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Students in England call for 30% Covid discount on tuition fees

Third year students on the Special Effects Model Making for Film and Television course wear face coverings to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, during class at the University of Bolton, in Bolton, northern England on October 7, 2020. - The University of Bolton has introduced numerous Covid-safety measures across its campus including: airport-style temperature scanners, socially distanced seating, perspex screens and visors for lecturers, a bicycle loan scheme for students, one-way routes throughout campus buildings and additional online resources for student learning.

Hundreds of thousands of students have begun a new academic year at universities across the UK. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

University students in England are offering to accept higher interest rates on their loans in exchange for an immediate GBP2,700 discount on their tuition fees as compensation for the disruption to their education caused by the Covid pandemic. A group of students unions led by the London School of Economics and the University of Sheffield have written to the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, and the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, to propose that the government funds a 30% tuition fee rebate for all students this year by increasing interest rates by 3% to 6.2%, meaning it would be repaid only by the highest earning graduates. The letter stated: "We are asking for immediate financial justice for Covid-affected cohorts of university students.

In an ideal world, education should be free; however, in a year when students are calling for compensation on their fees, we have created a fiscally neutral solution to adjust tuition fees, supporting students with a one-off payment." The student leaders, who are all from research universities in the Russell Group, based their calculations on modelling from the London Economics consultancy. It suggested that increasing the interest rate on student loans would mean that the GBP1bn cost of the 30% rebate would be paid for by high-earning graduates, because loans are written off after 30 years, rather than the taxpayer or graduates on low incomes.

Gallery: This is how much it costs to study in these countries (Espresso)

The average male graduate would pay GBP6,500 more in loan repayments over their lifetime, with the very highest earners paying up to GBP29,800 more, but female graduates on average salaries could repay the same amount because their lifetime earnings are lower. The pandemic meant most students were barred from their campuses from the end of the autumn term until 17 May, so they missed out on in-person teaching, access to facilities such as libraries, and social and extracurricular activities. Many were frustrated to find themselves unable to access rooms in halls of residence and flats they had already paid for.

"Universities pitched themselves wrong in the summer of 2020. They were overzealous in their recruitment of students, which contributed to unrealistic expectations of what this academic year would look and feel like. It's led to a situation where students are extremely angry they're being charged extortionate prices for their education," said David Gordon, the general secretary of LSE students' union.

Some students have voiced their anger with universities this year through rent strikes, building occupations and socially-distanced protests. Gordon said the refund modelling was an attempt to find a constructive way to speak to the government about compensation after exhausting other avenues, including the Competition and Markets Authority, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, which handles student complaints, and the Office for Students, the higher education regulator for England. The letter was signed by 17 students' unions from LSE, UCL, King's College and Queen Mary in London, Queen's University in Belfast, and the universities of Exeter, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Leeds, York, Glasgow, Durham, Manchester, Cardiff, Sheffield and Bristol.

Students in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland signed the letter in a display of solidarity with unions in England.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Universities have a strong track record in delivering excellent blended tuition, and we have been clear from the start of the pandemic that the quality and quantity should not drop.

"The Office for Students will be monitoring to ensure this is the case, and universities should be open about what students can expect."

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Temporary jobs promoted

As Covid 19 put paid to traditional work experience for many school leavers and graduates, a leading recruiter is pointing those looking for some on the job training to the burgeoning temporary jobs market.
The temporary jobs market is often seen by some as a last resort, but with data from the Office for National Statistics showing that people who have spent more time out of work are less likely to find a job, it seems that a temporary post could be the answer for many looking to add to their CV.
Acorn Recruitment is therefore urging job seekers at all levels not to discount the power of the temporary job as a returning or first-time route into employment, as Noel Hoare, director of operations at Acorn Recruitment, explained: "The UK jobs market remains in a strong position overall but for a certain type of job seeker there is still a great degree of uncertainty around what comes next. In fact, research shows 693,000 fewer people are on company payrolls since Covid-19**, so the competition is stiff. 
"For school or university graduates who've gone without vital work experience alongside their studies, or professionals who may have chosen or been forced into a change of direction by the effects of the pandemic, there could be a temptation to sit things out 'until things return to normal'."
"What we also know, however and the ONS data has shown, is that the longer a person remains out of a job, the worse their chances are of returning to work," Noel added.
"And with more people remaining out of work for 12 weeks or longer during the pandemic* we are urging people not to discount the power of accepting a temporary job as a stepping-stone to achieving wider career aims for the future."
Unemployment is expected to peak at 6.5% at the end of this year after the UK Government's furlough scheme ends, according to forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Treasury's economics watchdog**.
A recent ONS study also found that more than two fifths (41.4%) of people who had been out of work for up to three months returned to work within the next three months*. This reduced to 28.5% of people who had been out of work for up to six months, and 23.3% of people who had been out of a job for six to nine months, however.
Meanwhile, the post-Brexit temporary jobs market in the UK is stronger than ever.

