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News IFA Berlin 2021 physical event cancelled


IFA Berlin has been cancelled as a physical live event for this year. It will return in 2022. Messe Berlin and gfu Consumer and Home


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Electronics GmbH, the organisers of the exhibition, have announced that the September show will not take place as originally planned. The decision was made following detailed conversations with public health experts and multiple stakeholders. Ultimately, several key global health metrics did not move as fast in the right direction as had been hoped for – from the rapid emergence of new COVID-19 variants, for example in South Asia, to


continued uncertainties about the speed of the roll- out of vaccination programmes around the world. This, in turn, added uncertainty for those looking to visit


Berlin. Another consideration is that Messe Berlin continues to use parts of its exhibition area as a vaccination centre and an emergency hospital facility; both are now likely to be required for longer than originally anticipated. Said Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin: “We did


not take this decision lightly. The health and safety of everybody has to be absolutely paramount. The efforts to contain this pandemic – from the roll-out of vaccination programs to the resumption of


Dixons Carphone brands merge to become one


Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse, Team Knowhow and Dixons Carphone are set to become one brand – Currys. This will be in stores, online, over the phone and on the doorstep “with a surge of innovation investment making the


experience even easier for customers”, parent company Dixons Carphone announced earlier this month.


This came as the first new-look store was opened in Edinburgh, one of over 300


that will be transformed inside and out during the project. The transition is starting now and will be complete by October 2021. Currys will have a bold new look. Staff across the four current brands will be


united and there will be major upgrades to stores, uniforms, technology and vehicles – liveries include designs for an all-electric fleet. Plus a new Currys website. “Currys is more than just a new name” the retail giant said. “This milestone is part of a recently announced £190m surge in investment in 2020/21.” The retailer will allow customers to try products before they buy and, alongside


the existing ShopLive (the 24/7 live video shopping service), there’s also the launch of RepairLive – a virtual repair service to help get tech up and running again without the need for a home visit. In addition, Currys will invest nearly £25m in skills, wellbeing and reward


programmes for colleagues so they can help customers better understand the sustainable product choices on offer. Alex Baldock, CEO of Dixons Carphone, said that choosing Currys as the brand


was “a no-brainer” and the bold new look “is a gearshift not a facelift” – something he believes will strengthen the company’s position as market leader, he said. “We’re on a roll, and we’re going for it,” he added. “We’re joining up our stores even


better with our strong online business, we’re investing hard, including in our brand. We’re winning with customers, and we reckon the year ahead will be our most exciting yet.”


international travel – did not happen at the pace we had hoped for. Given these developments, this difficult and disappointing decision was inevitable.”


April sales soar as Britons head to the high street


Retail sales jumped up by 9.2 per cent in April, with overall sales more than 10 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels, and 42 per cent higher when directly compared to April 2020 (when the first national lockdown came in). This is according to the Office for National Statistics, which also reported that online sales dipped last month. Feedback from retailers suggested that the easing of hospitality restrictions


had an impact; the opening of physical stores saw online spending decline to 30 from 34.7 per cent back in March. Elsewhere, non-food stores provided the largest contribution to the monthly


growth in April’s physical store sales, aided (unsurprisingly) by strong increases of 69.4 and 25.3 per cent in clothing stores and other non-food stores respectively. Household goods stores reported continued growth last month leading to a 19.7 per cent increase in sales compared with February 2020. The British Retail Consortium’s Chief Executive, Helen Dickinson, said “the figures are a step in the right direction”.


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