• Date: 4 May 2017
  • Posted By: admin

Welcome to our first blog of May. Did you notice? Yep, we’re a day late! And next week’s news snippets will be on Thursday too. Why? With all these lovely Bank Holidays, we’ve had a bit of time off too, including next week. So, what have we got for you this week? Well, the stories that caught our eye are: Holding off for the iPhone 8? Sainsbury’s up or down?; Consumer spending looking shaky?; and John Lewis’s innovative campaign.

Holding off for the iPhone 8? Apparently, a lot of us are. And that’s why Apple’s sales for the last quarter didn’t hit the company’s target, and was about 1m less than experts had expected. Mind you, it didn’t stop sales going up – and the iPhone accounts for 2 thirds of Apple’s turnover. So what’s holding us back? The iPhone is 10 years old this September, so rather than buy an iPhone 7 – which, according to the article isn’t much more than a revamped 6 – we’re waiting to buy the 8, because it’s expected to be something extra-special to celebrate its first decade. Is that what you’re doing?

Sainsbury’s up or down? The answer is down. For the third year running. Which its CEO, Mike Coupe, is now warning will have an adverse effect on pay. Its pre-tax profits dipped by 8.2% even though the whole group’s sales rose by 12.7% – which in part is thanks to Argos, which it bought last year. Mind you, Mike Coupe, its CEO, is predicting that sales of non-feed i.e. general merchandise and clothing, is likely to go down – is he right? see below – in line with consumer confidence and the effects of the lower pound. And that in turn might have a bad effect on the Argos/Habitat sales. But at least having these in its stores is increasing footfall, which can only help its food sales. Whether it does will unfold over the coming months – but Mr Coupe is certainly predicting choppy waters ahead.

Consumer spending looking shaky?: Apparently not. According to this recent research by the well-regarded GfK Consumer Confidence Index, despite the triggering of Article 50, the index dropped only by 1 point, and is therefore ‘surprisingly stable’, with no downturn on the horizon – and this is despite all those reports about how inflation is going to go through the roof, that there won’t be any pay rises, and that our borrowing is out of control, which are usually the concerns that stop us from spending our money. It just isn’t materialising. But then there’s another news story – below – that suggests we should be a little more circumspect – so it’s somewhat confusing: nothing new there then! This reports on the Office of National Statistics (ONS) latest figures which show the UK’s economy only grew by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2017, which is the slowest for…a year! So no worse than before the referendum. There was some downturn in the service industry – which apparently accounts for a whopping 78% of our economy, with hotels, restaurants, and the distributions sector falling by 0.5%. But we think that, all in all, consumer spending and the economy is holding up pretty well in these very turbulent times. Let’s hope it continues!

And finally…John Lewis’s innovative campaign: Which the retailer has called National Treasures, and is a campaign to celebrate our summer Britishness, such as the seaside, afternoon tea, picnics in the park. Running until 20 August, when you visit one of its stores, you’ll find life size cut outs of these British experiences, designed by artist Paul Thereby. John Lewis wants you to interact with these, so lots of opportunities for selfies! You’ll also find a programme of events, from workshops such as how to BBQ, Q & As, and at its flagship on Oxford Street, a garden-themed rooftop bar. Why – what’s this all about? Well, during the summer months, footfall tends to be down, compared to say, Christmas. So this is to tempt us into the John Lewis shops. Does it? We’ll certainly be going to have a look.



Retail Gazette Loves: John Lewis’ “National Treasures” campaign

There we are for another week. So don’t forget, next week we’ll be back here on Thursday, rather than Wednesday – look out for us on 11th May. Have a great week until then.