Retail news round-up: Shopkeepers comforted about Booker-Tesco merger, Pandora reports boost in sales and Gap to close UK operations

Shopkeepers comforted about Booker-Tesco merger

Booker’s chief executive Charles Wilson and managing director Steve Fox’s first meeting with operators of its stores turned out to be positive, The Times reported.

The meeting was held to explain why the merger is a good idea to the independent shopkeepers that run stores such as Premier, Budgens, Londis and Family Shopper.

The two executives explained to the shopkeepers how economies of scale in purchasing could lead to lower costs.

They also emphasised that Tesco’s Express convenience division was unlikely to compete with symbol stores in smaller, more rural areas.

Pandora reports boost in sales

Pandora has reported 21% increase in sales owing to the launch of earrings that helped boost group sales, London Evening Standard reported.

The brand had introduced 46 new earring products in 2016 that revealed an 80% increase in revenue in the final quarter of the year.

In Britain, sales increased 7% in the final three months of 2016.

Managing director Brien Winther said: “Although the popular charm bracelet still remains our best-seller, other product categories have performed strongly throughout the period which reinforces the company as a full jewellery brand.”

Gap planning to shut UK merchandising operation

Gap is planning to close down its UK merchandising operation in an attempt to centralise its global operations in the US, Drapers reported.

The changes might affect all roles within the UK with jobs in London no longer being available from end of July onwards.

However, some staff may have the option to relocate to the New York head office.

Gap Inc had reported 1% rise in sales to $4.43bn (£3.58bn) in the three months to December and a 2% increase in net sales for January 2017.