Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.
12:55am Sales jump across John Lewis Partnership
John Lewis has reported an increase in sales across the partnership in its weekly sales update.
The figures from last week to January 5 showed John Lewis & Partners had a total sales increase of 11.2%, compared with the same week in the previous year.
The increased figures come during the first full week of clearance for the store.
Waitrose also saw a total sales rise of 7.4%. The grocer attributed the boost to the extra day of sales in the run up to New Year’s Eve.
8.11am Sainsbury’s loses ground on big four over Christmas
Sainsbury’s lost ground on its big four rivals over Christmas as the mainstream grocers had their market share eroded by the discounters, data from Kantar Worldpanel suggests.
Sainsbury’s sales dropped 0.4% during the 12 weeks to December 30, making it the only member of the big four to suffer a decline in revenues. Its market share fell from 16.5% to 16.2% as a result.
By contrast, Tesco grew sales 0.6%, while Asda and Morrisons registered 0.7% and 0.1% increases respectively.
Aldi enjoyed a 10.4% uplift during the crucial Christmas period. Kantar said that took its market share to 7.4%, up from 6.8% year-on-year.
Discount rival Lidl increased its market share 40 bps to 5.4% after a 9.4% jump in revenue.
7.09am Christmas sales rise at Morrisons
Morrisons has reported a group like-for-likes sales advance of 3.6% over Christmas.
The grocer’s wholesales arm, which sells to retailers such as Amazon, delivered the strongest performance.
7.03am Joules Christmas sales rise on ecommerce strength
Fashion specialist Joules’ retail sales rose 11.7% over Christmas.
Joules said the performance reflected strong online sales and the strength of its brand.
6.54am Comet liquidator makes £15m in fees
Deloitte, the liquidator of electricals retailer Comet has made £15m in fees since 2012.
Deloitte charged £10.2m as Comet’s administrator and another £5m as liquidator, The Times reported. It made an additional £1.4m as an adviser to Opcapita, backer of Comet parent Hailey Acquisitions, before Comet hit the buffers.
Deloitte has separately been under investigation for four years over the liquidation of Comet.
The Insolvency Service asked the ICAEW to investigate a possible conflict of interest. Deloitte insolvency partners Neville Khan, Christopher Farrington, and Nicholas Edwards were conflicted as administrators because of previous advisory work.
The ICAEW has submitted a report on the matter. A source close to the process told The Times it be reviewed and it will then be decided whether charges should be brought.
6.48am Amazon overtakes Microsoft as world’s biggest company
Online Goliath Amazon yesterday overtook Microsoft to become the biggest public company in the world.
Amazon shares rose 3.4% to give it a market capitalisation of $797 billion, Bloomberg reported. That is lower than Amazon’s record market cap, which was more than $1 trillion in September.
Technology and and Internet stocks have been jockeying for the top spot for weeks, and Amazon previously held it briefly in December last year.