January, good month/bad month

January, good month/bad month

Retail Technology Innovation Hub takes a look at the retail technology space during January and rounds up the winners and losers

Good month for…

RTIH saluted Asos for seeing the funny side of an online roasting.

Co-op is embarking on a £200 million investment programme which will see it open 100 new food stores during 2019 and provide major makeovers for a further 200.

In 2017, blockchain technology was a revolution that was supposed to disrupt the global financial system. In 2018, it was a disappointment. This year, it will start to become mundane, and Walmart will be a key player, according to the MIT Technology Review.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s London and Stratford City centres attracted 15.6 million shoppers over the festive period, an uplift of 11% year-on-year.

The founder of Japanese online clothing retailer Zozo has ousted a chicken nugget obsessed US teenager to lay claim to the most retweeted tweet of all time.

Eagle Eye has secured a five-year contract with Waitrose. The supermarket chain will be tapping into the AIR platform to improve its digital marketing proposition. The deal extends Eagle Eye’s relationship with John Lewis, first announced in May 2017.

Spanish bank BBVA’s investment arm, Propel Venture Partners, has led a $12 million Series A funding round involving PayTech venture Grabango

Boohoo reported that like-for-like revenues rose 44% to £328.2 million in the four months to 31st December.  In the UK, they jumped 33% to £180 million, whilst US sales were up 78% to £70.4 million.

PrettyLittleThing reports an increase in online engagement, customers’ time to next purchase (+57%) and an improved marketing engagement rate (+44%) after implementing Narvar technology.

American rapper Snoop Dogg, aka Calvin Broadus, has become a minority shareholder in PayTech firm Klarna.

Online sex toy retailer Lovehoney reports that 2017/18 financial year profits were up 22% to £11 million, whilst sales increased 22% to £93 million.

Biometric payment cards venture, Zwipe, has raised $14 million in an offering of new shares ahead of a planned debut on the Merkur Market Oslo Bors.

London-based UX analytics platform ContentSquare has closed a £45 million Series C funding round led by French private equity firm Eurazeo. This builds on the £47.7 million raised through two prior rounds.

Bad month for…

Marks and Spencer is the quintessential British High Street store, perhaps even one of the most important bellwethers of the UK economy, which makes its struggle to recover from the Great Recession so concerning, argues Manu Tyagi, Associate Partner, Retail and Consumer Goods at Infosys Consulting. 

Missguided saw losses deepen after what it said was an "extremely challenging" year.

UK online retail sales growth hit an all-time low of just +3.6% year-on-year in December, according to the Capgemini IMRG eRetail Sales Index.

Microsoft has pulled the plug on its payments app for Windows phones.

B&Q said it was taking action after being told that it exposed details of suspected store thieves to the net without password protection.

Despite high levels of support from retailers, only 14% of Americans currently use OEM-Pay (payment services provided by smartphone vendors) for in-store purchases, according to a Juniper Research survey of 1,000 people.

The jury’s out on…

Next reported that online sales rose 15.2% between 28th October and 29th December from a year earlier, while store sales fell 9.2%. The retailer expects an annual profit of £723 million, slightly lower than its previous forecast of £727 million.

Marks and Spencer is in talks to buy distribution centres, delivery vans and lorries from Ocado as it ramps up its food delivery service plans, the Mail on Sunday reports.

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