Auto and cycling accessories retailer Halfords will create up to 1,000 jobs in the year ahead as it invests in its “key areas of growth”, namely cycling, fitting services and Autocentres. This strategy, “will accelerate the evolution of Halfords from a traditional retailer to a contemporary solutions provider”, said chief executive David Wild in a statement. Halfords’ group revenue was broadly flat in the year to 30th March 2012, £863.1 million compared with £869.7 million last year.
Aurora Fashions, which owns Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, is enabling UK customers to use their smartphones to pay for goods bought in-store using a Paypal app. The service, which launches today in 230 stores, works by users opening the Paypal app, selecting “Pay inStore” and entering a unique barcode and number. The shop assistant then scans the barcode or enter the number into the till.
US retailer Macy’s is investing $15 million into Chinese online private-sales club VIPStore. The deal will see Macy’s sell an assortment of items directly to Chinese consumers through a dedicated section in Omei.com, the newly established luxury-goods ecommerce website operated by VIPStore.
Screwfix grew total sales by 10.2 percent to £137 million in the first quarter of the new financial year thanks to new ranges, the continued rollout of new outlets and the successful introduction of a mobile “click, pay & collect” offer. Eight new outlets were opened during the quarter, taking the total to 223. Retail profit was up 31.7 percent to £11 million, reflecting the strong sales growth, more direct sourcing, distribution efficiencies and continued tight cost control. At sister company B&Q, total sales declined by 8.9 percent to £968 million, with the adverse weather affecting sales of outdoor seasonal products and building products. Sales of indoor decorative products were up as customers switched some of their home improvement activities indoors. Retail profit declined by 13.8 percent to £65 million with margin and cost initiatives unable to fully offset the impact of the sharp year on year fall in seasonal sales.
Discount-goods chain Poundworld is branching out from bricks-and-mortar retail with the launch of a wholesale website discount-wholesale.co.uk. Officially launching this week, the discount wholesale website is aimed at market traders, eBay sellers, independent and small retailers. A minimum order of £500 is required by customers. Discount-wholseale.co.uk also has a showroom in Normanton, Wakefield.
The Guardian reports that Arcadia, which operates Miss Selfridge, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, has sent retrospective payments worth hundreds of pounds to dozens of its former unpaid interns.
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