Acorn Recruitment alone has more than 500 temporary vacancies waiting to be filled in various roles across the UK.
These include more than 400 manufacturing roles across Avonmouth, Thornbury, Weston, Bridgwater, Highbridge, Ilminster, Weymouth, Tiverton, Ilfracombe and Newquay, most of which are temporary and require no previous experience but come with the possibility of turning into permanent posts.
Over 150 temporary positions are also available in the north and in South Wales on a similar basis.
Noel said: "UK businesses working across the manufacturing, food, hospitality and many other industries are raring to go again as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, and trade negotiations continue in the wake of Brexit.
"This presents a significant opportunity for job seekers, school leavers and graduates who stand to benefit in various ways to get some worthwhile work experience under their belt, as well as earn some much-needed cash in their pockets."
"We would urge anyone who may be feeling 'at a loose end' this summer, or who may be tempted to wait it out until the world returns to normal again, not to underestimate the power of taking a temporary position in the meantime," Noel continued.
"For anyone willing to work hard and look beyond the present, the route into employment and ultimately getting a head-start on where they really want to be is there - they just have to be willing to take it." 
 

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Liberty Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta to sell seven UK plants employing 1,500 in restructuring

Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta is selling seven UK plants employing 1,500 people in a restructuring following the collapse of lender Greensill. They include Liberty Steel's largest UK site, its aerospace and special alloys business at Stocksbridge, near Sheffield, where 762 currently work. Stocksbridge's "downstream" sites at Brinsworth, near Rotherham, employing 101, and West Bromwich, which has 167 workers, are also to be offloaded.

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Gupta tells workers: 'I will not give up on you - you are my family'

Meanwhile, parent company GFG Alliance has begun sale processes for Liberty Aluminium Technologies, and Liberty Pressing Solutions, which together employ 475 people - in Coventry, Kidderminster and Witham, in Essex.

Liberty Steel said the Stocksbridge sale would help it complete its UK restructuring and refinancing and allow it to focus on its plant at Rotherham. Advertisement A spokesman declined to add any further comment when asked about the prospects of a sale.

Last month, in a Sky News interview, Mr Gupta promised thousands of UK workers facing uncertainty in the wake of the collapse of its main lender Greensill Capital that he would not shut any of its plants.

More from Business

Currently, his GFG business empire employs 5,000 people in the UK including 3,000 at Liberty Steel. Greensill lent money to firms including Mr Gupta's by buying their invoices at a discount.

Liberty Steel plant Rotherham 25/3/21Image: Liberty said it would focus on its plant at Rotherham

Investors including clients of Credit Suisse were among those left exposed to billions of pounds of potential losses by the lender's collapse. The latest announcement follows talks over the weekend in Dubai involving Mr Gupta and his restructuring team with Credit Suisse - which resolved the future of Liberty's business in Australia as well as "identifying a positive solution" for its UK operations.

Liberty said it would protect thousands of UK jobs in its core "green steel" business which involves recycling scrap metal in a process powered by renewable energy.

Earlier this month, the Serious Fraud Office said it was looking into the GFG businesses including links with Greensill.

Categories
Coupons & Offers

Liberty Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta to sell seven UK plants employing 1,500 in restructuring

Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta is selling seven UK plants employing 1,500 people in a restructuring following the collapse of lender Greensill. They include Liberty Steel's largest UK site, its aerospace and special alloys business at Stocksbridge, near Sheffield, where 762 currently work. Stocksbridge's "downstream" sites at Brinsworth, near Rotherham, employing 101, and West Bromwich, which has 167 workers, are also to be offloaded.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Gupta tells workers: 'I will not give up on you - you are my family'

Meanwhile, parent company GFG Alliance has begun sale processes for Liberty Aluminium Technologies, and Liberty Pressing Solutions, which together employ 475 people - in Coventry, Kidderminster and Witham, in Essex.

Liberty Steel said the Stocksbridge sale would help it complete its UK restructuring and refinancing and allow it to focus on its plant at Rotherham. Advertisement A spokesman declined to add any further comment when asked about the prospects of a sale.

Last month, in a Sky News interview, Mr Gupta promised thousands of UK workers facing uncertainty in the wake of the collapse of its main lender Greensill Capital that he would not shut any of its plants.

More from Business

Currently, his GFG business empire employs 5,000 people in the UK including 3,000 at Liberty Steel. Greensill lent money to firms including Mr Gupta's by buying their invoices at a discount.

