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Comment: Well-regarded Waitrose still needs to adapt

9 March 2012 | Dean Best

Waitrose, the upmarket UK retailer, has proved one of the success stories of the downturn and, despite a fall in profits in 2011, industry watchers remain upbeat about its performance, strategy and prospects. But, Dean Best writes, there are areas in which Waitrose still needs to improve.... read more

Street talk: Suppliers, retailers need to think multi-channel

8 February 2012 | Rod Street

The impact of multi-channel retailing has been evident in many non-food sectors for years and, while it is in early days in the grocery industry, online sales of food are forecast for rapid growth. In his latest Street talk column, SymphonyIRI vice president Rod Street outlines why consumers are turning to online - and why suppliers and retailers must be ready.... read more

Best bits: New year, still uncertainty at Carrefour

24 January 2012 | Dean Best

Tesco executives may feel they have a lot on their plate but their "to do" list is not as long as that sitting in front of their counterparts across the English Channel at Carrefour.... read more

Best bits: Morrisons sets scene for tough 2012

9 January 2012 | Dean Best

Morrisons, the UK's number four grocer, kicked off a week in which the country's largest food retailers will report on their Christmas performance with slowing sales growth. And the company's predictions for 2012 would have made difficult reading.... read more

Best bits: Caution over India's retail ruling

28 November 2011 | Dean Best

Multinational retailers beware. For all the headlines last week, the passage into India's fledgling and potentially lucrative retail sector is likely to be anything but smooth.... read more

Comment: Price remains centre stage as grocers gather to discuss future

17 October 2011 | Chris Brook-Carter

"Breakthroughs" was the title of this year's IGD Convention, the annual gathering of the UK grocery trade, a fitting recognition that in the face of wilting consumer confidence and increasingly paralysed governments, it was up to the trade to drag its own backside out of the current economic gloom.... read more

Best bits: Retailers gather in Berlin to talk shop

26 September 2011 | Dean Best

The uncertain economic outlook, fed by the fears over Greece's public finances and pessimism over the growth prospects of markets like the US and the UK, is a key theme of this week's World Retail Congress in Berlin.... read more

Talking shop: Uncertainty grows about whether Ocado can deliver

21 September 2011 | Dean Best

Ocado's shares have dropped 30% this week after investors were spooked by a trading update and fears of a step-up in competition in the UK. There appears to be a rocky road ahead for the online retailer. Dean Best reports.... read more

Street talk: Price alone does not create real value for shoppers

16 September 2011 | Rod Street

UK retailers have intensified their battle to try to prove to consumers that they offer the best value for money. However, SymphonyIRI's Rod Street says a strategy that focused only on price would be flawed.... read more

Best bits: The worst may be yet to come

12 September 2011 | Dean Best

The UK woke to a blustery Monday morning today (12 September) and to the gloomy news that households in the country are yet to face the full effects of the 2008/09 economic slump.... read more

Best bits: Morrisons to follow Tesco, Carrefour in spotlight

5 September 2011 | Dean Best

Last week's food retail headlines were made by Tesco and Carrefour. This week, Morrisons will be the next grocer to face questions over its strategy.... read more

Street talk: Beware of over-reliance on promotions

23 August 2011 | Rod Street

With UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s this week becoming the latest retailer to embark upon a ‘price matching’ campaign, the importance of getting a good deal for cash strapped consumers cannot be underestimated.... read more

Best bits: Pessimism in promotion-mad UK

1 August 2011 | Dean Best

With growth slowing in the UK, retail sales volumes down and promotions on the increase, even the better performing food manufacturers can betray a note of pessimism, writes Dean Best.... read more

Comment: Concerns grow over Brazilian sugar supply

20 July 2011 | Michelle Russell

Fears of a fall in the sugar supply from Brazil - the world's largest producer - are growing. Poor weather, concerns over future investment in milling capacity and the Brazilian government's support for ethanol production are cited as key reasons for a forecast shortage, which could push up global sugar prices. Michelle Russell reports.... read more

Best bits: Casino and Carrefour do battle over Brazil

4 July 2011 | Dean Best

In a story that has had more twists and turns than the samba, the battle for Brazil's largest retailer CBD has pit two of Europe's largest grocers against each other.... read more

Best bits: Wal-Mart's US woes set to continue

16 May 2011 | Dean Best

The publication of first-quarter numbers rumbles on this week, with eyes turning to the latest financial performance at Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer.... read more

In the spotlight: Sainsbury's faces margin worries

12 May 2011 | Petah Marian

Sainsbury's heralded its annual results yesterday (11 May) with claims that it "outperformed the market". In some quarters of the City, however, concerns remain that the UK's third-largest retailer, facing fierce competition and a weak consumer, is feeling pressure on its margins.... read more

