Retail news round-up on December 23, 2014: Sainsbury’s and Waitrose suffer web glitches; Tesco still dominates Irish market; American Apparel evaulates takeover offer; UK shoppers to spend £1.3bn on credit before Christmas

Retail Week's Breakfast Briefing

Sainsbury’s and Waitrose suffer website glitches

Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have become the latest retailers to be hit by website meltdowns, with customers left uncertain of whether their orders will arrive in time for Christmas, The Times reported. Sainsbury’s said it experienced issues as customers tried to book and amend their delivery slots online on Sunday night. It promised that all outstanding orders would be fulfilled before Christmas.

Meanwhile a ‘temporary IT problem’ on the Waitrose website resulted in customers also experiencing delays in their orders. The upmarket supermarket initially warned customers that they would have to go into local stores to collect Christmas supplies because it did not have enough drivers to deliver them.

Tesco still dominates Irish grocery market

Tesco remains Ireland’s biggest grocery retailer, with a 25% market share. SuperValu ranks second, with a 24.5% share of the multi-billion euro market, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Dunnes Stores stands at the third spot, with 23.5%. The figures relate to their performances in the 12 weeks to December 7, as the retailers were intensifying their Christmas advertising and offers.

In the latest period, Lidl’s market share jumped to 7.8%, while Aldi’s rose to 8.4%. This is the first Christmas in years that consumers are willing to spend more, as austerity eases, unemployment drops and the economy grows.

American Apparel evaluates takeover offer

Beleaguered clothing retailer American Apparel is considering the possibility of a takeover and has appointed a new head of the board. The proposed offer - from a party it did not identify - was pitched at $1.30-$1.40 per share, which would value the company at $226m-$243m. Colleen Brown, who has been on the board since August, would take over as chair to replace co-chairs Allan Mayer and David Danziger.

Brits to spend £1.3bn on credit cards

Britons will spend £1.3bn on their credit cards today as the final Christmas trolley dash gets under way. The Guardian reported that the busiest time of day is expected to be between 1pm and 2pm when shoppers will spend almost £1m a minute, or more than £15,000 a second, according to Visa estimates.

M&Co chooses Carat Scotland for media planning and buying account

Scottish fashion retailer M&Co has appointed Carat Scotland to handle its media planning and buying account worth £1.5m to help increase footfall to its stores and traffic to its e-commerce site, The Drum reported. Carat Scotland has been briefed with shaping an insight strategy and media buying plan that will also see it negotiate partnerships with key broadcast and print media outlets.