Retail news round-up: M&S set to launch online food delivery service and UK retail sales surge in April

M&S set to launch online food delivery service

Marks & Spencer is planning to launch an online grocery shopping service this autumn, delivering food to customers' homes, The Telegraph reported.

The retailer plans to dedicate 34 new stores in the UK to its food business.

M&S group chief executive Steve Rowe said: “We continue to review food online carefully.

“It has not cost us anything over the last five years by not being online with food.

“Our customers haven’t moved yet, but they will and we need to ensure that we are ready with the right response.”

UK retail sales surge in April

UK retailers have reported an increase in sales volumes in April, the highest since September 2015, according to the Confederation of British Industry, Bloomberg reported.

The CBI’s monthly retail index increased from 9 in March to 38 in April.

The boost in sales was owing to clothing, grocery and hardware sales.

CBI principal economist Ben Jones said: “The warm weather in early April might go some way to explaining the uptick.

“However, retailers are still cautious over the outlook [as] higher inflation eats into household spending.”

Paul & Shark debuts in the UK

Paul & Shark has opened its first UK flagship store at St James’s Market on Regent Street in London, Drapers reported.

The store spreads across an area of 2,000 sq ft and features a wall of digital screens and bespoke fixtures in polished stainless steel.

The UK store offers both men’s and womenswear.

Amazon to create 1,200 jobs at new warehouse

Amazon is set to create approximately 1,200 jobs at its new warehouse in Warrington, Cheshire, The Guardian reported.

The online retailer will start recruiting people for range of roles including operations managers, engineers, human resources and IT specialists.

The fulfilment centre will be equipped with advanced Amazon robotics technology.

Staff at the fulfilment centre will start on £7.65 an hour, increasing to £8.15 over their first two years of employment.