Sales at Flying Brands continue to free-fall following the divestment of its retail brands. The company, which completed the sale of its Garden Bird Supplies, Garden Centre Online and Listen2 business earlier this month, reports that orders for the three month period to 31st March were down 35 percent from £10.8 million last year to £7 million, comprising £3.2 million for the sold businesses. Poor weather, the uncertain economic climate and the abolition of low-value consignment relief for Channel Islands businesses are to blame, said a company statement.
Beauty products etailer Feelunique.com is planning a website revamp to extend its worldwide offering over the coming months. The retailer will roll out on-site search and navigation and merchandising tools that will allow shoppers around the world to find items faster and benefit from a more enjoyable user experience. Feelunique intends to have all the developments, delivered by ecommerce technology company Fredhopper, in place by September. In the year ending March 2012 Feelunique.com’s turnover increased 63 percent to £26.7m.
The Direct Selling Association (DSA) has released new figures showing a significant rise in the number of people turning to direct selling as a way to earn additional income. There are now 395,000 direct sellers in the UK, 20,000 more than the 2009 figures. The rise in direct sellers mirrors the recent unemployment figures, which saw self-employment rise by 89,000 to a record high of 4.16 million. In addition to an increase in sellers, DSA members—companies such as Avon, Kleeneze and The Pampered Chef—have reported a 120 percent increase in revenues generated via party sales between 2009 and 2011. Home selling parties now account for 27.8 percent of the DSA’s member companies’ £1.4 billion revenue, and are worth £390 million to the UK economy annually. By comparison in 2009, home selling parties accounted for 14 percent of the £1.2 billion industry at the time.
To help UK retailers better meet the delivery needs of the growing number of online shoppers from Australia, Royal Mail has extended its international tracked service, Airsure to the area, flying into four major gateways to ensure fast delivery across the country. The news follows statistics released by HM Revenue and Customs that show the UK’s non-EU exports rose by 16 percent (£1.9 billion) between March 2011 and March 2012. The export levels are the highest since the figures were first published in 1993, demonstrating that businesses are expanding their global reach.
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