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In the news this week… Retail Round-up

Including Sainsbury’s piloting Argos pop-ups and Ted Baker profit rise.

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

Sainsbury’s is piloting Argos pop-up stores as it looks to increase awareness of the brand among its customers. Retail Week reported that the first of the temporary pop-ups will appear in Hereford, Cambridge and Charlton. The pop-ups are being trialled in stores which may not have the floor space for a permanent Argos shop in shop.

Ted Baker has reported a rise of 20.5% in half year profits to £21.5 million (for the 28 weeks to August 13). Total group revenues were up 14.4%, while retail sales in the UK and Europe grew 8.5% to £131.2 million in the period.

Tesco and Unilever have settled their dispute which saw products such as Marmite, PJ Tips and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream disappear from the grocer’s shelves. Tesco had refused to pay a 10% price increase on Unilever brands, meaning it faced shortages of dozens of household products. However, the supply situation has now been ‘successfully resolved’ according to a statement.

WH Smith has seen its group pre-tax profit rise 8% for the full year, however high street sales have dipped 3% and like for likes are down 2%. The retailer’s travel business saw total sales rise 10% and 4% on a like for like basis.

John Lewis enjoyed a sales lift of 11.5% to £89.87 million for the week to October 8. Womenswear rose 26.5%, while electricals and home technology was up 16.1% year on year for the week, and sales in the home department grew 5.2%.

Homewares, fashion and gift retailer Oliver Bonas has grown its pre-tax profits to £5.2 million for the 13 months to December 31 2015. This compared with £2.2 million in the previous financial year (a 12-month period). Like for likes grew 14% on the 13 months, while total sales were up 28% to £42.6 million.

GAME chief executive Martyn Gibbs has confirmed to Retail Week that it has plans to open 10 in-store gaming arenas before Christmas, as well as standalone gaming venues. The news comes as the video games retailer saw its pre-tax profits tumble 84% to £4.1 million in the 52 weeks to July 30. Sales fell 6.2% to £813.1 million.

Retail sales in September hit a high for 2016, bolstered by rising food sales, according to BRC-KPMG. Retail sales rose 0.4% in the five weeks to October 1, with total sales reaching their highest level in 2016 (excluding Easter distortions).

Google is set to open a pop-up store in New York on October 20 called Made by Google. The outlet will sell a number of own-brand devices, including VR headsets and a voice activated Google Home device.

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