Talking tech: Deepening your customer insight

31 March 2011 | Petah Marian

Richard Brasher, the CEO of Tesco's UK operations, recently said that the country's largest grocer is now looking beyond the data of its Clubcard loyalty scheme to understand more about how its customers "live their lives". As retailers face an increasingly challenged consumer, understanding their behaviour may mean the difference between success and failure. Where is the industry heading? Petah Marian investigates.... read more

Talking shop: Morrisons CEO begins to deliver on big ambitions

11 March 2011 | Petah Marian

Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips has begun to work on delivering his big ambitions for the UK's fourth largest grocer.... read more

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

4 March 2011 | just-food.com

If last week's common theme was rising commodity costs, this week's focus was firmly on mergers, acquisitions and disposals, with retailers including Iceland, Ahold and Delhaize announcing acquisitions or the desire to acquire, while Carrefour finally revealed plans to spin-off its property and Dia portfolios.... read more

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

11 February 2011 | just-food.com

The focus returned to rising commodity costs again this week, as Flowers Foods, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo admitting that input pressure had impacted their results - and their financial forecasts for 2011. Meanwhile, Raisio's CEO told just-food about the company focus on developing its 'ecological snacking' business and the UK government revealed a report on the difficulties around green labelling. Here's the best of what was said this week:... read more

Talking shop: What is the future of convenience?

11 February 2011 | Petah Marian

The major UK grocery retailers only account for some 4,000 of the 48,000 stores operating in the country's fast-growing convenience sector, making it ripe for growth.... read more

Talking tech: Food retailers going mobile

4 February 2011 | Petah Marian

With the number of smartphone users to exceed 1bn globally by 2014, grocery retailers looking to build a cohesive multichannel experience for their customers need to consider how they approach this emerging channel.... read more

Comment: Morrisons and Ocado - a very odd couple

29 November 2010 | Petah Marian

While there was speculation late last week about the possibility of Morrisons snapping up online operator Ocado, I can't imagine two companies that would make more of an odd couple.... read more

Best bits: Bolland set to make his Marc on M&S

8 November 2010 | Dean Best

Evolution, not revolution. It's a favourite phrase of Marks and Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland and tomorrow (9 November) the City and the food industry will hear just what the Dutchman has in store for the UK retailer.... read more

Marketing brief - Clara in Foodland

4 November 2010 | creamglobal.com

Latin American consumers have a negative perception of fats. The concept of essential fats is commonly misunderstood and general nutritional education is substandard. Family Goodness margarine, despite being a 'good' fat, is a victim of this ignorance and is relatively unfamiliar to Latin American families.... read more

Talking shop: Looking to Morrisons' future

10 September 2010 | Petah Marian

Alongside Morrisons' half-year results yesterday, the UK retailer's new CEO Dalton Philips announced a raft of new initiatives the company plans to roll out.... read more

Talking Shop: Tesco makes half-hearted click-and-collect attempt

24 August 2010 | Petah Marian

Tesco announced today (23 August) it is joining a number of French retailers and becoming the first UK retailer to launch a click-and-collect, or "drive-thru" grocery service.... read more

Comment: Private equity most likely to bite at United Biscuits

23 July 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

It will come as no surprise to those following the food industry news to learn that two of the top five most-read stories on just-food this week are about the potential sale of UK snack and biscuit maker United Biscuits.... read more

COMMENT: Will Amazon's grocery offer stack up against Ocado?

7 July 2010 | Petah Marian

Today Amazon.co.uk launched its online grocery store, taking on UK retailers like Tesco, Ocado and Sainsbury's.... read more

Marketing brief: World Cup chocolate wars

6 July 2010 | creamglobal.com

Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you may well be aware of this little old event called The World Cup, which has been trickling like a gentle torrent into our lives over the past month.... read more

Best bits: Tate & Lyle, Pick n Pay bite the bullet

5 July 2010 | Dean Best

In business, some of the most critical decisions involve when to quit a venture, exit a market or sell an asset.... read more

COMMENT: Amazon faces an uphill battle with online groceries in Germany

2 July 2010 | Petah Marian

In a surprise move, Amazon has launched an online shop offering fresh food and beverages in Germany. It's a project that faces huge hurdles in the highly-saturated, very competitive, price-orientated market.... read more

Retail round-up: France's retail dilemma

19 April 2010 | Katy Askew

French retail dominated the headlines last week with the likes of Carrefour, Auchan and Casino updating the market on their recent performance.... read more

On the money: Food deflation weighs on M&S

8 April 2010 | just-food.com

Marks and Spencer this morning (8 April) posted lacklustre growth in its fourth-quarter food sales, as food deflation weighed on the results despite volumes rising. ... read more