Retail news round-up on June 23, 2015: Tesco named worst of ‘Big Four’ over industry suppliers code, Ramadan boosts grocery sales and more

Breakfast Briefing

Grocery regulator names and shames UK grocers in survey

Tesco has been named the worst of ‘Big Four’ UK supermarket chains at complying with an industry code of conduct designed to protect suppliers, according to a confidential survey. Britain’s Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) said a YouGov survey of 1,145 suppliers found that 4% of Tesco’s suppliers felt the retailer never complied with the code, with a total of 30% saying it rarely complied with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.

The only retailer to have a worse ranking than Tesco was frozen food company Iceland. The GCA found that 35% of suppliers believed that Iceland rarely or never complied with the code. Morrisons also scored poorly, with 32% of suppliers saying it rarely or never complied with the code. The survey also revealed that more than half of all issues raised by suppliers last year were with Tesco.

Ramadan spurs increase in grocery sales

UK’s largest supermarkets have seen a rise in sales because of the holy month of Ramadan, with the Islamic festival becoming the most important retail event after Christmas and Easter. The Big Four are expecting sales to increase by about £100m over the next month as the UK’s three million Muslims embark on fasting.

Walmart takes off products connected to Confederate flag

Walmart Stores has pulled out all items bearing the Confederate flag from its stores. The world’s biggest retailer listed most of confederate flag-branded products as out of stock on its website. Items decorated with the flag included knives, belt buckles and swim shorts, along with a range of t-shirts bearing the slogan: “The flag may fade, glory never will.”

“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment, whether in our stores or on our website,” Walmart spokesman Brian Nick told CNN.

Sears also later announced that it too would be removing confederate flag-branded products from its website.