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Today’s news in brief-22/3/24

In February, UK retail sales stagnated at 0.0%, down from 3.6% the previous month, largely due to inclement weather dampening in-store purchases. While online sales, especially for clothing, saw growth, physical stores, particularly food and fuel retailers, experienced declines. This trend was attributed to the release of new seasonal collections, offset by a reduction in food and fuel sales. Retailers are optimistic about a potential rebound in consumer confidence with warmer weather and anticipated interest rate cuts.

UK consumer confidence remained at -21 in March, with a slight improvement in personal finances forecasts. However, concerns linger over a decrease in major purchases index and savings index. Analysts ponder whether this stagnation indicates a temporary pause or a looming reversal in consumer sentiment, especially with the approaching UK General Election.

Waitrose reportedly announced plans to close its Enfield delivery warehouse, risking over 500 jobs, citing rising rental costs. The closure aims to streamline operations and maintain profitability, despite Waitrose’s previous ambitions to expand its online grocery business.

Nike reported a modest increase in Q3 revenues to $12.4bn, driven by growth in North America, Greater China, and APLA regions. However, Converse revenues declined, attributed to decreases in North America and Europe. Nike’s strategic pricing actions and cost-saving measures helped increase gross margin, although selling and administrative expenses rose.

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Pandora appointed Sonia Lopez Delgado as the new general manager for the British Isles, aiming to strengthen brand momentum and customer experience. Rasmus Brix will transition to a new role at the company’s headquarters, while Massimo Basei takes on the position of Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing global market clusters and retail operations. These appointments align with Pandora’s strategy to enhance customer experiences and drive growth.

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