Retail news round-up September 2, 2013: HMV hires new marketing director, DIY chains are expected to benefit from housing market recovery, Waitrose appoints sports marketing agency to make most of cricket sponsorship, SuperGroup and Dixons expected to report first quarter sales rises.

HMV hires Patrizia Leighton as marketing director

HMV has appointed former Warner Home Entertainment Group marketer Patrizia Leighton as its marketing director to revamp its strategy and lead the relaunch of its brand campaign later this year. Leighton replaces Mark Hodgkinson, former marketing and commerce director, who left HMV’s marketing team as part of 250 head office job cuts in February, Marketing Week reported.

Leighton has worked with Warner Home Entertainment for almost six years and held the position of senior customer marketing manager prior to joining HMV. She has also worked at Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Megastores.

DIY chains hope to recover as housing market improves

DIY retailers such as B&Q, Homebase and Wickes are set to benefit from the housing market recovery as consumers finally start spending on home improvements as the economy improves, according to corporate health specialist Company Watch.

British Bankers’ Association reported last week that mortgage approvals to home­buyers are up 31% compared with the same period last year and remortgaging approvals are 40% higher.

B&Q and Homebase have seen a drop in sales since 2008, falling by 1% and 5% respectively over the past five years. Sales at Wickes and Screwfix have stagnated, with just 5% growth over the same period.

B&Q, Homebase, Wickes and Screwfix have made a pre-tax profit of only £975m on turn­over of more than £32bn since the recession started, according to Company Watch statistics.

Waitrose appoints Essentially Group to maximise England cricket team sponsorship

Waitrose has appointed its first sports marketing agency Essentially Group as it looks to maximise its sponsorship of the England cricket team.

The supermarket hired Essentially Group, part of Chime Sports Marketing Group, after a pitch process and will help Waitrose to activate its new Team England Cricket sponsorship which begins in May 2014.

SuperGroup is expected to report strong first quarter sales

SuperGroup, owner of Superdry label, is expected to report a 12.1% rise in retail sales to £50.8m in first-quarter this week compared with the same time last year due to warm-weather.

SuperGroup is also expected to announce new expansion deals outside of Europe building on recent moves with local retailers in Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore to grow business there, reports The Daily Express.

Dixons Retail tipped to deliver solid first quarter

Dixons, the owner of Currys and PC World, is expected to report a 6% increase in UK like-for-like sales for the first quarter this week, reports The Daily Express. The retailer is expected to benefit from sales of tablet computers and the collapse of competitor Comet.

Analysts also predict that its sales of white goods will be boosted by a buoyant property sector.