Habitat: Thirty of Habitat's UK stores were put into administration, leaving just three London-based shops that were bought by Home Retail Group. The creation of Terence Conran, who wanted a vehicle for his designs, Habitat said poor trading conditions were to blame, but acknowledged their products' expense and poorly located stores contributed to their problems.
Oddbins: The quirky wine merchant that aimed to personalise wine shopping failed to beat off mass-market competition and went into administration in April after amassing debts of £20m. Around 400 jobs in total were put at risk, but 37 stores out of 128 stores were bought by the EFB Group and relaunched in October.
TJ Hughes: The Liverpool-based homes discount store, that has been trading for over 100 years, was put into administration in June after a difficult period. Two months later, the company announced that 22 stores would be closed, resulting in the loss of 1,062 jobs - over a quarter of the total workforce.
Thomas Cook: For 170 years, Thomas Cook has been taking British travellers on holiday, easing journeys from the UK to countries the world over. But in November, the travel operator said that the Arab Spring and the crisis in the eurozone all contributed to falling sales, and the company revealed a loss of £400m, as well as announcing the closure of 200 stores.
Thorntons: The much-loved chocolate retailer, which has been trading for almost a century, said in June that it plans to close up at least 120 stores over the next three years, with the possibility of a further 60 closures. The company said it would increase selling via supermarkets and try to be less dependent on seasonal events, such as Easter and Christmas.
Jane Norman: Founded in the 1950s, the upmarket clothing retailer went into administration in June citing "severe cash flow difficulties". However, Edinburgh Woollen Mill bought 33 of its 94 stores in a deal that will allow the company to buy more stores in the future if trading picks up.
Borders: The UK branch of the company went bust back in 2009, and after putting up a tough fight, the US book and music retailer Borders Group finally announced defeat in July. The remaining 400 shops were liquidated in September, with the company blaming the rise of e-books and online shopping for the decline in sales.
Barratts: A familiar name on the high street, the shoe chain Barratts was placed in administration in December, putting 3,840 jobs at risk. The shoe retailer ran into trouble in 2009 when it reduced its number of shops from 380 to 220. Its administrators, Deloitte, said that "difficult economic conditions" were to blame.
HMV: 'His Master’s Voice' started trading in 1921 after the opening ceremony was attended by composer Sir Edward Elgar, confirming the brand's place in the British high street. The struggling music retailer issued a profit warning in the first quarter, then sold its bookseller chain Waterstone’s, and finally this week announced it may sell its live music division to generate sales.
Just over half of Domino’s Pizza takeaway orders are now made online, the company said today.
In the 13 weeks to March 25, ecommerce sales accounted for 50.6% of delivered sales at Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland, up from 39.3% at the same time last year.
Online sales rose by 44.5% to £59.3m, from £41.3m last time of which 16.4% came through the company’s mobile platform. More than £1m in sales was taken through its mobile platforms in a single week during the period.
Social media followings also rose during the period. Its UK Facebook page has more than 520,000 fans, with another 13,700 in Ireland. Domino’s also has more than 22,000 Twitter followers across its UK and Ireland sites.
The update came as Domino’s reported a 9% total rise in sales, to £144.2m in the 13 weeks in its interim management statement. Sales were up from £132.3m at the same time last year. Both new store openings and like-for-like growth in sales, up by 3.5% during the period, drove the rise.
Lance Batchelor, chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased with the group’s performance in the first quarter and, although they are just part of the growth story, it is good to see our like-for-like sales continue to increase. It is especially pleasing to see sales in the Republic of Ireland return to positive territory.
“We may have a softer comparative for the second quarter of the year – but we will not be taking our foot off the accelerator. We have a number of marketing initiatives and other programmes aimed at ensuring our franchisees can profitably grow their businesses in the coming months. This, combined with a full pipeline of potential new sites, expansion in Germany, a strong management team in place and our ever improving operational gearing, makes me confident and optimistic about the months and years ahead.”
