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In the news this week… Retail Round-up

Including Prime Day being the biggest ever day for Amazon & Mothercare Q1 UK sales dip.

The Source rounds up some of the key retail stories of the week.

The second annual Prime Day was the biggest day ever for Amazon, the etailer has confirmed. Orders surpassed the same day in 2015 by more than 60% worldwide. It was also the biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally and record Prime Day for each Amazon device category including Fire TV, Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers. More than two million toys and over one million pairs of shoes were purchased by customers, with the Fire TV Stick being Amazon’s best selling device globally.

John Lewis saw its sales climb 4.7% during the week ending July 9, with its summer clearance helping to tempt in customers. Fashion sales were up 9.6%, with branded womenswear items delivering the strongest performance, up 23.3%. Home sales grew 1.7%, while home accessories and gifts were up 6%.

Value retailer Poundland and South African retail conglomerate Steinhoff have agreed terms on a recommended cash offer. The deal values Poundland at £597 million. It comes after Steinhoff lost out to Sainsbury’s in its bid to acquire Argos’ owner, Home Retail Group.

Mothercare has seen its first quarter UK sales fall 2.1%, despite a like for like rise of 1.2%. The retailer said that it was hit by bad weather, bringing its end of season sale forward by a week to help clear stock and make way for the new season ranges. UK online sales, however, rose 6.4%, now accounting for 25.5% of total UK sales. International sales rose 3.9% in constant currency, with half of that growth generated by the Middle East.

The poor weather was also cited by Halfords as it posted a 0.6% drop in first quarter group like for likes. The bike retailer also said that cycling like for likes in the 13 weeks to July 1 fell 4%, however sales growth for premium bikes was “good”.

Ocado is to open a bricks and mortar store as part of its partnership with Marie Claire, according to Retail Week. The store will open in London’s Tottenham Court Walk in August and will operated under the Fabled by Marie Claire fascia. It will stock a selection of beauty and wellness products from brands including Chanel, Benefit and Clinique among others.

London’s popular Oxford Street will become traffic-free by 2020. All traffic – including buses and taxis – will be banned from the shopping destination as part of a clean air initiative by the Mayor of London’s office in a bid to tackle air pollution. The ban will stretch from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch.

The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor has shown that retail sales rose 0.2% in June, although like for likes dropped. In terms of categories, fashion was the worst performer during the month, mostly attributed to the weather. The sector recorded its worst fall in sales since May 2009, with womenswear the worst affected. Health and beauty was also impacted by the weather, while furniture and home accessories were the first and second top performing categories. Toys and baby equipment reported an increase in total sales, although purchases fell on a like for like basis.

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