Retail news round-up on January 22, 2015: M&S tests loyalty app; Ebay to lay off 7% of workforce; Tesco shortlists two for chairman; Amazon stops sales of nappies

‘M&S Barista’ digital loyalty app tested in London

A digital loyalty app is being trialled by Marks and Spencer in cafes across Greater London, The Drum reported. The ‘M&S Barista’ app would replace the current paper coffee stamp card issued to ‘Hot Food on the Move’ café customers. Offers and reminders to claim stamps are sent via push notifications, while the app also feeds the retailer’s CRM and POS platforms. Users receive reminders that they can receive a free drink following when their card is complete.

EBay to lay off 7% of total workforce

Etailer eBay is planning to cut around 7% of its total workforce or 2,400 positions across its three divisions in the current quarter after recording weak Christmas sales. The online marketplace is also examining a sale or public offering of its enterprise unit, which helps companies boost online sales. The redundancies will affect eBay’s marketplaces, enterprise and PayPal divisions. The group revealed that revenue in the current quarter will be $4.35bn to $4.45bn, missing analysts’ projections of $4.71bn.

Tesco shortlists two candidates for chairman post

Tesco is understood to have narrowed down the search for a successor to outgoing chairman Sir Richard Broadbent to two, as it continues to recover from the accounting scandal and plunging sales that rocked the grocer. The retailer is believed to have shortlisted former Kingfisher boss Sir Ian Cheshire and Barratt Developments’ chairman John Allan for the chairmanship, according to Sky News.

The process remains fluid and it remains possible that another heavyweight businessperson could yet become Tesco’s next chairman, according to a person close to the process. The board is keen to finalise an appointment in the next few weeks, although the timetable could slip, the person added. Among the other candidates reportedly in line for the job was former Asda boss Archie Norman, although it is unclear whether he is interested in pursuing it.

Amazon stops sale of own-brand nappies

Amazon has been forced to pull out its own-brand ‘Soft & Cozy Diapers’ from sale citing the need for ‘design improvements’, less than two months it began the product line. The nappies were the flagship component of the company’s new offering for parents, Amazon Elements, which offered baby and household goods in bulk for subscribers of the site’s $99 a year Amazon Prime service. The retailer announced the withdrawal in an e-mail to customers, saying that it was ‘making some design improvements to the diaper … based on early customer feedback.’