News roundup—2nd July 2008

News roundup—2nd July 2008

Trade-union Unite was planning a protest outside Home Retail
Group’ annual general meeting in Milton Keynes this morning
in response to what it terms a “paltry” 4 per cent pay
rise offered to workers at its Argos business. More than
1,100 Argos distribution centre employees voted yesterday whether
to strike; the results are to be announced today.

First-quarter UK like-for-like sales at Marks and
Spencer fell 5.3 per cent from last year, according to the
company’s interim management statement. The direct
division provided a small ray of sunshine, though: Year-on-year
website sales were up 70 per cent.

From an Experian press release regarding its National Retail
FootFall Index for June: “As visits to out-of-town retail
destinations decline, there is evidence that many more people are
staying at home to shop online… UK Internet traffic to retail
websites has increased by 6.5 per cent compared with last year.
One of the main growth drivers is the number of people searching
for bargains online, with searches for ‘sales’ having reached
their highest since Christmas. Another factor encouraging people
to shop on their computers from home is the high price of

The Times’ “Business big shot”
of the day is N Brown chief Alan White.

John Hinchcliffe, marketing director of multi title mailer
N Brown, and David Inglis, trading director of
Littlewoods Direct parent Shop Direct Group,
ranked number 12 and number 13 respectively on How-Do’s list of the northwest’s top 100
marketers. Also on the list: Nicola Travis, marketing manager
of Cotton Traders. The top 10 marketers will be revealed
later this week.


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