MarketLine Blog

Posts about Retail

Government rejects proposals to tackle environmental impact of fast fashion

MarketLine

In June 2018 the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) launched an inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry. The aim of this was to identify the ways in which the fashion industry can alter its practices to be both prosperous and sustainable. The report, published in February 2019, did just that. Had the proposals been accepted, the cost to the fashion industry would have probably been substantial due to the scale of environmental damage that has arisen from throwaway fashion. According to data submitted to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC),… Read more

Alphabet X-Wing: Project Wing intensifies competition in a crowded drone delivery market

MarketLine

Project Wing aims to develop technology which makes the tracking and delivery of goods cheaper, faster and more sustainable than ever before. The project has developed an unmanned aerial vehicle with the ability to deliver packages to homes autonomously. This particular drone delivery service has a number of benefits associated with it in comparison alternative to traditional postal delivery. Transport times are quicker and are possible through bypassing traffic congestion reduces delivery times and helps reduce the volume of traffic on the roads. With less traffic and zero emissions, drone… Read more

The Body Shop: Plans to expand in the growing Indian cosmetics market

MarketLine

The Body Shop is a manufacturer and retailer of personal care and cosmetics products. The company classifies its offerings under seven product categories: face care, body care, hair care, make-up, fragrances and gifts. The Body Shop operations spread globally with a presence in over 65 countries and employs 22,000 people. Prior to being acquired by Natura, The Body shop’s sales were declining in the UK, reflecting the UK high street malaise. Results for 2016 show total sales were EUR920.8m ($1.1bn), down from EUR967.2m ($1.14bn) in 2015. Moreover, competition from an… Read more

CMA blocks Asda Sainsbury’s merger: Ending merger will stifle competition and dissuade future investment

MarketLine

On Wednesday, April 25th 2019 the Competition and Market Authority announced that the proposed merger deal between leading supermarket food retailers, Sainsbury’s and Walmart-owned Asda, would not go ahead. Despite being expected, the decision has shook investors; Sainsbury’s share price fell to a near three-year low on the day of the announcement. It leaves Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe in the unenviable position of having to come up with a strategy for the future of the company as a solo act, a situation made tougher having already invested so much into… Read more

Debenhams: The latest victim of the UK high street

MarketLine

Even though Debenhams has announced store closures under a proposed CVA, the retailer is far from being alone in experiencing high-street woes. Numerous retailers, including House of Fraser, New Look, Next, Arcadia, and Marks & Spencer have been facing increasing financial difficulty on the UK high-street, while others, such as Toys R Us, have exited the market altogether. Debenhams’ difficulties are the result of an often seen tale of too many stores, too much debt, and a failure to keep up with consumer trends. On top of the problems that… Read more

The Entertainer continues expansion with ELC acquisition: Retailer bucking the high street trend

MarketLine

The UK high street has seen a number of casualties in recent times, with many retailers collapsing and others significantly scaling down operations. In the toys & games market, Toys ‘R’ Us has been the stand out casualty with the retailer closing all of its stores in the UK during 2018 following bankruptcy. Prior to this, Toys ‘R’ Us had been the leading toy retailer in the UK for most of its history after entering in 1985. The Entertainer seized this opportunity, making 2018 the year for expansion. The retailer… Read more

Primark: Fashion giant continues to break the rules of retail

MarketLine

Associated British Foods, the parent company of Primark, announced in late February that it expects profits will be “well ahead” of last year despite a drop in underlying sales in its stores. The company also managed to perform well in 2018, despite the retail environment being particularly tough, with revenues reaching £7.4bn ($9.8bn), 6% ahead of last year at constant currency rates. Primark believes future growth prospects lies in further expanding its store portfolio and has ambitious plans to open more stores in the coming year, including 19 across, France,… Read more

Cannabis market: Aurora Cannabis leading the market

MarketLine

Quite a few countries before Canada had legalized recreational marijuana use, or enacted laws partially allowing it. However, none of those countries created a legal market for marijuana. For a market to emerge it has to be backed by serious economic and political power; Canada is just such a country. On October 17th 2018 the Canadian parliament approved the Cannabis Act, giving the green light for using and growing marijuana and initiating the process for a market to emerge. The creation of companies specializing in producing marijuana for recreational purposes… Read more

No hope for HMV after second administration in six years: HMV will not be able to survive long-term due to recent difficulties

MarketLine

HMV entering administration was triggered by the current struggle of the retail industry, and now the company will find it difficult to recover in the current retail conditions. Uncertainty over Brexit has caused the value of the pound to drop, which has increased the cost of supplies from abroad. An increase in business costs and online shopping has also put HMV in jeopardy, making it harder for HMV to gain traction in the retail industry. HMV needs to find a buyer that has the resources and ability to turn around… Read more

Sears seeks to sell assets to ESL Investments: Strategic call of CEO Eddie Lampert is sign of failure