Overall, the top 25 retailers in the UK by total fan count for May 2011 were:
2. New look
3. River Island
7. Marks and Spencer
8. Chain Reaction Cycles
9. JD Sports
14. Dorothy Perkins
17. TK Maxx
19. Carphone Warehouse
22. Miss Selfridge
Topshop is the unchallenged retail queen of social network Facebook, according to a new index which finds that the brand has almost 50% more fans as its nearest rival. Topshop has 1.4m fans, according to the index, while second-placed New Look has 0.978m
Play.com made sales worth £2m through its Facebook page in 2011, when fans engaged with it on the social media site they spent an average 24% more than customers who did not.
Play.com, owned by Rakuten, found that in the last 12 months it had grown its Facebook following from 75,000 or more than 350,000, growth of more than 370%. That, it calculated, has a potential reach of more than 38m friends of fans.
It also found that the volume of sales coming through Facebook rose by 80% in 2011, compared to the previous year, to £2m of gross merchandise sales.
f-commerce will bring them extra business worth £3.1bn over the next three years
Customers will spend 1.4% less in town centres this year because they are buying online and in out-of-town shopping areas instead
Verdict estimates that town centre spending will fall by 1.4% to £117,643m in 2012
Online retail sales have grown by 113% over the last five years
More than 80% of mums said they shop online for their children and themselves at least once or twice a month
and almost 90% said they like to “feel like they are getting a bargain” when they buy.
Some 71% of British people now shop online
only 14.9% of British businesses sell over the internet
81% of the UK population use the internet at least once a week
UK internet users make almost a third of all their purchases online, 32% of their total shopping budget online
The study also found that 96% of European internet users now research their purchases online, while 87% shop online and 19% do all their shopping online.
Europeans, the study found, spend 14.8 hours online each week. Those using a computer spend the most time online, at 13.3 hours, compared to 9.4 hours for those using a mobile phone, 9.3 hours for tablet-users and 6.8 hours for games console users.More than half (51%) of the consumers quizzed said the internet helped them to choose better products and services, with 47% inclined to find out more about products they see advertised online and 46% saying they often visit the website of their favourite brand
A related study this week put a figure of £4bn on the UK’s paid search market. The Econsultancy Paid Search Agencies Buyer’s Guide found the market would rise in value by 14% in 2012 and would reach £4.19bn by the end of this year
shopping centres had lost 38.4% of their capital value since 2007
Around 71% of these centres are more than 20 years old
The UK retail sector has seen capital values fall by 31% since June 2007 and rental values fall by 8.3%
Just over £1 in every £10 spent in a UK retail transaction in February was spent online
10.7% of all UK retail sales were made over the internet – or £1.07 in every £10
The bulletin put the weekly average spent online at £573.6m
Up to four in 10 high street stores will close over the next five years as online shopping becomes more important
40% of shops could close as retailers look to rebalance their portfolios in the light of strong and growing sales through ecommerce and mobile phones
The report comes in the week that the Boston Consulting Group forecast that 23% of UK retail sales would take place online by 2016
Shoppers in the UK spent a total of £6.8bn online during December, 25% more than December 2009
Some 86% of over-55s shop regularly spend online, while 36% say they do most of their shopping on the internet,
53.4% said online goods were better value
British shoppers spend more than 2.4 hours a week shopping online
But though they spend less time shopping, it seems men spend more than women, parting with £273.15 in total (£127.93 online and £145.22 in store) compared to just £212.78 (£105.42 online and £107.36 in store) for women each month.
16% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they preferred the anonymity of buying online.
British online shoppers spent £68bn in 2011, £77bn to be spent online during the course of the year (2012) up by 13%
45 million Britons use a mobile phone and 49% of mobile buyers surveyed by Forrester Consulting use their mobile phones to purchase products at least once every three months
You won’t need your wallet to go shopping on Britain’s high streets in 2016 according to a new report by PayPal, which says in its report ‘Money: The Digital Tipping Point’ that 2016 will be the year when UK shoppers will be able to use their mobile phones to pay for things on the high street with digital money rather than cash, cheques or cards
80% of the 1,360 people they quizzed said the best prices were online
More than a third said they found it easier to spend online, and 15% said they had laid out more than £1,000 on a single purchase. Some 91% of people said they preferred shopping online to the high street, with 40% citing their hatred of queues and 41% opting for greater choice online.
