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Today’s news in brief-18/6/24

Supermarket sales in the UK saw a modest increase of just 1.0% for the four weeks to June 9, 2024, marking the slowest growth since June 2022. This sluggish performance is attributed to poor weather and falling inflation, with average shopper visits dropping slightly from 16.4 to 16.3 times compared to last year. Ocado led the growth among grocers with a 10.7% increase in sales over the 12 weeks to June 9, driven by its strong online presence, capturing 1.8% of the market. Lidl and Aldi also expanded their market shares to 8.1% and 10.0%, respectively.

Frasers Group announced an £80m share buyback program, intending to reduce its share capital by purchasing up to 10 million ordinary shares. The program, managed by Barclays Bank PLC, will run until the company’s final results are reported for the year ending April 28, 2024. The shares repurchased will be held in treasury pending cancellation or re-issue.

Michael Kors reported a significant decline in UK sales, down by 10% as customers curbed spending on high-ticket items. The luxury brand, facing rising material costs, may implement further price increases. Despite strong online sales, store trading remained low. Michael Kors raised prices by an average of 6% in the previous year due to higher material costs, following a period of consumer overspending post-pandemic.

Superdry appointed Dafydd Moore as its new global technology director. Moore, previously with Halfords and Dyson, will lead Superdry’s technology and data teams, reporting directly to the CEO and founder. His appointment follows Superdry’s decision to delist from the stock market and seek rent reductions to avoid insolvency.

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Decathlon UK posted a £2m loss for the year ending December 31, 2023, alongside a 5% drop in turnover. The sports retailer attributed its financial struggles to the cost of living crisis, market dynamics, store closures, and adverse weather conditions affecting seasonal sports. Decathlon closed six underperforming stores over two years, impacting turnover by 2.5%. The company invested £10m in various initiatives, including a new website and warehouse automation, to enhance customer experience and market positioning.

Russell and Bromley appointed Daniel Beardsworth-Shaw as its first creative director, marking a strategic shift to in-house design for the first time in its 140-year history. Beardsworth-Shaw, with experience at Hunter and Sweaty Betty, will lead the brand and product direction, presenting his first collection for Autumn 2025. The appointment coincides with the relocation of the company’s global HQ to London’s Soho, featuring new design and creative studios.

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