MarketLine

Under CEO Eddie Lampert, Sears has always found enough money to struggle onwards. Now the much criticized hedge fund billionaire is seeking to buy the Kenmore appliance brand from his own company via his own hedge fund, ESL Investments. Lampert himself claims the sale “will provide an important source of liquidity” for Sears and help “to complete its transformation to respond to the challenging retail environment.” Few expect that sort of turnaround. Conventional wisdom dictates a troubled retailer needs to maintain the most lucrative assets under its control, not sell… Read more

Consumer credit is unsustainable – Tough times lie ahead for retail and services in the UK

MarketLine

There has been a boom in consumer credit in recent years, which has supported consumption as wages have been subdued and inflation has been rising. Although it may seem paradoxical, households in the UK have being increasing their consumption as their real income has been shrinking. Consumer credit has recorded the highest (double-digit) growth rates since the financial crisis of 2008, amid high consumer confidence and a low interest rate environment. Under these terms, the retail and services sector that have grown based on this credit spree are vulnerable in… Read more

UK sugar tax – Attempts to curb rising levels of obesity

MarketLine

The UK is the most obese country in Western Europe, and the sixth most obese country in the world. Around 26.9% of the British population has a body mass index of 30 and above, according to the OECD report and the cost of treating ill health caused by obesity and related issues is rising fast, threatening the NHS budget. The government, long criticized for taking no action to tackle this issue, decided to introduce a Soft Drinks Industry Levy, in the hope that the increased cost will stop people from… Read more

Tablet market decline continues: Strong demand for substitutes and low innovation resulting in falling sales

MarketLine

The tablet market has undergone consecutive years of decline in recent years, and the market is expected to continue declining in the coming years as well. This has put intense pressure on players operating in this market, and many such as Dell and HTC have decided to pull out. Overall the market is dominated by Apple, Samsung and Amazon. Several reasons have been given to explain why the tablets market after such a promising start has succumbed to this pattern of decline. An important reason is the way in which… Read more

Daniel Wellington: The fastest growing private European company in 2017

MarketLine

Daniel Wellington is a Swedish watch making company that has been placed at the top of the “Fastest Growing European Companies” list. Started by Filip Tysander in 2011 using his own money, the company has since witnessed impressive growth thanks to a very successful social media marketing strategy campaign. Rather than engaging in traditional marketing in a rather congested market where giants like Rolex and Tag Heuer exist, Daniel Wellington instead has sought to utilize the power of social media in order to boost its brand awareness. It has done… Read more

Post-Christmas Results: Discounters achieve massive sales growth over the festive period compared to last year

MarketLine

December is the most prolific season in the UK and in many other areas worldwide for retailers and consumers and this is demonstrated by shopping behavior during this time. Retailers are in the process of revealing their Christmas sales over a period where we can compare results to last year, and understand why certain areas have achieved, and why some others have not. For Christmas 2017, discounters have enjoyed great growth, despite consumer spending remaining weak overall. Department stores and luxury food retailers on the other hand, have experienced the… Read more

Toys R Us: Collapse Inevitable as Company Fails to Utilize the Power of the Internet

MarketLine

In recent months, well-established toy retailer Toys R Us has given repeated indications of the state of its finances. In September the US-based parent company announced that it entered into bankruptcy protection proceedings and is planning to close more than ten percent of its US stores in the near future. More recently the UK division made similar announcements, to close nearly a quarter of its stores soon after the New Year. So the recent news that the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), one of the company’s largest creditors in the UK,… Read more

Blue Apron – Changing the way of eating and buying food

MarketLine

The US meal-kit delivery service is projected to be a $5bn market over the next three years. Though space is already crowded, a start-up company, Blue Apron, managed to carve a niche out for itself. By recognizing the educational void for the multitude of home cooks and building a wildly successful business around feeding them, while sharpening their kitchen prowess, the company managed to build a $2bn recipe-delivery business with 2,500 employees, in 36 months. By designing its business model around supply chain efficiencies, the company managed to get fresher… Read more

iPhone X: After healthy sales historically, $1,000 price tag does not justify the technological difference over previous generations

MarketLine

Apple was once known for its innovative developments and breakthroughs in the computer and music market. With the release of the iPhone in 2007, it broke records in terms of sales growth for a phone. Year on year growth for the past 10 years has been extremely impressive and this is due to a variety of quality factors associated with Apple’s brand. With strong brand loyalty associated with Apple, customers have become fans and many enjoy upgrading their phones every year seeing as there is a new iPhone released every… Read more

Foot Locker: Share price slides on disappointing results

MarketLine

On Friday August 18, Foot Locker announced financial results for its second quarter ended July 29 and they were not what the markets had expected. In fact, they were way short of what the markets anticipated and consequently, the company’s share price plunged. There is a suggestion that product may be at least partly to blame and as Foot Locker is reliant on the goods manufactured by the likes of Nike and Under Armour, the news had a detrimental impact on their share prices too. High-priced products that have failed… Read more

GAME Digital: How the cyclical console release pattern is stifling GAME’s growth

MarketLine

The video game industry across the West is incredibly cyclical, with regular console releases every seven to eight years providing very large revenues to major players and carrying them through the period in-between releases. However a shift in the console market, with console developers choosing to release completely new consoles at a slower rate and instead releasing interim consoles (such as Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro), has hurt GAME Digital, a company only recent out of administration. It’s profit warning announced on June 30, the result of Nintendo’s decision to prioritize… Read more