By 2014 less than 40% of retail spending will be on the high street, according to the study, which also found that over the past decade out of town retail floorspace has increased by almost a third while in towns it has shrunk by 14%.
It has been a tough year in the world of retail. The latest government-commissioned report found that a third of high streets are failing,
Over the past 12 years, the Internet has changed the way we buy and sell goods and services. Do you remember buying airline tickets before the Internet? Can you imagine buying a new computer or car without doing hours of Web research? And Christmas shopping? You actually had to step foot in the mall…ugh.
By definition, e-commerce means the buying or selling of goods and services over the Internet. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 66 percent of the adults online have purchased something over the Internet, whether it's books, shoes or a Caribbean cruise.
But if you extend e-commerce's definition to include researching products and services online without buying anything, or bidding on an online auction but not winning, then the number of adults who participate in e-commerce jumps to 93 percent [source: Pew Internet & American Life Project]. That's just about all of us.
Even with a slumping global economy, online retail sales continue to rise. According to recent forecasts by Forrester Research, online retail sales will increase 17 percent in 2008 to reach an annual total of $204 billion, with the biggest sellers being clothing, computers and cars [source: InformationWeek].
E-commerce's history is short but fascinating. Over the course of a few decades, networking and computing technology have improved at exponential rates. Powerful personal computers linked to global information networks have powered a whole new world of intellectual, social and financial interactions. And this is only the beginning. How E-commerce Started As far back as the 1960s, businesses were using primitive computer networks to conduct electronic transactions [source:123EDI]. Using something called Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a company's computer system could share business documents -- invoices, order forms, shipping confirmation -- with another company's computer. In the beginning, each company had its own standards for formatting these documents. But in 1979, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) came up with something called ASC X12, a universal standard for sharing business documents over electronic networks.
Prior to that, in the late 1960s, the military developed ARPAnet to ensure that crucial communications were circulated in the event of a nuclear attack. The original ARPAnet connected four large U.S. research universities and relied on huge, unwieldy computers. In 1971, researchers developed the Terminal Interface Processor (TIP) for dialing into the ARPAnet from an individual computer terminal [source: ARPAnet]. But the greatest networking evolution came in 1982, when ARPAnet switched over to Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), the same packet-switched technology that powers the modern Internet.
By the early 1980s, individual computer users -- still mostly at major research universities -- were sending e-mails, participating in listservs and newsgroups, and sharing documents over networks like BITNET and USENET.
CompuServe was one of the first popular networking services for home PC users, providing tools like e-mail, message boards and chat rooms. In the mid-1980s, Compuserve added a service called the Electronic Mall, where users could purchase items directly from 110 online merchants [source:SmartComputing]. While the Electronic Mall wasn't a huge success, it was one of the first examples of e-commerce as we know it today.
In 1990, a researcher named Tim Berners-Lee at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, from its French name) proposed a hypertext-based web of information that a user could navigate using a simple interface called a browser. He called it the "WorldWideWeb" [source: NetValley]. And in 1991, the National Science Foundation lifted a ban on commercial businesses operating over the Internet, paving the way for Web-based e-commerce.
In 1993, Marc Andreesen at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) introduced the first widely distributed Web browser called Mosaic. Netscape 1.0's release in 1994 included an important security protocol called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) that encrypted messages on both the sending and receiving side of an online transaction. SSL ensured that personal information like names, addresses and credit card numbers could be encrypted as they passed over the Internet.
In 1994 and 1995, the first third-party services for processing online credit card sales began to appear [source: Keith Lamond]. First Virtual and CyberCash were two of the most popular. Also in 1995, a company called Verisign began developing digital IDs, or certificates, that verified the identity of online businesses. Soon, Verisign switched its focus to certifying that a Web site's e-commerce servers were properly encrypted and secure.
