Tesco’s attempts to go head-to-head with Asda’s Price Guarantee backfired after it was forced to issue a flood of refunds.
A fond farewell
Retail Week ran a tribute issue in March to Sir Stuart Rose and Sir Terry Leahy who both bowed out of retail this year. Their contributions were celebrated at the Oracle Retail Week Awards. Leahy was praised for his customer insight and Tesco’s international achievements, and Rose was applauded for his success in changing the perception of Marks & Spencer and returning profits to £1bn.
Tesco’s attempts to go head-to-head with Asda’s Price Guarantee backfired after it was forced to issue a flood of refunds. It promised to reimburse shoppers double the amount if their shopping was cheaper at Asda, but hundreds of customers claimed money back after finding Tesco more expensive, with several claiming £100 and covering the entire cost of their basket.
“This marks the end of an era in supermarket retailing”
The ‘son of Woolworths’ chain Alworths teetered on the brink less than 18 months after it was founded. The retailer was restructured and underwent a change of ownership, prompting fears that a pre-pack administration was on the cards. A new company, Retail Acquisitions, was set up to take control of the retailer.
John Lewis became the latest big retailer to unveil further international ambitions, with plans to extend online delivery to 12 European countries in June and the US, New Zealand and Australia in August.
In the fashion sector, Primark provoked consternation after acknowledging it had seen a “noticeable slowing down of UK consumer demand” since the start of the year. The observation from the value fast fashion retailer – which can usually be relied upon for good news – was a cause for concern.
New Look was another value fashion brand facing problems, with founder Tom Singh parachuted in after chief executive Carl McPhail was ousted.
But at the other end of the fashion spectrum, luxury success story Burberry continued to shine, revealing plans for a series of high-profile ‘statement stores’ that would celebrate its British heritage. The luxury fashion house snapped up locations in Regent Street and Knightsbridge with a plan to create a range of ‘world of Burberry’ flagships to showcase its entire range.
People in the news
Following Carl McPhail’s departure, the search began for a new chief executive at beleaguered New Look. Nine months later in December, a replacement has still to be found at the time of going to press.
- BRC retail sales figures -3.5%