• Date: 23 March 2017
  • Posted By: admin

After yesterday’s terror attack at Westminster, we’re posting our blog a day late as it didn’t feel right to talk about other things on such a tragic day. The alternative stories we’re bringing to you are: House of Fraser ambitions; Hermes sales soar; and Inflation jumps.

House of Fraser ambitions: If you were looking for a champagne bar, or a yoga studio, would House of Fraser jump to mind? Certainly not at the moment, but these are the sorts of plans unveiled by HoF’s executives this week for what the store is planning to offer us. Those plans include overhauling its website – not a moment too soon we suggest – and dropping up to 40 of its current brands. It recognises that under investment over the past 20 years means HoF is ‘on life support’ and these ambitious plans are aimed at bringing it right up to date – and beyond. We particularly like the idea of having a “test bed” area in five of its stores which will show case new brands  each season – and the ones that do well will be rolled out. Read this article to find out what other innovations HoF has in store for us – no pun intended!

Hermes sales soar: By a very healthy 13%! As one might imagine, the French retailer is over the moon – as well as surprised by this surge in its sales. And it just goes to show, that when economies are looking shaky, luxury brands seem to do well. Of course, anyone who can afford £8k for a Birkin, probably doesn’t need to worry about their finances. And as you’ll see from the next story, that knocks most of us out of the Hermes market!

Inflation jumps: You might be fed up hearing that inflation is up again – because it’s been rising for the last few months. However, this jump to 2.3% really is quite a leap. Add to that the news that total pay is slowing, and what we have for the first time in quite a while, is that our disposable income is down. In other words, our pay rises cancel out inflation rises, but it doesn’t give us any extra. Over the past few months, our pay rises were higher than inflation so our confidence in spending money was higher hence the increases in High Street sales – particularly over Christmas. But it all now seems to be grinding to a halt. With oil prices double what they were a year ago, and the pound dipping by 20% so that input prices are also up by 20%, the economic climate isn’t looking too good. Here’s a couple of articles that give you further information. But we say, let’s be positive, the clocks are about to change so summer’s almost here, and let’s keep our fingers crossed that as the day lengthen so our prospects will too.

Next week will be our Monthly News Round – we’ll be bringing you a selection of stories in March that have caught out attention but which we haven’t told you about yet. So make sure you come back on Wednesday 29th March to find out what those are. Until then, have a good week.