Today’s news in brief-19/09/23

Kingfisher, the parent company of B&Q, has revised down its full-year profit forecast to £590m from the initial estimate of £634m. This adjustment is in response to challenging trading conditions. In H1, the company reported a 30.9% decrease in operating profit compared to the same period last year, with group sales slightly surpassing expectations. While the UK and Ireland exhibited positive performance, the overall like-for-like sales experienced a 2.2% decline. E-commerce sales, however, saw a notable 7.1% boost.

Ocado’s retail sales for Q3 surged by 7.2% to £569.6m, attributed to strategic price cuts and increased average order value. The number of active customers grew by 1.5% year-on-year, reaching 961,000. Despite positive results, the company maintained its full-year guidance. Ocado’s CEO, Hannah Gibson, emphasised the progress in implementing their “Perfect Execution” strategy and expressed confidence in achieving mid-single digit revenue growth for the fiscal year.

Quiz, the fashion brand, experienced a 15% decline in like-for-like revenues in Q1 compared to the previous year. This dip was primarily attributed to a 12% decrease in UK stores and concessions revenues, reflecting reduced foot traffic. Online sales also saw a decrease from £10m to £7.4m, while third-party website sales dropped from £4.3m to £3.5m. Quiz is taking proactive measures to manage costs and mitigate the impact of the challenging economic environment.

The UK experienced an unanticipated September heatwave, contributing to a boost in grocery sales at supermarkets. Total Till sales grew by 10.3% in the four weeks ending September 9, with supermarkets registering a 7.2% increase during this period. Volume sales improved to +2.1%, signalling greater consumer willingness to spend. Fresh food items, such as poultry and produce, saw notable increases in sales.


Shein’s UK business reported £1bn in sales for the 16 months ending December 2022. The company also disclosed a pre-tax profit of £12.2m and revenue of £1.1bn. Shein marked significant milestones, including pop-up stores in London and a collaboration with rapper Stefflon Don. Plans for UK expansion involve opening 30 new pop-up stores across the country. This news follows reports of discussions with Mike Ashley for the potential acquisition of Missguided. The deal would likely involve Missguided’s brand and intellectual property, with its head office retained by Ashley’s company.

Asos is reportedly set to close down its Outlet department as part of its “Driving Change” turnaround plan, redirecting focus towards key brands to improve profitability. This move is expected to affect around 15 employees. Asos will engage in a 30-day consultation period with the Outlet team and explore alternative roles for affected staff.




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