Retail news round-up October 29, 2013: Business rates revaluation postponement hits smaller retailers hardest; Boots establishes Smokers Anonymous clinics at over 500 stores and HMV revamps online presence with new site launch
Business rates revaluation postponement hits smaller retailers hardest
Former Focus DIY boss Bill Grimsey has claimed that the UK government’s decision to postpone a revaluation of business rates will save the country’s largest supermarkets £1.3bn in tax, while small retailers battle for survival.
According to Grimsey, the business rates revaluation postponement until 2017 means that the operators of supermarkets and hypermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons will save £620m in the 2015/16 financial year, and £639m in 2016/17. This is owing to the value of property in the food retail sector is likely to have increased, while the value of high street shops has declined.
Boots establishes Smokers Anonymous clinics at over 500 stores
Boots has established free ‘Smoke Less’ clinics at more than 500 outlets countrywide to encourage their customers to kick the smoking habit, The Daily Mail reported. The sessions are being run by pharmacists or healthcare assistants who have undergone training on the NHS’s stop smoking programme and also had some ‘behavioural smoking’ education to help them fully understand why people smoke and find it hard to give up cigarettes.
Incentives being given for attending the clinics also include 100 extra reward points on their Boots Advantage loyalty card for each time they attend. If proved successful, the programme will be run out to over 1,000 outlets across the nation in January 2014.
HMV revamps online presence with new site launch
HMV has relaunched its website to create a more editorially-focused offer.
HMV has hired an editorial team to manage the site, which aims to build customer engagement. Staff across the company’s chain of 142 UK outlets will also be encouraged to contribute with content, The Drum reported. The site will eventually become more personalised to individual visitors’ tastes, with content and ads becoming tailored to a specific user’s interests and past purchases.
The site’s transactional features will be developed over time, with more ways to buy across all categories. The site is to be populated with a range of exclusive content including footage, interviews and backstage photos from events.
The launch follows the unveiling of HMV’s new app earlier this month.