Today’s news in brief-19/4/24

Wilko, the retailer that faced collapse last September, is back with a revamped click and collect service. After successful trials in Exeter, Luton, and Plymouth, the company is reintroducing its free click and collect option. Customers can now access this service from reopened stores and over 200 collection points through its partner, The Range. Wilko is also expanding its store rollout program, recently launching in St Albans and Rotherham with more openings planned throughout 2024.

In March 2024, retail sales volumes remained stagnant, following a slight increase the previous month, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While non-food store sales experienced a modest rise, department stores, food stores, and non-store retailing saw declines. Automotive fuel sales, however, spiked by 3.2%, reaching their highest index level since May 2022. Despite the monthly figures, retail sales increased by 1.9% in the quarter ending March 2024 compared to the previous three months, a rebound following a sluggish Christmas period.

Bensons for Beds has welcomed Mark Slater as its new chief commercial officer (CCO). With a rich background in senior commercial roles at companies like Howdens plc and Travis Perkins, Slater brings extensive experience to his new position. His responsibilities include overseeing commercial, marketing, digital, and services teams, as well as driving product innovation and new business development. CEO Nick Collard expressed confidence in Slater’s ability to contribute to the company’s growth and strengthen its market position.

Employees at Asda’s Lowestoft store are gearing up for a 48-hour strike over various workplace issues, including cuts in hours, inadequate training, and unresolved equal pay concerns. This marks the third Asda store to face strike action, following Gosport and Wisbech. The strike highlights broader discontent among Asda workers, with other locations also considering industrial action. GMB Union representatives emphasise safety breaches and decreased worker hours as key grievances driving these strikes.


Luxury retailer Mytheresa expects its full-year guidance for FY24 to fall at the lower end of its estimated range, despite robust sales growth in Q3. While predicting a 15-18% increase in Q3 sales, the company anticipates FY24 sales growth between 8% and 13%. Despite this, adjusted operating income and EBITDA margins for Q3 are expected to surpass the previous year’s figures, signalling positive performance amidst market challenges.

American Golf reported a turnaround in its fortunes, with a £5.7m increase in EBITDA one year after implementing a strategic reset under CEO Nigel Oddy. The company’s focus on cost control, margin improvement, and customer engagement has propelled it back into profitability. New services such as personalised products and targeted campaigns have contributed to increased sales and customer retention. American Golf remains optimistic about its future growth trajectory, aiming to solidify its position as a leading player in the golf retail market through continued innovation and customer-centric strategies.

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