MarketLine Blog

Posts about Retail

Blue Apron – Changing the way of eating and buying food

MarketLine

The US meal-kit delivery service is projected to be a $5bn market over the next three years. Though space is already crowded, a start-up company, Blue Apron, managed to carve a niche out for itself. By recognizing the educational void for the multitude of home cooks and building a wildly successful business around feeding them, while sharpening their kitchen prowess, the company managed to build a $2bn recipe-delivery business with 2,500 employees, in 36 months. By designing its business model around supply chain efficiencies, the company managed to get fresher… Read more

iPhone X: After healthy sales historically, $1,000 price tag does not justify the technological difference over previous generations

MarketLine

Apple was once known for its innovative developments and breakthroughs in the computer and music market. With the release of the iPhone in 2007, it broke records in terms of sales growth for a phone. Year on year growth for the past 10 years has been extremely impressive and this is due to a variety of quality factors associated with Apple’s brand. With strong brand loyalty associated with Apple, customers have become fans and many enjoy upgrading their phones every year seeing as there is a new iPhone released every… Read more

Foot Locker: Share price slides on disappointing results

MarketLine

On Friday August 18, Foot Locker announced financial results for its second quarter ended July 29 and they were not what the markets had expected. In fact, they were way short of what the markets anticipated and consequently, the company’s share price plunged. There is a suggestion that product may be at least partly to blame and as Foot Locker is reliant on the goods manufactured by the likes of Nike and Under Armour, the news had a detrimental impact on their share prices too. High-priced products that have failed… Read more

GAME Digital: How the cyclical console release pattern is stifling GAME’s growth

MarketLine

The video game industry across the West is incredibly cyclical, with regular console releases every seven to eight years providing very large revenues to major players and carrying them through the period in-between releases. However a shift in the console market, with console developers choosing to release completely new consoles at a slower rate and instead releasing interim consoles (such as Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro), has hurt GAME Digital, a company only recent out of administration. It’s profit warning announced on June 30, the result of Nintendo’s decision to prioritize… Read more

Aldi and Lidl US Expansion: US grocery retailers should be worried

MarketLine

Aldi and Lidl have been responsible for a huge shift in the grocery market across Europe. This has been particularly evident in the UK with the discounters growing their collective share of the market from 2.8% in 2000 to 12% in mid-2017. In a market that was previously dominated by four big retailers, this has been an impressive growth. The low prices offered by Aldi and Lidl, along with clever marketing campaigns and a growing reputation for quality produce, have enabled the discounters to erode the market share of the… Read more

M&S and Debenhams: Online retail to continue its surge while retail outlets continue to close

MarketLine

The growing popularity of shopping via the internet, coupled with both the younger and older generations becoming increasingly tech-savvy, has led to a massive surge in shopping online A bit of rewording would be good so it reads better. – whether it be essentials such as food or clothes, all the way to smaller items. The convenience of doing so has meant that fewer sales have been achieved on the high street for major retailers, and sales revenue have transferred to online equivalents. After recent announcements from M&S and Debenhams… Read more

Selfie generation: Refashioning make-up market

MarketLine

The global make-up industry grew by a record 8.4% in 2016 and was the main growth driver for the cosmetics market worldwide. The range of make-up products is endless, and some product categories, in particular those highly popular with the generation of Millennials, (i.e. concealers, illuminating highlighters, lipsticks) are booming. These hyper-connected customers are young, have a strong purchasing power, new ideas about beauty, and are also very keen to spend money on beauty products. While clothing and department stores are increasingly closing their physical locations, not being able to… Read more

US Retail Apocalypse: Price-sensitive consumers rather than online-purchasers shape the industry

MarketLine

The term “US Retail Apocalypse” which is used to describe the downsizing trend of some of the largest US retailers is characteristic of the widespread belief that online retail has transformed the structure of the US retail industry by incurably altering the habits of US consumers. However, such an explanation is proved to be extravagant based on statistics and data regarding e-commerce penetration. In addition, the steady growth of discount retailers is one of the facts that disapprove this theory of e-commerce prevalence as a distribution channel and key reason… Read more

boohoo.com plc: Profits soar following successful social media strategy

MarketLine

In the 12 months to February 2017, boohoo.com has been highly successful, with sales soaring and pre-tax profits almost doubling. However, boohoo’s recent financial performance comes in stark contrast to the situation it faced following its IPO in 2014. In the 2014-15 financial year, the company was feeling the effects of unseasonably mild autumn weather and trading disruptions caused by Black Friday, leading to a profit warning being issued in January 2015. While revenue and profit were up for this financial year, these figures were lower than initial expectations. As… Read more

Tesco’s deal with Booker: Attempt to control the UK food supply chain?