The Founding Fathers of E-commerce In July 1995, Jeff Bezos boxed up the first book ever sold on Amazon.com from his Seattle garage [source: Amazon.com]. Within its first 30 days of business, the self-proclaimed "Earth's largest bookstore" sold books to online shoppers in all 50 U.S. states and 45 countries [source: Amazon.com].
With Amazon, Bezos tapped into a powerful new e-commerce market. Books, he had realized, were cheap to ship and easy to order directly from publishers. Publishers had already created vast digital archives of their titles on CD-ROM, something that could be uploaded to a Web site [source: Time].
Amazon.com set the standard for a customer-oriented e-commerce Web site. Users could search available titles by keyword, author or subject. They could browse books by category and even get personalized recommendations. They could also purchase books quickly and securely with the patented "one-click" checkout system.
But the most popular Amazon.com feature has always been the reader review option [source: E-commerce Land]. On Amazon, any registered member can write and publish a book review. And other users can rank each review, creating a hierarchy of top Amazon reviewers. Amazon's online community feel -- in addition to the steep discounts on many books -- has contributed to the site's popularity.
Amazon went public in 1997, and as the dot-com boom reached its pinnacle in 1999, Bezos was named Time's "Person of the Year." Amazon has expanded its offerings beyond books. It currently offers music, movies, electronics, toys, home and garden equipment, clothing, jewelry, video games and digital downloads. Amazon runs seven different international Web sites, has distribution and customer service centers in seven countries and employs more than 17,000 people worldwide. Yet despite its growth, Amazon hasn't always been a financial powerhouse: It didn't post its first quarterly profit until 2001 and its first annual profit until 2004 [source: Seattlepi.com]. But in the first quarter of 2008, Amazon announced a profit increase of 33 percent over last year, an impressive achievement in tough economic times [source:Associated Press].
Back in 1995, when Bezos was shipping books from his garage, Pierre Omidyar, a software programmer, started coding a simple Web site he called AuctionWeb. Omidyar was curious if people would use the Internet to bid on each other's used items. Looking around for something to sell, Omidyar picked up a broken laser pointer. Within a day, it had sold for $14.83 [source: eBay]. Omidyar e-mailed the buyer to make sure the guy knew it was broken. The buyer's response? "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers" [source: eBay]. Welcome to eBay.
eBay leveled the e-commerce playing field. You didn't have to be a Web entrepreneur or an existing business to sell things online. All you had to do was raid your attic, post a listing, and there was a good chance that someone, somewhere, would pay money for your old junk. In 1996, with two full-time employees, eBay sold $7.2 million worth of goods. By 1997, with the help of a Beanie Babies frenzy, eBay sold $95 million in goods. In 2007, eBay sold $52.5 billion in auctions, had more than 220 million registered users and 13,000 employees [source: eBay].
Both eBay and Amazon paved the way for today's e-commerce merchant. Consumers can buy almost anything online, including shoes, home goods and even a real shark's tooth. Just type "unusual items for sale" in a search engine, and see what comes up.
Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer working for Bolt Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Massachusetts, developed a system for sending messages between computers that used the @ symbol to identify addresses. He now can't remember the first message he sent, or the exact date he sent it.
Tomlinson's system gained popularity by linking up users on Arpanet, the US department of defence system that became the basis for the internet.
Larry Roberts - also at work on Arpanet - writes the first email management program that develops the ability to list, select, forward, and respond to messages.
Queen Elizabeth II sends an email message on Arpanet, becoming the first head of state to do so. 1988
Steve Dorner invents Eudora, an application that gave a popular face to email by providing a graphical user interface for email management.
The first release of Lotus Notes email software. 35,000 copies are sold in the first year.
Microsoft releases Internet Mail and News 1.0, a feature of its third release of Internet Explorer. This is later renamed Outlook.
A few companies - including the fledgling Hotmail - begin to offer free, use-anywhere, internet email.
About 10 million users world wide have free web mail accounts.
Microsoft buys Hotmail for $400m (£283m).
Email celebrates its 30th anniversary with virtually every business in the developed world signed on.