In this week's retail news...
ASDA’s digital investment has led to a 16% increase in online sales during the first quarter of this year
ASDA has also reported a 1.3% increase in like-for-like sales in the first quarter to April 14.
Asda launched its Price Lock initiative in March, pledging to keep the price of staples low after a £100m investment. The scheme complements its Price Guarantee commitment to be 10% cheaper than Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrisons.
Asda recently disclosed plans to invest £700m in digital initiatives and building new stores in 2013.
Boots prepares for online growth Starting in June, Boots will begin launching an online overseas expansion as part of plans to make it a global brand, following international trading profit falling 17.5% to £52m in the year to March 31.
The health and beauty brand will offer more than 23,000 products on yet-to-launch site International.Boots.com in Europe. This represents the first comprehensive online overseas drive by the retailer.
Sainsbury’s launches competitor to Tesco’s Blinkbox Sainsbury’s has launched a new video on demand service. Offering access to over 300 film titles, the service will allow people to rent or buy movies and watch them immediately via any computer or Apple device.
Available at sainsburysentertainment.co.uk, rental prices begin at £1.99 per film for 30 days while purchasing new releases will cost £12.99, the retailer said.
The Sainsbury’s service will compete with Tesco’s Blinkbox, although Tesco Clubcard holders will still have the advantage of the free Clubcard TV, free to users.
UK consumers most concerned about rising utility bills Nearly a third of people surveyed by Nielsen say that utility bill hikes are their greatest or second greatest financial worry.
According to Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, rising food prices were also named as a top concern, this time by 22 per cent of consumers, up 4% on 2011.
The research reflects our own analysis of mums’ concerns as the financial downturn continues
Tesco developing alternative to NFC Tesco has decided to overlook NFC and start working on its own version of a mobile phone wallet that the retailer is likely to extend to marketing and loyalty schemes.
Tesco is the latest retail giant to look past NFC. Last year, Walmart head of payments Mike Cook said: “Investors don’t believe - nor does Walmart believe - that NFC will become a payment technology in a retail environment quickly enough.”
In other news, Morrisons will be launching an online grocery proposition, following its deal with Ocado, the last of the major supermarkets to do so.