Retail news round-up December 3, 2013: Maplin opens trade fascia, Marks & Spencer recalls mussels dishes, retail sales edge up and Morrisons hires digital marketing agency

Maplin to open trade fascia to target businesses

Maplin is to target small businesses with a new fascia which it is piloting in Sheffield. The electricals specialist is poised to open Maplin Trade in Hillsborough next February, Retail Week can reveal. The 3,500 sq ft shop will offer accounts for businesses with ex-VAT prices and large ranges of CCTV equipment, lightings and cables for companies’ computer systems.

Mussels dishes under M&S brand recalled over consumer complaints

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said thousands of mussels dishes, sold under the Marks & Spencer brand, are being recalled owing to consumers falling ill, The Telegraph reported. The dishes include M&S branded Mussels in Garlic, Mussels in White Wine and Mussels and Clams. M&S removed the products from sale on November 30 and notices have been put up in its outlets.

The FSA has urged not to consume the product and consumers who have purchased should take them back for a refund. In a short statement, M&S said it was investigating the causes of the problem with its unnamed supplier.

UK retail sales increase 0.6% on like-for-like basis in November

According to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG’s monthly survey, retail sales in the UK surged 0.6% on a like-for-like basis and 2.3% in total in November, despite customers remaining cautious, The Telegraph reported. Over half of the growth in non-food sales came from online shopping. Online sales jumped 16% in the month, as consumers hunted for discounts on Black Friday.

Online sales now account for 19.9% of UK retail and are expected to break through the 20% mark as shoppers purchase their Christmas presents online this year. Sales had ‘picked up in a big way’ in the final week of the month, after a ‘slow start’. Clothing and footwear were star performers, driven by rising interest in winter clothes and partywear. Homewares had another strong showing, particularly on the dining and decorative side.

Morrisons hires Tribal Worldwide as digital communications agency

Tribal Worldwide London has been hired as Morrisons’ digital communications agency, The Drum reported. Tribal will be joining the current roster of agencies led by DLKW. Morrisons will improve its digital communications throughout 2014 after hiring its first digital marketing director, Amanda Metcalfe, last month.

Kingfisher to give staff £9.7m pre-Christmas windfall

Kingfisher, the DIY group that owns B&Q, will pay out a £9.7m pre-Christmas windfall to its store and head office staff following the maturity of two ShareSave schemes.  Those who joined the 2008 five year plan made an average gain of £16,829 and staff who joined the 2010 three-year plan earned £2,199 on average.

Tesco held biggest ever food collection last weekend

Tesco held the biggest ever food collection last weekend to help those in this Christmas. Tesco’s food bank charity the Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare collected edibles from 29 November to 1 December.  Research commissioned by Tesco showed that one in four people in the UK have skipped meals, gone without food to feed their family, or relied on family or friends to provide food over the last year.