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In the news this week… Retail Round-up

Including Amazon profits and Asda/B&M takeover speculation.

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

Amazon has seen profits drop 77% to £151 million in the three months to the end of June – however, sales rose 25% to £29.05 billion. The company has been focusing on overseas expansion in territories including India, while in the US it has begun to open bricks and mortar book stores. Meanwhile, in the UK it is stepping up efforts in the fashion and grocery sectors. Notably, Amazon also recently acquired Whole Foods for £10.5 billion.

Asda hit the headlines when it was reported in The Sunday Times that it was considering a £4.4 billion bid for B&M. However, the Telegraph followed up with its own story, with ‘senior Asda sources’ saying there was no truth in the takeover speculation.

Homewares retailer Dunelm is planning to open up to 50 Kiddicare shop-in-shops across its estate. Retail Week reports that the first of these will open in the Greenford store in West London in the autumn. Dunelm took over the baby and children’s brand as part of its acquisition of Worldstores last year.

Games Workshop has seen its pre-tax profit more than double to £38.4 million in the year to May 28, up from £16.9 million the previous year. Revenue during the period also jumped 34% to £158 million. Games Workshop is currently rebranding its bricks and mortar stores to Warhammer. It had 462 stores across 23 countries by year-end, contributing 41% of the retailer’s overall sales.

Lifestyle brand Joules has reported a surge in pre-tax profits of 34% in its first full year since its IPO. Underlying pre-tax profit in the 52 weeks to May 28 grew to £10.1 million. Meanwhile, group revenues were up 19.6% and retail sales increased by 19.4%.

Fashion brand Michael Kors is to buy luxury footwear retailer Jimmy Choo for £896 million.

Value retailer Wilko has seen its pre-tax profit drop 80% to £5.2 million in the year to January 28, 2017. This is compounded by losses of £12.9 million on currency forward contracts. The EU referendum and fall in the value of sterling has been a key factor in the slumped profits. However, Wilko did report 1% like for like growth, plus a 3.3% rise in total sales.

Sales at John Lewis for the seven days to July 22 grew by 8.9% year on year to £79.8 million. Fashion sales grew 15.5% year on year, with womenswear in particular rising 34.5%. Beauty, wellbeing and leisure sales increased 13.4%, while home sales rose 11%. It was also one of the biggest weeks of the year for online traffic.

Amazon and John Lewis have been ranked the best brands for customer service, according to a new study. Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s make up the rest of the ranking’s top five, which forms part of a study by service design consultancy Engine into customer attitudes and what makes for a good customer experience.

Catalogue retailer Boden is to open its first standalone bricks and mortar store later this year. The outlet in London’s Chelsea will stock Boden’s adult clothing ranges, as well as special collections and the popular Mini Boden children’s line.

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