February, good month/bad month

February, good month/bad month

RTIH takes a look at the retail technology space during February and rounds up the winners and losers

Good month for…

Tesco and Amazon provide the best in-store and online experience respectively, according to research by RetailEXPO involving 2,000 UK shoppers.

Doug Putman, who runs the Canadian retailer Sunrise Records, has bought HMV, beating out Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley.

Credit scoring startup Aire, which counts online retailer N Brown as a client. has raised $11 million in Series B funding from Crane Venture Partners, Experian Ventures and Orange Digital Ventures. 

Barclays has lead an investment of £10 million into Bink, a British startup that links loyalty points to payments cards.

Softbank’s Vision Fund has invested $940 million into autonomous delivery robot startup Nuro, at a valuation of around $2.7 billion.

Chinese people visiting the US can now use Alipay at Walgreens. The Ant Financial operated mobile payments service is currently available at 3,000 locations in such cities as New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas, rising to 7,000 by April. 

Walmart's all-important holiday sales didn’t disappoint, with its e-commerce business emerging as a star performer. Total Q4 revenue was $138.8 billion, with a 1.9% like-for-like increase of $2.5 billion, and profit stood at $3.69 billion. Whilst Walmart US eCommerce sales grew 43%.

British FinTech venture, DivideBuy, which provides an interest free credit option for retailers, has closed a funding round of £60 million-plus, headed up by Souter Investments.

Online, wholesale, flower-delivery service, FlowerBx, has closed a £4.2 million fundraising round, paving the way for its US launch, scheduled for May.

Green Book landed three Oscars at the Academy Awards on Sunday: best picture, best original screenplay and best actor in a supporting role. Take a bow Alibaba Pictures, an offshoot of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group which produced Green Book along with Participant Media and Dreamworks Pictures

Bad month for…

The UK online retail space recorded its worst January sales growth (+7% YoY) in three years last month, according to the IMRG/Capgemini eRetail Sales Index. There was little relief on the back of a disappointing December, with retailers posting just over half the growth figure achieved during January last year (+13.9%).  

FinTech firm, Revolut, has admitted that it made up statistics for a recent controversial ad campaign. The Financial Conduct Authority, meanwhile, has passed on several complaints about the ads to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Marks and Spencer’s website crashed on Saturday, 16th February with shoppers being confronted with the message: ‘Please bear with us. We’re working hard to be back online as soon as possible’.

GMB, the trade union that represents Asda workers, came out in opposition to the proposed Asda/Sainsbury’s merger as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) released its damning provisional findings.

The jury’s out on…

Marks & Spencer and Ocado have confirmed a much touted deal which will give the former a food delivery service for the first time.

US private equity firm KKR is prepping a bid for Asda as the grocery giant’s £14 billion merger with Sainsbury’s looks increasingly unlikely to happen.

Ocado has reported a sales rise of 12% to £1.48 billion alongside a pre-tax loss of £44.4 million for the year ending 2nd December 2018, compared with £9.8 million in the previous 12 months.

The UK Click & Collect market is set to rise 45.8% over the next five years, hitting £9.8 billion by 2023, according to GlobalData. Growth, however, will slow as the space matures and services offered by retailers are optimised. And customer satisfaction is lagging behind home delivery. 

Amazon has announced the launch of Movian and Alkove, its first own brands of furniture available in the UK.

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Ted Baker announces monthly product drops

Ted Baker announces monthly product drops

The retail technology week in numbers

The retail technology week in numbers