• Date: 5 July 2017
  • Posted By: admin

On this first Wednesday of July, the sun is shining, the Pimm’s is flowing at Wimbledon, and all is well with the world. Or is it?! On a day like this, it’s nice to think so. We’ve got another eclectic mix of stories for you today, which we recommend you peruse over a nice cool lolly or beer: Fancy buying Hobbs?; Sainsbury’s going great guns; Retail prices set to rise; and Wanted – summer perks at work.

Fancy buying Hobbs?:  Apparently, quite a few private equity firms do. The current owner put it up for sale back in January, and the forerunner at the moment is Foschini Group, a South African fashion conglomerate – although this article is doubtful whether it will want to pay the £80m price tag. Mind you, with the Hobbs sale in full swing, maybe that price tag will be reduced too! We didn’t know that Hobbs was the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite dress shop – it’s nice though rather than always being kitted out in designer outfits.

Sainsbury’s going great guns: It certainly is, having just achieved its best sales results for 4 years. An increase of 2.3% is just what the retailer hoped for when it bought Argos and Habitat – which formed the Home Retail Group – a year ago. We told you at the time we thought it was a savvy move, so that, whilst you’re getting your groceries you can pick up your click and collect on the vast range of products on offer from Argos. You’ll see from this article, that with the good weather we’ve got at the moment, paddling pools are particularly popular!

Retail prices set to rise: You might not have realised it, but over the past 4 years you’ve enjoyed cheaper food prices in the supermarkets. However. That’s about to end, according to the British Retail Consortium. And frankly it does make sense. Last month saw prices almost flat at 0.3% less, the lowest since 2013. With inflation at 2.5%, and rising, the BRC says it’s only a matter of time before the supermarkets can’t squeeze their margins any further and have to put up prices. You could say though, that with inflation heading toward 3%, at least our retail prices are holding pretty firm. Let’s hope it continues that way and any price rises are small.

Wanted – summer perks at work: As noted at the start of this week’s blog, the weather is glorious at the moment. No surprise then that most of us – 84% – say that summer perks would make us more productive at work. And yet only 7-13% of us have access to them – such as leave early Fridays, shorter hours, ice creams, outside space to catch some rays and fresh air. Have a look at this article, which gives some very interesting stats on what we’d like our work environment to be, yet rarely get. And really, not much cost attached – so to all you employers out there, think about summer perks to boost productivity.

Well, that’s it for another week. Make sure you’re back here next Wednesday, 12th July, for our next issue of The Hub Retail Recruitment’s Weekly News Snippets. And in the meantime, enjoy this glorious weather.