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

Barnes & Noble full year sales fall

Barnes & Noble’s posted total sales of $3.6bn (£2.9bn) for the year ending April 27 down 3% for the same period last year.

Its fourth quarter total sales were $755m (£600m) down 3.9% for the comparable period the previous year.

The American book retailer’s full year EBITDA edged up slightly to $147.2m (£117m) compared with $145.4m (£116m) the previous year.

The book chain giant was recently acquired by Waterstone’s owner Elliott Advisors in a deal worth $683m (£538m). Chief executive of the British book chain James Daunt will take over as chief executive of Barnes & Noble in September.

Scottish vertical farm start-up raises £5.4m funding

A Scottish vertical farming start-up, which focuses on cutting power usage on the technology by up to half, has announced itself by raising £5.4m in funding from US investors. 

Dundee-based Intelligent Growth Solutions is offering what could be a solution to challenges for vertical farming, which has high energy usage and costs from running LED lights, the FT reports.

The firm has patented a technology that allows large-scale LED lighting to be run on high power loads, or “three-phase power supply”, reducing energy use and costs.

Interest in vertical farming continues to grow, following the announcement that Ocado would be spending £17m investing in the sector. 


Co-op expands plastic bottle deposit return scheme

The Co-op has expanded its plastic bottle deposit return scheme across its six pop-up shops at UK music festivals this summer.

The convenience grocer said it will have reverse vending machines onsite, which it said would “reduce pollution and littering” and “make it even easier for festivalgoers to dispose of their plastic bottles”.

Plastic bottles sold at Co-op festival stores at Download, Isle of Wight, Latitude, Creamfields, Reading and Leeds and Belladrum will come with a “mandatory 10p deposit”, which customers can either collect as a voucher when they recycle the bottle or choose to donate to Keep Britain Tidy.

Commercial director at the Co-op, Michael Fletcher, said the reverse vending machine trial would provide “valuable insight” for the retailer about rolling the scheme out more widely across the UK.