Social networking has arrived at HMV. The music and DVD retailer is launching Get Closer, which will allow users to import music and film files and create their own library. “They will be connected to other users with similar tastes to form so-called ‘spider clouds’ around the artists, genres or films that they have in common,” reports The Telegraph. Get Closer is currently being tested by 1,000 users prior to a full launch on 1st September 2008.
Handing the day-to-day management of his business over to someone else was Nick Wheeler’s biggest business mistake. The Charles Tyrwhitt founder talks to former Dragon’s Den star and Red Letter Days founder Rachel Elnaugh in her new book, Business Nightmares: “Mail order is like a supertanker because you’re working on products a year in advance, and so it takes time to discover that things aren’t working out. So the fact that it did not work output us back two years.”
A month after closing down its online fashion shop, Tesco is putting a stop to its online florist service too reports ThisisMoney.co.uk. Apparently Valentine’s Day sales proved disappointing.
Fashion etailer ASOS.com has begun the year strongly reporting that sales in April were 80 per cent higher than the same period last year. In the 12 months to 31 March 2008 sales increased 90 per cent to approximately £81 million, reports FT.com.
Littlewoods-owned Home Delivery Network has started consultations with staff and union representatives over the proposed closure of its Farnworth depot. Crain’s Manchester Business reports that some 90 jobs are at risk.
As part of Real Business‘s My First Million series it is interviewing Glasses Direct Founder James Murray
Wells: “Murray Wells expects turnover to top £8 million this year and is setting his sights on international expansion. Pretty impressive for someone who spent £500 ‘knocking together a website’ while studying for his degree.”
Asda is preparing for its catalogue debut and has appointed JPS Print Management to help launch its 1,000-page book in September reports Printweek.
Rumours are circulating that DSGi may be sold. German retailer Metro “might be looking into acquiring” the group which owns Currys,
Dixons and PCWorld in a deal that could be worth around £1 billion reports ITProPortal.com.
Mosaic Fashions, the owner of the Oasis, Warehouse and Principles chains, saw a £17.2 million profit in 2007 fall to a £30.2 million pretax loss in the year to January 26 2008. The Telegraph said that the results “were severely impacted by the early repayment of £12.8 million of loan notes and the amortisation of intangible assets of £16.3 million.”
The Independent profiles the Long Acre Plants nursery in Somerset, whose business is now 75 per cent mail order and most of that is generated online. The author notes that the advantage of the online shop for a small, specialist nursery is that its owners can use it to list plants that they don’t have many of and so don’t put in their printed catalogue: “They still produce [a catalogue] and it’s very handsome, but once it’s been sent out, it can’t be tweaked in the way the online list can. When plants sell out they can be deleted from the website list. When seasonal things come into their own, they can be added.”