The Olympics effect on retail has been felt in some unexpected ways. At Moss Bros, the Games – along with the Jubilee celebrations and the Euro 2012 tournament – led to the deferral of weddings and an impact on its hire business in the first half.

The Olympics effect on retail has been felt in some unexpected ways. At Moss Bros, the Games – along with the Jubilee celebrations and the Euro 2012 tournament – led to the deferral of weddings and an impact on its hire business in the first half.

However, those were short-term effects, and the real story is continued improvement at the famous menswear name. Stores are being refitted, gross margins are improving in the second half and current trading is up like for like.

The nature of Moss Bros’s offer means the shops and in-store service are likely to remain the heart of the business, but online operations are being enhanced and include the launch of a hire website next year.

Under the seasoned leadership of Brian Brick, Moss Bros looks as if it is on track to fully re-establish itself as the destination menswear name it traditionally was.

Ocado has not silenced sceptics

A quarterly sales rise of almost 10% would be more than welcome at many retailers, but in the case of online grocer Ocado it didn’t silence City critics.

Analysts had hoped for an increase of about 12%, so the update prompted a renewed round of criticism from the bears.

There are signs of progress at Ocado. The average order was up from just over £111 in the comparable period last year to £112.44, and the average number of weekly orders climbed 8.6% to 120,494.

But competition is only likely to intensify. Waitrose, whose goods are sold through Ocado, is rapidly developing its own online business. And Tesco boss Philip Clarke has explicitly called an end to the grocery space race and is focused on ramping up etail growth.

Ocado’s feisty boss Tim Steiner is unsurprisingly confident of success, but will need to deliver more to confound the sceptics.