MarketLine

The deal, announced in January 2017, grants several benefits to Tesco. It means that the incumbent retailer can expand even faster in the UK food convenience sector, the fastest growing part of the grocery market for a number of years. The merger with Booker will also give the retail giant the access to a new territory – the “out-of-home” eating market, as it will be taking over the supplier to a string of restaurants and cinemas. This is a new area for Tesco, but one that accounts for around a… Read more

Beckham’s Target: Posh on a budget

MarketLine

As common household names, celebrities are always being discussed; especially in modern society. The Beckham family is no different, although their fame has stems from football and music to the latest venture of fashion. Victoria Beckham has recently partnered with Target, a US retailer to sell her range of cheap designer clothes for all age ranges and all sizes. Whilst this range is extensive, it is set to only be available for a limited period of time, with online access as well through victoriabeckham.com creating a global customer base. The… Read more

The Digital Age: A Hackers delight

MarketLine

Online storage is a huge leap forward in technology, allowing files to be accessed from anywhere without the need to send them via email. Files can be shared in a much simpler fashion and can be locked to ensure that any changes made are present in a single file as opposed to numerous versions of the file. This online system serves as a backup for companies and customers. A network of banking telecommunications (SWIFT) has been the target of numerous hacking and data leaks over recent years, serving to reduce… Read more

East meets West. The battle for supremacy in India’s e-commerce market

MarketLine

While China and the US currently dominate in terms of e-commerce spending, India is one of the world’s fastest growing internet markets. It is also the fastest growing country in the Asia Pacific region in the retail e-commerce space. The rapid pace of growth of e-commerce in India creates a huge potential opportunity and attracts not only local players but foreign e-commerce giants, like Amazon and Alibaba. The largest local players, Flipcart and Snapdeal, initially seen as the dark horses in this race and attracting serious investment, are now losing… Read more

Physical Book Vs. E-Book: Traditional book not ready to die out just yet

MarketLine

There has been much debate in recent years regarding the physical book vs. the e-book. Many commentators have outlined a sad situation in which the traditional book is dying out as the rapidly growing proliferation of digital technology replaces it. However, the situation is not quite as clear-cut as this. While it is undeniable that there have been declining book sales in recent years, this is not necessarily wholly linked to the explosion of e-books in the market. E-books are undoubtedly a more convenient way to store and carry around… Read more

Tesco-Booker: The Squeeze on Small Businesses

MarketLine

Tesco, one of the largest retailers in the world, is the most dominant supermarket in the UK market. Its recent announcement to merge with Booker was a surprise to all. Booker occupies a very different area of the market, primarily offering bulk-purchase supply to small retailers, both independent and franchised stores under brands it owns, such as Londis and Budgens. At first glance then, this seems an odd target for Tesco; to merge operations with a company whose target market is so different to its own. Indeed, no one considers… Read more

Sky high golf equipment prices counter-productive

MarketLine

Sales of golf equipment have fallen noticeably in recent years, with the sport’s traditional markets of the US, Europe, and Japan particularly affected. Falling participation levels are driving a fall in equipment sales as people baulk at the price of golf and slow play issues make a sport for which many simply do not have time in a society that demands people spread themselves thinly hard to access. This has impacted manufacturers with TaylorMade-adidas in particular experiencing severe problems. A constant churn of new equipment has led to a need… Read more

Next alone in its Christmas disappointment

MarketLine

The Christmas trading period is the most important time of the year for retailers, accounting for a significant proportion of a company’s sales and profit. In January 2017, numerous UK retailers revealed their Christmas 2016 trading results, with many high street retailers hailing the festive period a success. A notable exception to this was Next PLC, which revealed it had faced a difficult Christmas trading period and warned of a problematic retail environment in the UK as a whole. On 4th January 2017, Next was the first high street retailer… Read more

Once Upon A Time At Christmas… The John Lewis Formula

MarketLine

Advertising has been an increasingly important aspect in modern day business with companies spending millions on advertising campaigns. Every now and then, an advertising campaign can capture the imagination of the people watching which helps to increase the profile of a brand substantially. In the UK, one such example is that of the John Lewis Christmas advertisement. From 2007 onwards, John Lewis has evolved its Christmas adverts into something of a Christmas tradition. Every year, people anticipate the release of the new advert speculating on what it may contain with… Read more

Nike: England sponsorship deal in jeopardy

MarketLine

In modern sport, funding is a large key to success and in no sport is that more apparent than football, the ultimate game of the haves and have nots. International football has not escaped the phenomenon with England plowing in money as if it is an endless resource while Ghana’s players insisted on cash only payments at the 2014 World Cup amid fears that they would not be paid otherwise. Wembley Stadium, world-leading salaries and a state-of-the-art football center do not come cheap and the money has to come from… Read more

Sports Direct: Working conditions scandal fallout must be managed to minimize damage

MarketLine

Recent revelations about Sports Direct’s working practices have been largely made via exposé reporting from The Guardian. Secret filming in the company’s Shirebrook warehouse led to claims of a culture of fear, pay of less than the national minimum wage, unpaid after-hours work, and questionable punitive practices. This was then followed by written reporting and interviews with workers, both from the warehouse and from stores. Although terminology like ‘Victorian workhouse’ and ‘Gulag’ is sensationalist and unwarranted, Sports Direct was forced to respond to the claims in a bid to limit… Read more

Sainsbury’s trialing one-hour delivery service

MarketLine

Supermarkets in the UK have faced a tough marketplace in recent years. The recession, and the accompanying squeeze on incomes, has led to many consumers becoming shrewd in their purchases and increasingly looking to find the cheapest option. This has led to a climate in which discounters, and in particular Aldi and Lidl, have been able to thrive. All of the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets have seen their market share eroded by the discounters, which led to a debilitating round of price wars in which profits were eroded. As such, there… Read more

Supermarkets facing up to the discounters; Asda left behind?

