March 2021

John Lewis confirms closure of 8 stores

John Lewis is planning to permanently close eight of its 42 stores. The retailer said it is “rebalancing” its store estate to

reflect how customers want to shop. It confirmed only the remaining 34 John Lewis shops will reopen from 12 April (subject to Government guidance). Those identified for closure include four ‘At Home’

shops in Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells and four department stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, York and Sheffield (pictured) – which is the oldest (1940) and one of the largest in this list. John Lewis said these stores were “financially

challenged” prior to the pandemic and they could no longer be profitably sustained.

This comes after The John Lewis Partnership

revealed earlier this month it recorded a pre-tax loss of £517 million for the year to 30 January 2021, compared to profits of £146 million the previous year. The company put this down to severe COVID trading

restrictions and substantial exceptional costs of £648m due to the “pronounced shift to online” – a trend that “will not materially reverse” it said, adding that an expected 60 to 70 per cent of John Lewis sales will be made online in the future. Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership,

reported that an £800m investment will support the company’s turnaround in the coming year and that having fewer bigger stores allows for support of the remaining ones.

CIH postpones Euronics Showcase until 2022

CIH has announced that it has postponed its in-person tradeshow, the Euronics Showcase, until 24-25 April 2022. The group said following the Government’s roadmap this was “the cautious and sensible decision”. CEO of CIH, Stuart Cook,

commented: “In light of a number of factors, not least the ongoing safety of

CIH members, suppliers and guests at our event, we feel duty bound to postpone until a time where we, and society as a whole, can feel safer in large crowds, and comfortable when joined by guests from overseas as well. “We want everyone to have the best Showcase they can, and we simply did not feel

we could give either you, our members, or our suppliers the event we all deserve in 2021.” The Group announced it will be hosting virtual events in both April and September this year for suppliers to present to members.

She commented: “We’re

improving the next day Click & Collect service in Waitrose stores and trialling the introduction of John Lewis shopping areas in our Waitrose stores. We will also be testing new formats of smaller, local neighbourhood shops offering the best of John Lewis.” John Lewis said 34 shops will reopen unless

specified, while Glasgow is planned to reopen from 26 April and Edinburgh from 14 May.

Haier ‘one of the fastest-growing Chinese companies in the UK’

This is according to tracker research by Grant Thornton (in collaboration with China Chamber of Commerce in the UK). Haier UK is one of the companies that is leading the way in terms of speed of growth in the consumer retail sector, the research company said. The biggest Chinese-owned companies employ more than 75,000 people in the

UK and contributed total revenues of £92 billion to the country’s economy last year. Jim McEwan, Chief Commercial Officer at Haier UK, commented: “These are

very exciting times for Haier UK with many new products coming to the market in 2021 and beyond. And as recently honoured as the Number One Global Major Appliance Brand in the world, our aim is to continue to develop cutting-edge connected technology and products that will stand out in the market for years to come.”

ERT Turning Point Live! 2021: It’s time to share your views

ERT’s 2021 Turning Point Live! conference took place online over four consecutive days last month (9-12 February), with a huge variety of topics covered by the expert guest speakers. And we want to know your thoughts! Whether

you attended one or all of the webinar presentations, if you have a spare minute we would be very grateful if you could complete this short

survey. It’s completely anonymous. You can find the survey on the ERT website – Your feedback about this year’s event and your

thoughts on the future of Turning Point Live! are very important. Many thanks for taking the time. There’s also full coverage of each conference session in this issue from page 13.


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