Retail news round-up on June 19, 2014: Card Factory to open 100 Irish stores, Lakeland Leather collapses into administration, The Co-operative considers banning £2 coins, Doddle to open click-and-collect network, Clarks accused of gender stereotyping.
Card Factory looks to open 100 Irish outlets
British greeting card retailer The Card Factory has said it is looking to open up to 100 stores in Ireland, The Irish Independent reported. It may open the first shop in 2015, with an initial 10 outlets planned. It believes the total footprint in the UK and Ireland could reach 1,100. The company said it has a ‘strong pipeline’ of new store opportunities, and locations have already been identified for the proposed Irish outlets.
Clothing retailer Lakeland Leather collapses into administration
Northern clothing retailer Lakeland Leather has fallen into administration, risking more than 200 jobs, the Telegraph reported. The business, which has 22 stores, struggled after a warm winter meant demand for its leather jackets was low. The clothing company has named McTear, Williams & Wood as administrator. Managing director Martin Foster said that the decision to call in administrators was only taken after a ‘ceaseless interrogation’ of the alternatives. It is understood that a deal may be in place to try to rescue some of the stores, but four have already closed. Richard Standring, who founded Lakeland Leather, said he was ‘not giving up’ on saving the retailer.
Co-Op to consider banning use of £2 coins
Co-Operative stores are to evaluate their self-service checkout systems after Morrisons banned the use of £2 coins to prevent the growing number of people paying with similar shaped foreign change, the Telegraph reported. Now the Co-Op is also ‘assessing’ the situation with the suppliers of their self-service checkouts and if a problem is discovered might consider following suit. A spokesman for the Co-Operative said: “We are working with our supplier to assess the situation.”
Morrisons announced it would not accept the large bimetallic coins at self-service tills in a number of stores until the technology had been updated to recognise the fakes. Tesco said they were not planning to ban the use of any coins from their self-service tills while Sainsbury’s refused to comment.
Doddle to open click-and-collect retail stores across UK rail stations
Travelex founder Lloyd Dorfman announced plans to create 3,000 jobs through a new joint venture targeting Britons’ fast-growing demand for click-and-collect retail services. Dorfman and Network Rail are investing tens of millions of pounds in a project to open stores under the name Doddle at 300 railway stations across the UK over the next three years, Sky News reported. Dorfman and Network Rail, who will be equal shareholders in Doddle, believe it has the potential to become a dominant player in the fast-growing market for the delivery of goods purchased through digital channels. The two investors are committing £24m in financing to facilitate Doddle’s countrywide roll-out.
Doddle has signed up retailers including Asos, New Look and TM Lewin, as some of its founding partners, enabling consumers to collect and return goods bought from them through its network of sites. Some of the Doddle outlets, which will include high footfall locations such as London Waterloo and Brighton stations, will feature changing rooms for consumers who have purchased clothing online. The shops will also be staffed, which Doddle expects will give it an advantage over rivals.
Clarks accused of gender stereotyping on Twitter over shoe ads
Shoe retailer Clarks has been accused of gender stereotyping on its shoe ad posters which suggest boys need hard-wearing shoes for running around, while girls are more concerned with looking pretty, Daily Mail reported. The firm faced a Twitter backlash from parents who accuse of being ‘sexist and offensive’. More than 3,000 people have signed an online petition for the removal of the adverts.
One of the adverts, which are displayed in store, proclaims in blue: ‘Because boys test their shoes to destruction, so do we.’ Another poster, in pink, says: ‘Because girls love comfort and style, we design both into our shoes.’ The company apologised and said it never intended to cause offence.
A spokesman for Clarks said: ‘The wording in these in-store marketing displays was chosen to reference qualities that our customers value in children’s shoes. It is never our intention to cause offence.’