Retail round-up: Waitrose bans microbeads, Primark expands in the US, Scottish retail sales drop

Primark expands in the US with two store openings

Primark continues its expansion in the US with the opening of two more stores, RTÉ Ireland reported. The UK fashion retailer has opened its second store in Pennsylvania after opening its first store in New Jersey last week.

This brings the total number of Primark stores in the US to five, since the opening of its first store in Boston in September 2015. Primark plans to open another five stores along the US east coast.

Chief Executive of Primark Paul Marchant said: “These openings mark another important milestone in raising awareness of Primark’s unique formula of Amazing Fashion, Amazing Prices.”

Scottish retail sales drop in June amid weakness in clothing category

Retail sales in Scotland in June declined by 1.4% compared with the same month the previous year, in contrast to a year-on-year rise in the UK as a whole, Herald Scotland reported.

The Scottish Retail Consortium’s (SRC) June figures also show 0.1% increase in food sales in June, the first time since December, while non-food sales in Scotland declined by 2.6% compared to June 2015.

SRC highlighted that consumer confidence may have been hit by the vote to leave the EU.

Waitrose bans microbeads from products

Waitrose will ban microbeads from products and change the stems of cotton buds from plastic to paper in a drive against pollution and waste, the Daily Mail reported.

The supermarket’s decision comes amid concerns over “plastic poison” harming the UK beaches and marine wildlife.

Waitrose has already withdrawn plastic micro-beads from its beauty products and from September will only stock branded products which do not contain them.

It will be the first supermarket to change the stems of its cotton wool buds from plastic to paper, saving 21 tonnes of plastic each year.