Retail round-up: Waitrose’s profit falls, Dixons Carphone to improve its multichannel operations, product availability and location key for shoppers.

Waitrose’s profit falls 17% due to higher pension costs

Waitrose posted pre-tax profits of £66.6m for the year to the end of January, a 17% drop due to rising pension costs within the John Lewis Partnership, reports The Telegraph.

The supermarket chain also reported a decline in sales to £5.9bn from £6bn a year earlier while like-for-like sales were down by 1.3%. The figures do not include four branches in the Channel Islands.

Despite the decline in sales, Waitrose plans to continue with its Modern Waitrose strategy, which will focus on adapting to changing shopping patterns by adding wine bars, bakeries and sushi bars to increase footfall.

Dixons Carphone plans to improve multichannel following Brexit

Dixons Carphone sees an opportunity throughout next year to upgrade its multichannel operations following Brexit, according to Internet Retailing.

The retailer stated that last year was a historic one as it had accomplished tasks associated with the merger of the former Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse businesses.

The following year it plans improvement including introduction of same-day delivery, a new Carphone Warehouse ecommerce platform, and to convert all former Dixons stores into three-in-one shops.

Product availability and location key factors for grocery shoppers

UK supermarket shoppers are driven by product availability and a convenient location and not low prices, according to Nielsen’s Global Retail-Growth Strategies Survey.

The survey, conducted on grocery shopping habits among more than 30,000 online respondents from 61 countries, reveals that more than half (55%) of British consumers prefer retailers that stock products they regularly want, reports European Supermarket Magazine.

Shoppers also mentioned a convenient location as being a key factor (52%) when choosing a retailer, followed by good value for money (47%).

Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins, said: “These findings are good news for supermarkets as it demonstrates the opportunities to take a broader, more strategic view about their offer and not to be so focused on price, which can often be a short-term reaction to competitive pressure.”