Retail round-up on June 29, 2016: Sir Philip Green in talks on BHS pension deficit, Asda and Tesco sales dip and My Local shuts 90 stores
Sir Philip Green looks to resolve BHS pension deficit with regulator
Sir Philip Green has been in close negotiations with the pensions regulator about resolving BHS’s £571m pension deficit, Deloitte managing partner Neville Kahn, also an advisor to Green, told the Work and Pensions Select Committee, reports the Guardian.
Green had pledged publicly to “sort” the retailer’s pension deficit in Westminster two weeks ago, following the collapse of the business that he sold to Retail Acquisitions, which subsequently left 20,000 BHS pensioners facing a cut in their income and 11,000 job losses.
UK supermarket sales dip for first time this year
The UK grocery market has experienced a decline in sales for the first time this year as the performance of all four major supermarkets deteriorated, the Guardian reports.
Asda’s sales dropped by 5.9% – its weakest performance on record and the biggest fall in the market – and Tesco performed best with a fall of 1.3% in sales, figures from Kantar Worldwide revealed.
The discount grocers Aldi and Lidl continue to gain double-digit growth, with sales up to 11.5% and 13.8% respectively, lifting their combined market share to a new high of 10.5%. Aldi is now close to beating the Co-op to become UK’s fifth largest supermarket.
Lush, Iceland and Savers Health & Beauty ranked as top UK retailers
Cosmetics retailer Lush, the grocer Iceland and discount chain Savers Health & Beauty have been revealed as the best UK retailers to work for in 2016, Forbes reports.
Lush ranks 10th in the Best 25 Big Companies list with a three star accreditation rating, Iceland is ranked 11th with two stars and Savers Health & Beauty is in 15th place with a one star accreditation.
The jeweller Beaverbrooks, lingerie specialist Bravissimo and Pandora Jewellery UK came top in the Best 100 Mid Companies category and Naked Wines led the Best 100 Small Companies league.
Ocado warns of Brexit's effect on supermarket prices
Supermarket company Ocado has warned that the effect of Brexit can lead to increase in the supermarket prices.
Chief executive Tim Steiner stated that the weaker pound might lead to "inflationary pressure", but believed that Brexit’s effect might not crash the UK retail market.
Ocado reported a 5.7% rise in underlying pre-tax earnings to £40.4 million for the six months against 11.4% growth a year earlier.
The outcome came as Ocado faces competition from its rival Amazon's launch of fresh food service earlier this month, which saw Ocado's shares plunge to a three-year low earlier this month.
My Local closes up to 90 stores
Over 1,200 shop workers of My Local, which is anticipated to go into administration, were told to discontinue – leading to closure of total 90 stores of the former Morrisons chain in the past few days.
Another 1,000 workers faced uncertainty after fashion chain Store Twenty One stated that it was attempting to fend off store closures by asking landlords to accept lower rents.
The closures include branches of the former Morrisons chain in Twickenham, Rochdale, Torquay, Maidstone and Cheltenham, where staff are told to have been laid off without excess pay.