Retail Tech Thursday is our weekly check-in here at Spreckley, where we share the most interesting retail and retail technology news, innovations, and trends.
Amongst this week’s hot topics, we look at which UK retailer has announced it will launch an exclusive clothing range with the bakery chain Greggs, as well as the latest budget-range promises from Asda, following pressure from anti-poverty campaigner (and food-waste heroine) Jack Monroe.
A brand partnership made in the oven
Retailer Primark has announced it will launch an exclusive clothing range with the bakery chain Greggs, sparking a mixed response on social media according to The Guardian.
The limited-edition collection, which has 11 pieces, will be stocked in 60 Primark stores by the end of the month. Greggs will also open a 130-seat café within Primark’s flagship store in Birmingham. In the meantime, photos of a hoodie featuring the Greggs logo and the message “It’s a pastry thing” have been released online.
The two retailers teased the tie-up last week when mannequins at several Primark stores were seen adorned with Greggs’ sausage rolls and steak bakes. It has attracted a mixed response on social media, with some people asking if it was a parody and one tweeting: “PR Stunt of the Day.”
You know what they say, you got to give the people what they want….
Asda makes budget ranges promise after anti-poverty campaigner complaints
Asda will ensure its budget Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges will be available at all of its 581 stores and online after complaints from anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe according to Retail Gazette.
In response to a social media campaign by food writer, journalist, and campaigner Jack Monroe, also known as the Bootstrap Cook, the grocer promised to stock its budget range across all of its stores and online.
Jack highlighted that several items from the Smart Price range were no longer available online, forcing shoppers to instead purchase higher value items. Asda says that it has taken Jack’s comments ‘on board’, offering its full budget range in all shops as well as online.
Meg Farren, Asda’s chief customer officer, said: “We want to help our customers’ budgets stretch further and have taken on board the comments about the availability of our Smart Price range made by Jack Monroe.
“We are taking steps to put our full Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in-store and online to make these products as accessible as possible.”
Ocado earnings slip in year of tech investment
Ocado Group, the UK online supermarket and technology firm, has today reported a 12.1% fall in annual core earnings, with investment in the business more than offsetting an increase in revenue according to Retail Week.
Its UK delivery business – a joint venture with Marks & Spencer – saw sales grow by 4.6% to £2.29bn and boss Tim Steiner said the past year showed “online grocery is here to stay.”
But it was a sharp slowdown on the 35% increase seen the previous year as the pandemic boosted shopping from home.
Growth is expected to recover to the “mid-teens” in the current financial year, Ocado said.
Mr Steiner played down the impact of a cost of living crunch saying the UK prices had not been rising “anything near as much as I’ve been reading about in the newspapers” and that it was not expecting to see a reduction in demand.
Commenting on the results, Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “Years into the future, Ocado could be sitting pretty, lapping up a healthy stream of cash from partners using its technology.”