This week in retail – 21 March 2019

This week in retail – 21 March 2019

Gift cards, Asos and protecting consumers – we take a look at what’s been happening in retail this week and what it means for Post Office.

Sainsbury’s and Asda promise £1bn of price cuts

If the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) approve the merger the two supermarkets say they will pass on £1 billion of price cuts to consumers. This would reduce prices by about 10% on everyday items.

Regulators told they must do more to protect consumers

The UK’s major ‘watchdogs’ covering water, telecoms, energy and financial services have been told they need to prove they are supporting customers with the range of “serious difficulties” customers currently face. The most common problems are due to prices rising and people struggling with debt from bills and credit.

Asos sales up 13%

The online retailer continues to grow and has had a successful last few months. Asos reported a rise in its quarterly sales of 13% year on year to £685.5 million.

Gift cards remain popular

A report of 2,000 consumers from GlobalData has revealed that consumer demand for gift cards remains high. 84% have bought a gift card at some point, and of those 87% buy one at least once a year.

Healthy eating trend continues

The following lines are continuing to attract consumers according to Convenience Store:

  • Fresh, natural and locally-sourced products
  • Products that demonstrate sustainability, and economic and social responsibility
  • Free-from ranges that target health and well-being

What does it mean for Post Office?

Post Office is well positioned to support customers who might be vulnerable due to struggling with debt, and we know that Postmasters often go above and beyond to provide the best possible customer service.

In other news there are some great opportunities for Post Offices through Returns and Click and Collect as Asos goes from strength to strength. Mother’s Day offers the chance to make the most of the continued popularity of gift cards, too.