Retail news round-up on December 17, 2013: Dixons profits rocketed in its first half driven by UK arm, November online sales hit record high of £10.1bn and Burberry opens first stand-alone beauty store.

Dixons profits rocketed in its first half driven by UK arm

Dixons underlying pre-tax profit rocketed from £14m to £30.2m in its first half to October 31.

Total group sales increased 7.2% to £3.43bn and like-for-likes rose 6%.In the UK and Ireland, like-for-likes surged 9% over the half and total sales advanced 7%

November online sales hit record high of £10.1bn

Online retail sales hit £10.1bn in November, the highest ever monthly spend as Christmas comes early for etailers.

Data from IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index revealed online sales were up 20% year-on-year and surged 30% month-on-month, the largest monthly growth in 10 years.

Burberry opens first stand-alone beauty store

Burberry launched its first stand-alone beauty store in Covent Garden yesterday in response to surging sales in the category.

The Burberry Beauty Box is located within The Piazza, next to rival stores from Chanel and Dior. The Beauty Box, which sells make-up, fragrance and accessories, will eventually be rolled out worldwide.

BHS seeks new marketing director

BHS is creating a new role of marketing director as parent Arcadia Group aims to revamp the brand, Marketing Week reported.

A LinkedIn ad shows that BHS is hiring for the position. Responsibilities include developing a strategic marketing plan for the brand and determining the positioning and focus for BHS.

The marketing director appointment indicates a restructure of the marketing team at BHS. Louise Taylor, who previously led the division as marketing head, departed a few weeks ago.

Dunnes steps up installation of modern self-service checkouts

Irish retailer Dunnes Stores has accelerated the deployment of self-service checkouts as it plays catch-up with competitors like Tesco, according to Irish Independent.

It is unclear how many outlets the retailer has now installed the self-service checkouts in, with one industry source indicating that some of its busiest stores still do not have the facility.

Meanwhile, Musgrave-owned Superquinn’s finance director Richard Collins has joined Dunnes Stores ahead of its rebrand as SuperValu. Collins’ departure comes as the country’s top retailers battle it out for Christmas supremacy. Collins joined Superquinn in 2005.