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INDUSTRY NEWS

JOHN LEWIS CUTS STAFF BONUSES TO 6% J

ohn Lewis Partnership has said it will cut staff bonuses to 6%, down from 10% last year, in order to retain more of the company’s annual profits to strengthen its balance sheet. Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the Partnership, said the move allows the business to maintain the level of investment in what it expects to be “an increasingly uncertain market.” The 6% bonus payout is the lowest since 1954. The Partnership Bonus was announced as the retailer released its results for the 52 weeks ended 28th January 2017. Profits before exceptionals rose 21.2% to £370.4 million on gross sales of £11.37 billion, up 3.2% on last year. Mayfield said John Lewis continued to outperform the market

against a backdrop of “a changing and competitive retail landscape.” Gross sales were up 4.0% to £4.74 billion, with strong like-for-like sales growth of 2.7%.

Operating profit before exceptional items was slightly down, at £243.2 million, 2.8% lower than last year. Electricals & Home Technology sales were up 6.8%. The retailer

opened Smart Home areas in three stores, leading to a 16.7% increase for Audio and Smart Home. New products such as the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and an exclusive high street launch of the Oculus Rift helped to drive sales. In its outlook for 2017/18, Mayfield said that trading pressures will continue as a result of the wider changes taking place in retail. The two major influences being pricing, where the rate of change in selling prices is likely to be significantly slower than the rate of change in input costs as a result of weakness in the Sterling exchange rate, and the continued shift from shops to online. “These factors are significant for the outlook where we expect both inflationary cost pressures and competition to intensify in the market as a whole,” he added.

CIH HOSTS DIGITAL MARKETING WORKSHOP FOR EURONICS AGENTS

AMAZON TO ADD 5,000 TO UK FULL-TIME WORKFORCE IN 2017

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mazon has announced plans to open three new warehouse fulfilment centres – in Daventry, Doncaster and Tilbury – and to increase staff at its London head office and customer service centre in Edinburgh this year.

uying group CIH has held the first part of an Independent Digital Education Programme which has been established to support Euronics agents in developing their businesses. Part one of the initiative – an AdWords workshop exclusively for agents in Central London – was sponsored by Euronics supplier Electrolux and focused on topics including an introduction to search engine marketing, building an effective AdWords campaign and support for future AdWords marketing. Heidi Andrews, Digital Marketing Coordinator at CIH said:

“The marketing landscape is changing rapidly. We are all short of time to invest in our businesses and get our heads around the new tools available, so this is the first of many programmes from which we hope that all our agents will benefit. ”We received excellent and very positive feedback from all those who attended the workshop and really hope it makes a difference to their business in this fastchanging digital world.” CIH proposes to offer a number of independent education programmes throughout the year to support agents in developing their businesses.

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The 5,000 new full-time jobs cover a range of staff including warehouse operatives and software developers, and will bring Amazon’s total UK workforce to more than 24,000. The additional warehousing is, says the company, to keep pace

with existing growth, to help speed up deliveries and to handle the rapid growth in third-party retailers who sell via the Amazon website and use Amazon delivery services. The UK is Amazon’s secondbiggest market outside the US, after Germany. Head of Amazon’s UK business Doug Gurr said: “We are creating thousands of new UK jobs including hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities as we continue to innovate for our customers and provide them with even faster delivery, more selection and better value.”

PJH OPENS “PARTNERS PORTAL” TO MOBILE USERS

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JH, which lays claim to being the UK’s largest supplier of bathrooms, kitchens and appliances, with more than 3,000 customers including independent retailers, builders’ merchants, housebuilders, developers and specifiers, has updated its PJH Partners™

e-commerce site by optimising the online ordering platform for mobile use. Sally Hough, PJH’s Multi-Channel Marketing Manager, said: “With an increasing number of our customers accessing the PJH Partners Portal™ using smart phones and tablets,

we have responded by bringing this fresh and dynamic functionality. Mobile optimisation also brings a number of additional benefits such as allowing stock, price and product details to be checked whilst out on a job or when a retailer is out conducting a home design visit.” MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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Get Connected Magazine - March 2017  
Get Connected Magazine - March 2017  

04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word In and around the industry 13 Guest Column Retailers still need to bridge the gap between online and in-sto...