Retail news round-up November 7, 2013: Morrisons like-for-likes dip 2.4% in its third quarter, Halfords pre-tax profits rise in first half and SuperGroup like-for-likes jump as it takes control of German stores.

Morrisons like-for-likes dip 2.4% in its third quarter

Morrisons like-for-likes dipped 2.4%, excluding fuel, in its third quarter as it accelerates convenience push.

The retailer said the performance was in line with expectations. Morrisons highlighted that it has low exposure to the sector’s key growth areas of convenience and online which continues to impact sales.

However is said it was “progressing well” with its plans to develop a “significant presence” in these areas with online launching in January Next year in Warwickshire, followed by Yorkshire.

It is on track to open 100 of its M Local convenience fascias by the end of the year and has set a target of a further 100 in its next financial year.

Morrisons said consumer confidence remained subdued and heavy promotions were being used across the industry.

Halfords pre-tax profits rise in first half

Pre-tax profit jumped 6.4% to £44.6m at bikes and car parts retailer Halfords in its first half to September 27.

Group revenue increased 7.7% to £490.6m while retail sales rose 7.9% to £424m. Retail like-for-likes grew 6.6% in its second quarter.

Supergroup like-for-likes jump as it takes control of German stores

SuperGroup retail like-for-likes jumped 7.8% in its second quarter to October 27 as the trendy fashion retailer took control of its German franchise operation.The retailer acquired seven stores and the rights to the German market for £4.2m which will be settled in shares.

SuperGroup’s retail like-for-like sales for the half year increased 8.1%. Total group sales rose 18.5% to £116.6m over the quarter and increased 21.1% to £191.6m over the half.

Next opens Patisserie Valerie concession in two stores

High street retailer Next has ventured into uncharted waters by opening a series of Patisserie Valerie concessions in its Cheltenham and Manchester outlets.

The two stores will spearhead the expansion of a handful of Parisian-inspired cafés opening within Next stores across the nation. The retailer recently confirmed the addition of another concession to its culinary-résumé in December.

Abercrombie to expand women’s tops collection and sell shoes

Fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch will expand its women’s tops line, offer larger sizes and more colours and begin selling shoes  in a move to win back teen customers, Reuters reported.

The company will boost its women’s tops offer to compete against rivals. The firm expects margins to recover in 2014, when it will look to slowly stop promotions and house more styles in smaller amounts rather than large amounts of fewer lines.

A&F intends to have a broad assortment of clothes in place by spring and have shoes and other accessories in place by the 2014 summer’s ‘back-to-school’ season. Among the more surprising changes plotted for 2014 is the A&F’s decision to offer women’s clothing in larger sizes by spring 2014.

HMV launches new Irish website

HMV’s new Irish website, ‘’, went live on November 6, the Herald reported. This is the latest move by HMV to bolster its position as the country’s leading entertainment retailer. The release of the new HMV site for Northern Ireland, ‘’, is to shortly follow. launched as a fully transactional website.