Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

4.18pm Lush launches first ever ‘Naked shop’

Cosmetics retailer Lush will open the UK’s first plastic packaging-free cosmetics store in Manchester next week.

Customers at the store will be able to scan products directly using the organisation’s own app, which will replace the need for packaging. It will also offer “an abundance of plastic packaging-free” cosmetic including soaps and shampoo bars.

The launch follows Lush opening two plastic-free stores in Milan and Berlin last year.

7.51am Lidl woos Christmas shoppers with Deluxe ranges

Lidl has recorded a spike in sales during the crucial Christmas trading period as its premium ranges wooed shoppers from mainstream grocery rivals.

The discounter said total sales increased 8% during the six weeks to December 30, compared to the same period last year.

Sales of Lidl’s Deluxe premium lines surged 33% year-on-year.

Lidl said the success of its top tier products meant customers switched £58m of spend away from Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and the big four during the festive season.

7.37am Ikea to launch in New Zealand

Ikea has unveiled plans to open its first store in New Zealand, but refused to put a timescale on the launch.

The Swedish furniture giant will open in Auckland, and launch a pop-up shop in the city while the store is being built.

Ikea’s debut store in the country is expected to create up to 400 jobs.

7.24am AO cashes in on Black Friday with record November

AO.com has registered an increase in third-quarter sales, fuelled by its “highest sales month ever” in November.

The online electricals specialist said group revenues climbed 8.2% during the three months to December 31, 2018.

AO.com extended its Black Friday deals over “a longer time period” during November, a move it said was “well received” by customers.

Sales growth during the promotional period drove UK revenues up 4.4% during the wider three-month period. European sales jumped 31.3% on a constant currency basis in the same quarter.

7.18am Moss Bros hails progress but stores continue to struggle

Moss Bross has toasted improvements in sales during the second half of its financial year, against what it called a “challenging consumer backdrop”.

The formal menswear specialist registered a 27.8% spike in online sales during the 23 weeks to January 5.

However, it admitted physical stores in “high profile retail locations” underperformed as a result of reduced footfall.

7.08am Quiz warns on profits as festive discounting hits margins

Quiz has issued a fresh profit warning after sales during the crucial Christmas trading period fell “below expectations”.

The fashion retailer, which floated in 2017, said that a “higher than anticipated level of discounting” during a “challenging” November and December had dented margins.

Quiz said revenues grew 8.4% in the six weeks to January 5, but warned gross margins would slip to around 60.5% for its full-year, compared to 62% a year ago.

As a result, the business now expects to register EBITDA in the region of £8.2m in its 2018/19 financial year.