Retail news round-up on February 21, 2014: Planning rules stunts store growth, Amazon rebrands its Lovefilm DVD business and Burberry emerged victorious on social media at London Fashion Week.
Planning rules stunts store growth
The number of stores operated by multiple retailers edged up 0.71% to 102,095 last year after planning constraints stunted growth.
According to research from CBRE and Retail Locations, grocers’ expansion drove the limited growth. The number of stores operated by food retailers increased 2.1% in 2013. However, the rate of growth has been sluggish since 2002 because of planning obstacles created by grocery competition rules.
Amazon rebrands Lovefilm business
Amazon is rebranding its film and TV rental business Lovefilm and folding it into its Prime subscription next week adding ebooks to its streaming service.
Customers will be able to access the service, named Prime Instant Video, for £79 per year, according to The Guardian. The service offers unlimited free delivery of product bought on Amazon’s website, DVD streaming and borrowing of up to 500,000 Kindle ebooks.
Prime Instant Video is designed to help the DVD business overtake rival Netflix. The Lovefilm brand will continue to be used for the DVD by post rental business.
House of Fraser womenswear boss Winstanley departs
House of Fraser womenswear boss Allan Winstanley is leaving the department store after nine years to join upmarket Dutch department store de Bijenkorf, according to Retail Week’s sister magazine Drapers.
Winstanley has been executive director of womenswear at House of Fraser since September 2012, and led menswear, beauty and kidswear for nearly eight years prior to that.
Burberry wins social media battle at London Fashion Week
Burberry emerged the social media winner of the London Fashion Week according to agency Jam, receiving 65,099 mentions.
The luxury fashion brand was followed by Topshop and Mulberry with 11,782 and 5,264 respectively.
Harry Styles racked up 31,698 mentions in relation to fashion week, while Cara Delevingne was the most popular model, with 10,161 racked up. There were 292,176 mentions of London Fashion Week, of which 231,015 used #LFW hashtag.