Retail round-up: what the Sunday papers said on October 26, 2008
The imminent opening of Westfield London, Europe's largest in-city shopping centre, generated coverage and opinion across almost all the broadsheets.
The Sunday Times confined its reporting to a picture of workmen cleaning the roof of the shopping centre, but The Observer wondered whether Westfield and Cabot Circus, which opened in Bristol last month, would prove a hit with cash-strapped shoppers. The Sunday Telegraph, however, predicted that in spite of "the many headwinds blowing against it, Westfield is likely to prove a success".
The Financial Times reported that John Lewis has promised to match any discounting on the high street in the run-up to Christmas. The retailer's managing director said that price-cutting moves by rivals would be matched even if it cut into margins.
The FT also noted that department store retailer Harvey Nichols is being hit hard by the global financial crisis, with falling sales and plans for expansion into Eastern Europe being delayed.
The Mail on Sunday highlighted disappointing results from jewellery retailer Swarovski. The retailer blamed a programme of store openings for a 42 per cent drop in profits to £725,000 in its latest financial year.
The paper also reported that Shop Direct, owner of the Littlewoods catalogue brand, is understood to be in consultation with 400 staff about job cuts across its businesses, while Alliance Boots plans to cull up to 240 staff from its high street chemist chain.
And in a further sign that shoppers are looking for bargains, The Mail on Sunday provided details of Lidl's recession-busting cooked lobsters, which are "flying off the shelves" at £4.99, as shoppers trade down.
Elsewhere, The Sunday Mirror reported that food shoppers are being hit by a steep rise in the price of branded butter, up by more than 20 per cent this year, while wholesale prices of the commodity are down by about 35 per cent.
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