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Who was essential in retail this week?

John Lewis announced this week that it faces a £40 million bill in repayments to staff, who haven't received the correct pay over the last few years. A glitch, which has now been updated, was found in the retailer's pay systems and it became clear that staff who are supposed to receive certain additions to pay, such as premiums for working on Sunday or bank holidays, were not correctly paid under the Working Time Regulations legislation.

Around 69,000 current employees will receive an additional one-off payment this month, reflecting the amounts due to them back-dated nine years. More than half of the recipients will receive under £120, but values vary based on individual shift patterns.

Tracey Killen, director of personnel at John Lewis, said: "As soon as we established that we were not implementing the Working Time Regulations correctly, we worked quickly to make the repayments to our partners in a way that is both fair and responsible."

Meanwhile, in the US, fashion retailer Gap announced that a new recruit will be joining its board later this year.

Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and chief strategy officer of Cisco Systems, will become the company's 11th board member and third female representative when she joins Gap at the end of September.

Warrior said: "I'm thrilled to be joining Gap, a company that understands the importance of integrating technology and retail in ways that improve the lives of its customers. It is an exciting time to join the board, especially given the momentum in the business, and I am looking forward to contributing to the long-term success and shareholder value of the company."

In Europe, UK fashion business SuperGroup announced a five-year exclusive franchise agreement with Turkish retailer Demsa Group, which will see eight Superdry concept stores opened in Turkey over the coming years.

Julian Dunkerton, CEO of SuperGroup, said: "Turkey is a territory that has held our interest for some time and our partnership with Demsa Group offers the perfect opportunity to enter this diverse and growing market. Demsa Group has an excellent understanding of our brand ethos and we look forward to growing the partnership."

Back on British soil and property owner Standard Life Investments has announced a deal with BT to provide free Wi-Fi at 13 of its shopping centres and retail parks across the UK, including Castlepoint in Bournemouth and Centre Court in Wimbledon. Digital technology continues to play a key role in the bricks and mortar retail space, and the deal will provide a crucial service to shoppers at Standard Life Investments' centres nationwide.

Dan Byfield, head of marketing for BT Wi-Fi, commented: "We know how important it is to be able to get online while shopping. In fact, our research shows that 54% of people actively search for a Wi-Fi hotspot when shopping."

And finally, in one of the more positive results announcements of the last seven days, Urban Outfitters revealed record second quarter net income of $76 million for the three months to 31 July and net income of $123 million (£80 million) for the six months to the end of July.  

Richard Hayne, CEO of the company, said: "[The good results] were driven by a favourable customer response to our product offerings, improved merchandise margins, the opening of additional stores, and better creative and marketing initiatives in our direct-to-consumer channel."

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