In company news
Quiz outlined its omnichannel approach ahead of a stockmarket flotation that it will use to buy out investors and to expand the brand. The fast fashion Glasgow-based brand, founded in 1993, is valued at £200m in a placing at 161p per share. Quiz says it aims to provide its customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they buy its occasion wear and dressy casual wear through its website, apps or through its own 73 stores and 165 concessions in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Overall sales reached £89.8m in the 2017 full-year representing growth of 21 per cent a year since 2015, while 2017 profits of £10.3m had grown by 30.6 per cent since 2015. Its fastest growth, over that same period, came online (+42 per cent) and in international sales (+64.2 per cent). Between March 2017 and May 2017, revenue grew by 37 per cent and online sales by 118 per cent. Looking to the future, it now aims to expand its marketing activity, broaden its product range and product categories, while also investing in its mobile channel. It also plans to open 20 new stores and the same number of concessions in the UK in the coming two years. Find out more here
In Launch news
Snapchat has launched “Snap Publisher”, helping advertisers create their own ads for the service from within a normal browser. It provides a set of templates which can then be customised with logos, images and videos. Find out more here
Amazon is reportedly developing an encrypted messaging app called Anytime, designed as a direct competitor to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other popular messaging apps. The encrypted service could integrate SMS, video and voice calls, stickers, gifs and emojis, games, photo sharing, ‘@mentions’ and photo and video filters. The service could also integrate shopping and payment features offered by Amazon, such as allowing group food orders and assistance with bill splitting. Find out more here
A partnership between Visa and PayPal that promises to make it easier for shoppers to pay across channels is launching in Europe. The two companies already work together in the US and Asia Pacific to provide joined-up online, in-app and in-store payments. PayPal is also joining the Visa network with the result that it will be able, under its European banking licence, to offer Visa accounts in Europe, enabling PayPal customers to spend PayPal funds where Visa is accepted. Find out more here
Reports and Results
Mothercare, the retailer focused on the parents and carers of young children, reported online sales growth of 3.3 per cent in the 15 weeks to July 8, contrasting with growth of 6.4 per cent in the same quarter a year earlier, and of 13.6 per cent in the final quarter of last year. At the same time overall sales fell by 1.8 per cent after a programme of store closures, although UK like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, were 1.9 per cent up on last time. Group sales were flat. Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said that he did not believe that slowing online sales growth, combined with growing like-for-like store sales, represented a long-term change in behaviour for the retailer’s customers. Read more here
Zalando said that it was continuing to invest for future growth, as it said half-year revenues looked likely to be up by more than 20 per cent. The Berlin-based fashion retailer and marketplace said in a trading update that early figures suggested revenues would reach between €2.07bn and £2.08bn in the first half of its financial year, representing growth of between 21 per cent and 22 per cent. Earnings before interest and tax are expected to reach between €100m and €106m, staying flat on last year’s €101m and representing a profit margin of between 4.8 per cent and 5.1 per cent. Find out more here
AO World reported that sales via AO.com in the UK had grown by 6.2 per cent this spring despite a “challenging environment”. Between April 1 and June 30, the multichannel retailer’s sales rose by 2.5 per cent overall, reflecting a planned decline in its white label website and logistics sales as the retailer focuses instead on its own brand. The white goods to entertainment systems trader’s primary website is ao.com, and it also operates ao.de and ao.nl. Chairman Geoff Cooper said, in an AGM trading statement, “AO World remains on track with its long-term strategic plan and the board expects results for the full year to fall within the range of market expectations. Customer satisfaction continues to be exceptional in all of our territories and the roll-out of further categories across the UK and Europe continues. Find out more here
Sports Direct unveiled full-year results, with group revenue of £3.2bn in the year to April 30, up by 11.7% on the same time last year. Pre-tax profits of £281.6m were down by 22.2% on last time. Chief executive Mike Ashley said the retailer was on course to become “the Selfridges of sport,” as it moves to a new generation of stores, and that trading in new flagship stores was “exceeding expectations”. Sports Direct has a single web platform underpinning all its websites and ecommerce sites. This, said Sports Direct, means investment in ecommerce and in the online customer experience is made more efficient. During the full year, the group’s marketing and ecommerce division “significantly re-styled and elevated our fascias’ and brands’ online presence in line with our new generation concept”. It launched an ecommerce app for Sports Direct, which is also adapted for its premium brand Flannels, and its Firetrap lifestyle brand. The app is driven by the group’s centralised web platform, and works on both Android and iOS.
The IMRG reported the second lowest June growth for online retail since 2001. UK online retail sales were up +9.5 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in June, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Read more here
Amazon beats supermarkets to come top of list of most trusted retailers according to REaD Group’s Retail Report. The research also uncovered a link between trust and the length of loyalty programmes. Read more here
In a survey of 82 to 94-year-olds, SPF Connect, a charity-funded project to bring senior citizens online, discovered that a staggering 66 per cent of their clients had never touched a computer before. Read more here
Almost half of UK shoppers plan to exercise new rights over their personal data that will come into force with the General Data Protection Regulation, on May 25 2018, a study suggests. Read more here