A password will be e-mailed to you.

Retail news round-up: click ‘n’ collect Christmas, festive fakes, and the top places to work

Almost half (42%) of European consumers have used a click ‘n’ collect service in the past 12 months, according to the JDA/Centiro Customer Pulse Report Europe 2017. And, in recent years, the service’s popularity has directly influenced Christmas shopping patterns, as consumers increasingly rely on the convenience and value it provides.

The Border Force, which has seized fake goods worth millions of pounds at airports, ports and postal hubs around the UK, has warned shoppers to look out for counterfeit goods this Christmas.

Only four retailers feature in Glassdoor’s 2018 Best Places to Work list, based on UK employee feedback. Screwfix falls three places to 12th, while Harrods rises from 29th to 23rd, with Waitrose down from 36th to 43rd. Schuh entered the top 50 in 48th spot, while John Lewis – 33rd last year – dropped out of the list, which was topped by Google.

Analysis of government data by the Centre for Retail Research has revealed that between 2010 and 2017 an average of six shops a day have disappeared from England and Wales as retailers struggled to pay business rates and compete with online traders.

Property firm Hammerson. owner of Birmingham’s Bullring and the Brent Cross shopping centre in London, has unveiled a recommended £3.4bn all-stock deal to merge with Intu Properties, owner of Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Lakeside in Essex.

Two of the UK’s biggest small business communities, ICAEW and Enterprise Nation, are joining forces to create, at a cost of £1m, the first data-led business-support platform that will give small British firms access to ‘affordable external expertise instantly’.

Some 37% of respondents to a survey for the National Debtline said they were planning to fund this year’s festive spending by using credit cards, overdrafts and loans, compared to 33% in 2016.

Research from property agency Savills shows that Amazon took four million square feet of new warehousing space in 2017, more than five times as much as next fastest growing retailer, Lidl.

Commenting on the latest round of RBS and Natwest bank branch closures, Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “What we can’t have is banks shutting branches on a whim, especially at a time when plans are afoot that may diminish our cash machine network in future.

“Access to cash is a big issue here. Cash is still critical to trade in thousands of our towns and villages, especially in tourist hotspots and rural areas. More and more small firms are accepting card payments but that comes with costs they’re forced to absorb. Equally, many have customers that only deal in cash.”

Alan Monahan