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In the news this week… Retail Round-up

Including Smyths Toys almost doubling pre-tax profits in the UK last year.

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

Brands including LEGO Star Wars, Hatchimals and Power Rangers have helped Smyths Toys to almost double its pre-tax profits in its UK operations last year. The Irish chain, which has over 80 stores in the UK, notched up €11.2 million (£10 million) in pre-tax profits in the year ending December 2016 – up from £5.96 million the year before. Sales in the mainland UK also went up by 19% from £334 million to £396.49 million (€447 million) on the back of 12 new store openings.

The Entertainer is to welcome former Tesco director John Driscoll as its new commercial director. John will leave his role as category director at the grocer where he has spent a decade. He will now be charged with accelerating growth at the toy retailer, both domestically and internationally.

New figures show that total retail sales at Network Rail’s train stations grew by 5.29% between April and June 2017. Paddington, London Bridge and King’s Cross stations showed the highest growth in London, with 40%, 15% and 14% growth respectively. Outside of London, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly were the best performers.

High street fashion retailer River Island saw its profits drop in its last full year – operating profit was down to £135.7 million from £145.8 million in the year to December 31, 2016. However, sales were up 4% to £970.5 million. The retailer is investing in store and category expansion, as well as hiring more buying, merchandising and design staff, said chief executive Ben Lewis.

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