his plan for a business rate rise to 3.9%. The poor reception of his announcement at the Conservative Party Conference and pressure from business could lead to his setting the lower figure of 3% in the next budget announcement, some commentators expect.

The move would put business rates in line with the Consumer Price index, rather than the higher Retail Price Index.

Shareholders threaten to derail Co-op’s Nisa takeover

A group of Nisa shareholders are preparing to block the chain’s £143m sale to Co-op, in a dispute about the terms of the takeover.

The group contends that the original offer included £100,000 up front for Nisa members with up to 250 shares, as opposed to the current suggestion of £20,000.

Lego and Nintendo top the nation’s wish lists

Profitero’s analysis of Amazon ‘wish lists’ has provided an early view of which products are most desired by UK online shoppers. Lego and Nintendo top their respective categories as most present on Amazon wish lists.

Merchandise for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is the most wished-for Lego toy, and ‘Super Mario: Odyssey’ is Nintendo’s most wished-for game.

Interestingly, 35% of the top 100 most wished-for products become best sellers.

Primark’s Strong 2017

Primark saw like-for-like sales grow 10% in 2017 to 16 September.

The chain attributed the success to “the ability of its buying, merchandising and design teams in identifying and delivering key seasonal trends”.

Oxford Street pedestrianisation ready for consultation

Plans to pedestrianise half a mile of Oxford Street have been unveiled, which will be open for consultation until 17 December, and could come into effect the same month. The Mayor of London described it as “a hugely exciting moment for the capital”.

The completion of the Elizabeth Line, due in 2019, is expected to bring an even greater number of visitors, and the plans to make Oxford Street pedestrian friendly include more cycle routes and taxi ranks in the surrounding area.

Unexploded courgette

Police were called to the home of a German Pensioner in Bretten to dispose of an unexploded WWII bomb, which on closer inspection turned out to be a large courgette.

Officers sought to stem any embarrassment by confirming that the vegetable, “really did look very much like a bomb”.

Die nicht explodierte zucchini


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