MarketLine

Supermarkets in the UK have faced a tough marketplace in recent years. The recession, and the accompanying squeeze on incomes, has led to many consumers becoming shrewd in their purchases and increasingly looking to find the cheapest option. This has led to a climate in which discounters, and in particular Aldi and Lidl, have been able to thrive. The impact on the big four supermarkets has been evident. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrison’s have all seen sales fall and profits eroded. Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrison’s all responded to the… Read more

Big retail takes control of Russian food market

MarketLine

The Russian food market is amongst the largest and most populated globally. As the population of 146 million people continues to grow, they are also buying more food. There are a lot of opportunities for further development, especially in the convenience segment, as the grocery retail market is significantly less saturated than in Western Europe. Changes in tastes and technology have opened up the sector to new suppliers and new ideas. However, after almost a decade of double digit growth, this over $300bn market has seen a significant deceleration recently… Read more

The dichotomy between H&M’s fast fashion business model and sustainable cotton

MarketLine

H&M is a fashion retailer with over 4,000 stores in 61 markets worldwide. The adoption of the fast fashion business model has been key to the company’s huge expansion since 2000. Fast fashion has a four to six week turnaround, much quicker than traditional collections which were released two to four times per year. As a result, clothing is more on-trend but it also more throwaway. The production of clothing has a huge environmental impact, particularly in the case of cotton. Cotton uses a huge amount of fertilizers and pesticides… Read more

Morrison’s: Can’t match up to the discounters?

MarketLine

From November 2, 2015, Morrison’s will be making changes to its Match & More scheme. The program will no longer include Match points on comparable shopping. The scheme, which was introduced in October 2014, gained widespread coverage in the UK for its promise to match the discounters, Aldi and Lidl, on price or refund the difference in the form of points, with vouchers being issued once enough points have been accumulated. While the other major supermarkets in the UK have their own price promise schemes, none have been brave enough… Read more

Pack your bags: England joins other UK nations in ending free plastic bags with caveats

MarketLine

England has become the final part of the UK to introduce a charge for plastic carrier bags in a bid to slash the 7.6 billion handed out annually. However, several caveats and exemptions may stifle the scheme’s success compared to other parts of the UK. Although some retailers (such as M&S and the German discounters Aldi and Lidl) have already introduced plastic bag charges, the government has moved to employ a strategy used in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland which has reduced consumption of plastic bags dramatically. The 7.6 billion… Read more

Consumer Law: Shifting power from businesses to consumers

MarketLine

As of October 1, 2015 new consumer protection measures came into force in the UK. Under the Consumer Rights Act, customers are now entitled to a full refund on faulty goods for up to 30 days after the purchase. This area was previously rather sketchy, with consumers only being entitled to refunds for a ‘reasonable time’. A further measure has been the introduction of new protection for those purchasing digital content, allowing for a replacement on downloads that do not work. What’s more, if a digital download infects a user’s… Read more

Sorry for any inconvenience caused? Morrisons expected to sell off its M local convenience stores

MarketLine

Morrisons, Britain’s fourth-largest grocer, is in advanced talks to sell its convenience stores to investment firm Greybull Capital as new chief executive David Potts seeks to focus the business on its traditional supermarket estate. Greybull was working with a team of industry executives to take over about 150 stores that trade as M local and generate annual sales of about GBP 300m (approximately $494m). The convenience sector has become a primary focus for many UK retailers reeling from the discounter industry disruption, which has seen Aldi and Lidl wrestle market… Read more

UK High Street’s worst summer for six years

MarketLine

The UK high street has suffered its worst summer since 2009 amid concerns over a potential interest rate rise and unseasonably cold weather. According to BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, like-for like sales fell 1.1% in July, marking the third consecutive month of decline, the first time such a streak has been seen since the summer of 2009. Fashion retail was hardest hit in July, down 1.4% year-on-year, while lifestyle goods and homewares saw drops of 0.5% and 1.1% respectively. As analyzed in the MarketLine case study The UK High… Read more

Clothing retailer Gap’s expansion in India

MarketLine

Gap was founded in 1969 in San Francisco. The company’s products are sold under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athlete and Intermix brands. Gap has long been seen as the go- to- for young adults seeking affordable fashion. As explored in the MarketLine Case Study ‘The Gap, Inc. Strategies for a turnaround’ (Advantage subscribers click here to view the report or here for non-subscribers) the company has outlined a number of turnaround strategies including expansion in Asia, following volatile market growth in its domestic market for most of the… Read more