Retail news round-up November 29, 2013: Blockbuster to close a further 30 stores, Tesco accused of supplier squeeze and Ao.com sales surge after broadening range.
Blockbuster to close another 30 high street stores in UK
DVD rental chain Blockbuster is to disappear from the UK high streets as administrators beging a phased closure of the business. Another 30 stores are slated for closure over the next few days, thereby axing 182 jobs, The Independent reported. This move comes after administrators so far failed to secure a buyer.
Administrators Moorfields Corporate Recovery have decided to start a phased closure of the entire estate. Moorfields retains hope of getting a last minute offer for all or parts of the business, but admitted it had not received any ‘acceptable’ bids so far. The closures take the total so far to just over 100 out of its 264 stores, with more than 630 retail jobs reduced from its 2,000-strong workforce.
Tesco alleged of maintaining margins by squeezing suppliers
UK’s largest retailer Tesco has been alleged of making use of its buying muscle to claw back over £100m from suppliers before a new regulatory regime comes into force in December, The Telegraph reported. Tesco is alleged to have sustained margins by adhering to controversial practices that the new Groceries Code Adjudicator aims to stamp out. A note from analyst Cantor Fitzgerald said Tesco had contacted several suppliers to demand discounts on contracts that are typically paid 60 days in arrears.
Ao.com enjoys strong sales as it broadens range
Ao.com has created a “double-digit” million-pound business by adding small appliances such as vacuum cleaners and coffee machines to its website. The etailer, which specialises in white goods, is in phase two of a six-stage roll-out of new product categories that will complete in the next six months. It has already added products including food processors, toasters and microwaves and will enter any category that is a “logical extension” of its range.