January News Round Up

January 24th, 2012
Events & Industry News

Back in December, we resolved to give you a round up of how retailers fared during the festive period, and true to our word, Maxatec’s news summary brings you all the lowdown from the high street.

Mistletoe, carols and overeating are all part of a traditional British Christmas. Conversely, in January it is customary to rein in the purse strings and recoup the festive indulgences of the previous month. For one major UK retailer, January 2012 was set to be a particularly frugal beginning to the new year: earlier this month, Tesco reported its first profit warning in 20 years. However the retailer was given a boost when US billionaire Warren Buffett, owner of the Berkshire Hathaway Group invested a reported £500m to raise his stake in the supermarket chain, according to the Financial Times.

On the high street there was positive news as shoppers took full advantage of pre-Christmas price-slashing – sales volumes rose by 0.6% between November and December, according to official figures published in the Guardian. Reported sales were 2.6% higher than the same period in 2010.

In the fashion industry, budget retailer Primark benefited from shoppers making frugal choices over the festive season, reporting a healthy sales period and expansion in Europe. Total sales were up by 16pc in the 16 weeks to January 7 compared to the previous year.

In not-so-cheerful retail news, Home Retail Group, owner of Argos and Homebase, reported a drop in sales compared to last year – 2.6pc at Homebase and 8.8pc at Argos: the retailer has announced that a number of Argos stores will close next year when leases expire. Sales online have increased from 38pc to 41pc of total transactions.

That’s all for January – Maxatec hopes your business fared well in 2011 and wishes you a very prosperous new year.