News roundup—2nd October 2008

News roundup—2nd October 2008

The Asda Direct website is now live, sort of. The site
which is built on Demandware’s platform seems to be up and
running and is adding products daily. It also appears
to be selling George merchandise despite having previously
announced that the George apparel range would not be included
within its Asda Direct offering. The site is possibly still in
beta form, as a spokesperson told NMA that a firm launch date was yet to be

Gift cataloguer The Present Finder and organ and
tissue donation charity the Transplant Trust have
announced a partnership whereby 10 per cent of all
purchases made with Present Finder through the Transplant
Trust’s social networking site, or via a
dedicated link is donated to the charity.

Overall group sales at Marks and Spencer were up 0.4
per cent in the 13 weeks to 27th September, with UK sales down 1.6
per cent. The BBC notes this “sharp contrast” to rises
in international (up 24.2 per cent) and online sales (up 34
per cent).

Auto accessories chain Halfords remained upbeat after
like-for-like sales dipped 1.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to 26th
September. According to the Press Association Halfords’ cycling
business maintained growth despite the poor weather during the
summer. Its car maintenance business – “seen as a good
bet as shoppers cut back spending elsewhere to keep their cars
on the road” – was also a strong performer.

UK banking losses due to fraud in the first half of 2008 hit
£301.7m compared to £263.6m in the same period last
year, according to the latest figures from UK banking association
APACS, reports The Register. Card-not-present fraud rose
18 per cent to £161.9 million for the first half of 2008.


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