Today’s news in brief-31/10/23

The British Retail Consortium reports a drop in shop price inflation to 5.2% in October, down from 6.2% in September, marking the lowest rate since August 2022. Non-food inflation also declined to 3.4%, the lowest since September 2022. Food inflation decelerated to 8.8%, and fresh food inflation decreased to 8.3%, indicating a continued trend of decreasing inflation in the sector. The BRC has called on the government to avoid imposing unnecessary new costs on businesses to sustain this positive trend.

Footasylum has embarked on an expansion strategy, inaugurating two new stores in prominent locations: Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre and the Atria shopping centre in Watford. Following these openings, Footasylum has revealed plans to open an upsized store in Fosse Park Leicester next month. The new Birmingham store, occupying a substantial 11,000 sq.ft space on the ground floor of the Bullring shopping centre, employs a cutting-edge design concept that seamlessly integrates online and in-store experiences. This move to a larger location has resulted in the hiring of 40 additional staff, bringing the total headcount to 80. Meanwhile, the new atria Watford store, covering over 6,000 sq.ft, closely mirrors the design concept of the flagship Oxford Street store, providing an engaging shopping experience. Footasylum’s upcoming store in Leicester’s Fosse Park is set to open in November, spanning 6,400 sq.ft across two floors.

N Brown Group plc has appointed Heidi Kenyon-Smith as the new general manager of Simply Be. Kenyon-Smith, with over 20 years of experience, previously served as managing director at the dentsu media agency, iProspect. Her role will be pivotal in leading Simply Be’s end-to-end customer experience, with a focus on strategic, commercial, and service-driven outcomes. She aims to enhance customer loyalty and expand market reach.

Gemma Dunne, has reportedly taken on the role of chief product officer at Shein. With a decade of experience in the fashion industry, Dunne will spearhead the development of a new brand within Shein, slated for launch in January 2024. Her responsibilities also include establishing a UK product team in Manchester. Shein’s UK division reported substantial sales and profits for the 16-month period ending December 2022.


Deckers, the owner of Ugg and Hoka, has experienced a significant year-on-year revenue increase of 25% in Q2, reaching $1.09bn. This remarkable growth is attributed to soaring demand for Ugg and Hoka products, with sales increasing by 28.1% and 27.3%, respectively. Direct-to-consumer net sales surged by 38.8%, and wholesale net sales also rose by 19.4%. This impressive performance has led Deckers to revise its sales outlook for fiscal year 2023/24 to $4.02bn.

Rodrigo Maza has been appointed as the new managing director for Naked Wines’ UK business. Maza, previously the expansion markets managing director at AB InBev, brings over 17 years of experience in the beverage industry. He succeeds James Crawford, who was appointed Group CFO earlier this year. Maza’s appointment is expected to drive innovation and customer focus within the company.


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