Aldi and Lidl US Expansion: US grocery retailers should be worried

MarketLine

Aldi and Lidl have been responsible for a huge shift in the grocery market across Europe. This has been particularly evident in the UK with the discounters growing their collective share of the market from 2.8% in 2000 to 12% in mid-2017. In a market that was previously dominated by four big retailers, this has been an impressive growth. The low prices offered by Aldi and Lidl, along with clever marketing campaigns and a growing reputation for quality produce, have enabled the discounters to erode the market share of the… Read more

M&S and Debenhams: Online retail to continue its surge while retail outlets continue to close

MarketLine

The growing popularity of shopping via the internet, coupled with both the younger and older generations becoming increasingly tech-savvy, has led to a massive surge in shopping online A bit of rewording would be good so it reads better. – whether it be essentials such as food or clothes, all the way to smaller items. The convenience of doing so has meant that fewer sales have been achieved on the high street for major retailers, and sales revenue have transferred to online equivalents. After recent announcements from M&S and Debenhams… Read more

Selfie generation: Refashioning make-up market

MarketLine

The global make-up industry grew by a record 8.4% in 2016 and was the main growth driver for the cosmetics market worldwide. The range of make-up products is endless, and some product categories, in particular those highly popular with the generation of Millennials, (i.e. concealers, illuminating highlighters, lipsticks) are booming. These hyper-connected customers are young, have a strong purchasing power, new ideas about beauty, and are also very keen to spend money on beauty products. While clothing and department stores are increasingly closing their physical locations, not being able to… Read more

US Retail Apocalypse: Price-sensitive consumers rather than online-purchasers shape the industry

MarketLine

The term “US Retail Apocalypse” which is used to describe the downsizing trend of some of the largest US retailers is characteristic of the widespread belief that online retail has transformed the structure of the US retail industry by incurably altering the habits of US consumers. However, such an explanation is proved to be extravagant based on statistics and data regarding e-commerce penetration. In addition, the steady growth of discount retailers is one of the facts that disapprove this theory of e-commerce prevalence as a distribution channel and key reason… Read more

boohoo.com plc: Profits soar following successful social media strategy

MarketLine

In the 12 months to February 2017, boohoo.com has been highly successful, with sales soaring and pre-tax profits almost doubling. However, boohoo’s recent financial performance comes in stark contrast to the situation it faced following its IPO in 2014. In the 2014-15 financial year, the company was feeling the effects of unseasonably mild autumn weather and trading disruptions caused by Black Friday, leading to a profit warning being issued in January 2015. While revenue and profit were up for this financial year, these figures were lower than initial expectations. As… Read more

Tesco’s deal with Booker: Attempt to control the UK food supply chain?

MarketLine

The deal, announced in January 2017, grants several benefits to Tesco. It means that the incumbent retailer can expand even faster in the UK food convenience sector, the fastest growing part of the grocery market for a number of years. The merger with Booker will also give the retail giant the access to a new territory – the “out-of-home” eating market, as it will be taking over the supplier to a string of restaurants and cinemas. This is a new area for Tesco, but one that accounts for around a… Read more

Beckham’s Target: Posh on a budget

MarketLine

As common household names, celebrities are always being discussed; especially in modern society. The Beckham family is no different, although their fame has stems from football and music to the latest venture of fashion. Victoria Beckham has recently partnered with Target, a US retailer to sell her range of cheap designer clothes for all age ranges and all sizes. Whilst this range is extensive, it is set to only be available for a limited period of time, with online access as well through victoriabeckham.com creating a global customer base. The… Read more

The Digital Age: A Hackers delight

MarketLine

Online storage is a huge leap forward in technology, allowing files to be accessed from anywhere without the need to send them via email. Files can be shared in a much simpler fashion and can be locked to ensure that any changes made are present in a single file as opposed to numerous versions of the file. This online system serves as a backup for companies and customers. A network of banking telecommunications (SWIFT) has been the target of numerous hacking and data leaks over recent years, serving to reduce… Read more

East meets West. The battle for supremacy in India’s e-commerce market

MarketLine

While China and the US currently dominate in terms of e-commerce spending, India is one of the world’s fastest growing internet markets. It is also the fastest growing country in the Asia Pacific region in the retail e-commerce space. The rapid pace of growth of e-commerce in India creates a huge potential opportunity and attracts not only local players but foreign e-commerce giants, like Amazon and Alibaba. The largest local players, Flipcart and Snapdeal, initially seen as the dark horses in this race and attracting serious investment, are now losing… Read more

Physical Book Vs. E-Book: Traditional book not ready to die out just yet

MarketLine

There has been much debate in recent years regarding the physical book vs. the e-book. Many commentators have outlined a sad situation in which the traditional book is dying out as the rapidly growing proliferation of digital technology replaces it. However, the situation is not quite as clear-cut as this. While it is undeniable that there have been declining book sales in recent years, this is not necessarily wholly linked to the explosion of e-books in the market. E-books are undoubtedly a more convenient way to store and carry around… Read more