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

7:41am M&S poaches new head of food online from Tesco

Marks & Spencer has hired a new head of food online, poaching Samantha Hornsby from Tesco.

Hornsby will take charge of running M&S’ existing online offer and overseeing further developments in the space.

M&S does not yet have a full-line online food delivery proposition but has recently been linked to Ocado, with reports that it could take over the online grocer’s partnership with Waitrose.

7:35am Amazon and Boohoo named and shamed for environmental impact

A slew of major fashion retailers have been called out by MPs for “failing to commit” to reducing their environmental impact.

Amazon, Boohoo, JD Sports, Missguided, TK Maxx and Sports Direct were named as the least engaged of 16 retailers under investigation by the Environmental Audit Committee, led by Mary Creagh MP.


7:22am H&M hires Cambridge Analytica whistleblower

H&M has hired the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower to help it analyse data and use AI to gain a better understanding of what its customer wants.

Christopher Wylie will work for the business on a consultancy basis, providing the retailer with better customer insight, product and markets.


7:18am ScS sales rise as it ditches HoF concessions

ScS has reported an increase in interim sales following its decision to stop trading in House of Fraser concessions.

The retailer reported a 1.5% uptick in like-for-like order intake in the 26 weeks to January 26. On a two-year basis, that measure rose 4.5%.

The group stated that while it was “mindful of the risk from the impending Brexit outcome”, it believed that its “increasing resilience put [it] in a strong position to manage the continued economic uncertainty and take advantage of opportunities”.


7:09am AO founder John Roberts to take back chief executive role

AO’s founder John Roberts is to take on the chief executive role once again after handing the reins over to Steve Caunce two years ago.

Caunce will remain on board as a part time adviser to the board and Roberts, having decided to step back with immediate effect and “rebalance his lifestyle” after a period of “intense activity” at the retailer.

 Roberts said: “Steve has played a vital part in AO’s development and in the last two years has created the foundations for our future success. I look forward to continuing to work with him, as I have over the last 13 years. I am fully committed to the business and the execution of our focussed strategy and can’t wait to get stuck in again as CEO.”