Today’s news in brief-14/3/24

John Lewis announced a pre-tax profit of £42m, a significant turnaround from the previous year’s loss of £78m. Despite this, the company will not pay staff bonuses for the third time in four years, citing a focus on base salary over bonuses. Sales rose by 1%, reaching £12.4bn, with Waitrose seeing a 5% increase in sales but a decline in sales volume. John Lewis’ sales dipped by 4%, attributed to weaker sales in specific departments. The company plans to invest £542m in modernising technology and stores. Management emphasised sustainability and the importance of investing in retail businesses and employee pay.

Research from LDC and PwC reveals that UK high streets saw a net closure of 5,000 stores due to retail collapses, surpassing the number of new openings. The closures were attributed to the failures of major retailers like Wilko and Paperchase. Despite this, there was an increase in fast food and coffee shop openings. Administrations across large retail groups led to a total of 11,530 store closures. The Body Shop’s recent closure of 75 stores further adds to the retail downturn.

Adidas posted its first loss in over three decades following the termination of its partnership with Kanye West due to his controversial behaviour. The loss amounted to €58m, with revenues decreasing by 5% to €21.4bn. The termination of the Yeezy line led to a €500m drag on revenues. Adidas expects mid-single-digit sales growth in 2024, contingent on selling the remaining Yeezy inventory at cost. The company’s CEO expressed confidence in recovery, citing disciplined strategies and strong product offerings.

Cindy Carlisle has been appointed as Foot Locker’s new executive vice president and chief human resources officer. With experience from Stryker Corporation and other leadership roles, Carlisle will drive the company’s global human resources strategy. Her appointment aligns with Foot Locker’s transformation plan, aiming to drive growth and enhance the organisation’s culture. CEO Mary Dillon expressed confidence in Carlisle’s expertise and its potential impact on Foot Locker’s future growth.


Music Magpie disclosed widened pre-tax losses to £6.8m despite a 15.8% increase in gross profits in the consumer technology category. Revenues declined to £136.6m due to sales dips. However, adjusted EBITDA grew by 15.4% to £7.5m, attributed to effective cost controls. The company is optimistic about the current year’s performance, with expectations of continued growth in second-use markets.

Poundland is set to advertise its revamped clothing, homewares, and grocery ranges on UK and Ireland TV for the first time. The initiative is part of the ‘Project Evo’ transformation, focusing on store makeovers and range expansions. The campaign highlights Poundland’s efforts to offer value and modernise its offerings, including chilled and frozen foods. The company aims to attract customers with fresh store layouts and comprehensive product ranges, underlining its commitment to evolution and customer satisfaction.

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