Retail news round-up October 15, 2013: Argos launches tablet computer; Berry Bros reports £7.3m loss

Argos launches tablet computer

Argos enters tablet market with the launch of its budget tablet computer MyTablet. The £99 no-frills Tablet will be available on sale later this week, and is considered to be one of the cheapest tablets around in the highly competitive arena. More than 8 million tablet computers are expected to be sold in the months before Christmas.

John Walden, managing director of Argos, said: “Millions of people have bought tablets during the last year but there is still around 75% of the UK population without one. We know that tablets will feature heavily on Christmas lists this year.”

Berry Bros reports a loss of £7.3m full-year loss

Berry Bros & Rudd, the Queen’s wine and spirit merchant reported its fiscal year results ended 31 March 2013. The company posted a pre-tax loss of £7.3 million from a profit of £1.4 million last year.

The loss is due to its huge investment of £25 million for strategy refurbishment with the aim to focus on premium spirits and grow its wine business in Asia, according to the Telegraph.

It also incurred £4million on exceptional items as the group remains locked in a legal battle to recover debts it believes is owed by its former wine distributor in Hong Kong.

This year, the group has invested approx. £7million to implement its strategy and has also faced higher costs for acquiring and integrating Richards Walford & Co, a wine agency business. The merchant has also spent more than £3 million in opening wholly-owned companies in Hong Kong and Singapore to take advantage of a growing interest in fine wines in Asia.