In times of uncertainty, retailers will either tighten their belts or, perhaps counterintuitively, spend more money.

As the proliferation of M&A at the start of this month suggests, many are opting for the latter – adding strings to their bow and taking advantage of economies of scale.

The enigmatic Hut Group, in particular, is flashing the cash.

The online retailer, which reported a 67% leap in full-year profits in May, is on track to invest around £400m this year on its collection of beauty brands and bolstering its technology platform.

Just a month after its acquisition of web-hosting firm UK2, the fast-growing owner of MyProtein has today snapped up Birchbox rival Glossybox.

We take a closer look at the group’s latest purchase. 

However, while some retailers are happily filling their shopping baskets, consumers are refraining from buying any non-essential items.

According to the latest footfall figures for July, overall shopper numbers fell 1.1% year-on-year, driven by a 2.1% drop at high street destinations and a 1.3% dip at shopping centres. 

Quote of the day

“It is hard not to see the Carphone element of the equation as a mild disjoint. Yes, it is certainly part of the world of microelectronics, but walk into one of the new three-in-one stores and this bit looks the least integrated.”

Retail Week stores editor John Ryan commenting on Dixons Carphone’s share-price markdown

Today in numbers

£600m – currently being eyed by a clutch of private equity firms – could be valued at this amount


In an exception to the downward trend for July, footfall edged up at retail park destinations

Tomorrow’s agenda

No planned updates for tomorrow – happy trading!

Emily Hardy, senior reporter