Retail news round-up: Amazon to set up first bricks-and-mortar store in US, and Edinburgh Woollen Mill faces court case in Scotland.
Amazon reportedly eyes first grocery shop in US
Etailer Amazon will reportedly open its first grocery store in the US in a bid to further its push into bricks-and-mortar retailing, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The small grocery shops and pick-up points would be an extension of Amazon Fresh service.
The online retailer is to set up small convenience stores in order to sell milk and other perishable items, while also offering to deliver groceries with longer shelf lives.
The shops could feature touchscreen panels that allow customers to order items for home delivery as they collect others there and then. They would also be able to access delivery items on their smartphones.
An Amazon spokeswoman said: “We don’t comment on rumours or speculation.”
Edinburgh Woollen Mill under scanner over ‘pure cashmere’ mislabelling of scarves
Edinburgh Woollen Mill has landed in a Scottish court over the mislabelling of scarves as ‘pure cashmere’, The Guardian reported.
The fashion chain denies falsely claiming scarves were 100% cashmere on two occasions in 2014 and is challenging the testing process used by the local trading standards team.
The alleged offences, brought under the Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulations 2012, are said to have taken place at the high street retailer’s store in Church Place, Dumfries.
The case is being brought after a trading standards officer purchased a blue tartan scarf in February 2014, and a red one four months later.
Both scarves were reduced to £30 from £60 and were labelled as 100% Lochmere cashmere, the court heard.
Aldi’s Irish and UK revenue increases for full year
German discounter Aldi’s annual pre-tax profits slumped by 14.5% to £212m.
The retailer, which does not disclose its sales or profits in Ireland, last year recorded a 1.8% dip in operating profits in Ireland and the UK, going from £260.4m to £255.6m.
It enjoyed exponential revenue growth as it continued its expansion in Ireland and the UK in 2015.
Aldi revealed that revenues for the two countries rose from £6.89bn to £7.7bn last year.
Numbers employed by the group surged by 4,000 to 27,963.
British businesses in “financial distress” leaps 23% owing to living wage
The number of UK businesses in “financial distress” in the retail and logistics sectors has jumped 23% since the introduction of the Government’s compulsory national living wage in April, the Financial Times reported.
The number of businesses in distress within these sectors affected by the national living wage grew from 78,917 in April to almost 100,000, according to data from insolvency company Begbies Traynor.
This included 33,835 retailers, 13,772 wholesalers, 13,071 transport and logistics companies and 10,809 bars and restaurants.
Begbies Traynor’s partner, Julie Palmer, said she saw a “strong link between the rising levels of business distress and the implementation of the national living wage” in April.