Liberty Steel plant Rotherham 25/3/21Image: Liberty said it would focus on its plant at Rotherham

Investors including clients of Credit Suisse were among those left exposed to billions of pounds of potential losses by the lender's collapse. The latest announcement follows talks over the weekend in Dubai involving Mr Gupta and his restructuring team with Credit Suisse - which resolved the future of Liberty's business in Australia as well as "identifying a positive solution" for its UK operations.

Liberty said it would protect thousands of UK jobs in its core "green steel" business which involves recycling scrap metal in a process powered by renewable energy.

Earlier this month, the Serious Fraud Office said it was looking into the GFG businesses including links with Greensill.

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Coupons & Offers

How UK discount is evolving: online, convenience, new players

With COVID-19 impacting the way people shop, each channel has had to adapt to satisfy changing shopper needs. The discount channel has had a mixed experience dealing with these changes throughout the pandemic. Sales have been negatively impacted due to shoppers using fewer channels and avoiding smaller stores.

For the variety discounters, such as Poundland, they have also had challenges including temporary store closures due to reduced footfall. Across the channel, there has also been the wider question over how to respond to the rising demand for online. In this article we look at how the discount channel is evolving due to the changing trading environment.

Variety discounters Poundland and B&M looking to develop their online proposition

We have seen a mixed response to the rise in demand for online services in the discount channel.

With Lidl remaining firmly committed to its store-first strategy and Aldi dipping its toe into ecommerce with the launch of its click and collect service. Now we are seeing a response from the variety discounters; Poundland has launched a trial home delivery service in Ireland.

It will initially be available to 18,000 staff and selected guests. There will be a limited range of products of around 2,000 available, including food and general merchandise. This follows the retailer closing one of its stores in the UK (Cannock), to convert it to an online fulfilment centre.

Poundland has said it will begin trialling online delivery in the UK in 2021. B&M has appointed Jens Sorensen as a new digital director. His previous position was as The Range's chief digital and omnichannel officer.

Although B&M has not commented on what his role will be, or whether they are moving into e-commerce, his appointment suggests the retailer may be focusing more online in the future. In France, the retailer launched a click and collect service in 2020 and it is likely it will be looking to this market for learnings in the future. For subscribers looking for more insight, check out our How will discounters respond to online?

Aldi and Poundland trademark convenience formats 

We are increasingly seeing the discounters adapting their propositions to suit smaller locations, for example the launch of Aldi Local in 2019.

Further developments are potentially on the horizon as we see retailers trademarking new format names; Aldi has trademarked 'Shop & Go' with the Intellectual Property Office. This is likely to be linked to a new checkout-free solution, such as a pay-and-go app, as this requires less investment from the retailer than a new store format or self-scanning technology.

To find out more about potential technology innovation at Aldi, read our Aldi explores checkout-free solutions article. Poundland has applied to trademark 'Poundland Local' and 'Poundland Go!', pointing to its latest plans for new convenience store formats. Poundland Local is to apply to stores in small towns and close to urban neighbourhoods, while Poundland Go! is for a new convenience format near transport hubs.

The retailer first announced it would be segmenting its store estate in July last year. As part of the process of revamping its existing estate and opening new stores, it will be splitting its stores into three format categories:

  1. Destination stores offering the full range of products including food, homeware, health and beauty and clothing
  2. Core stores offering a wide range of products on high streets
  3. Convenience stores offering "grab and go" easy shopping

Poundland has also recently added its new chilled and frozen range to 46 stores, bringing its total stores carrying the range to 175. The plans is to roll it out to over 500 stores.

It also opened its 350th Pepco shop-in-shop this month. Both of these additions to the stores show the retailer is looking to satisfy different, wider missions, giving shoppers more reasons to visit. For subscribers looking for more insight on the convenience channel, check out our three part series on how you can grow in the convenience channel.

New players: Mere and JFT Central

Two new value retailers look set to open in the near future, adding more competition to an already competitive sector;

Russian retailer Mere aims to open four stores in the UK. Svetofor is a Russian discounter that has 3,200 stores worldwide. The company expanded to Europe in 2018, operating under the name Mere.

It will open its first store in the UK by the summer in a former Nisa branch in Preston, Lancashire. The other stores will open in Wales and Yorkshire. Following this, the retailer is said to be looking for future expansion across the UK.

The retailer claims to be 30% cheaper than Aldi and Lidl and operates a hard discount model with no marketing, and few staff. Stores will have around 1,200 SKUs. JFT Mega Discount Warehouse is opening a new format. It currently has 12 outlets on retail parks in the Midlands and the north of England.

The warehouse and online business currently sells a wide range of products including food & drink, health & beauty, garden, and DIY products. Customers have to sign up to a free membership scheme to shop in its warehouses. Its new format will be called JFT Central, and it will be another value-based variety store.

The retailer has said it is looking to open at least 50 stores, according to The Times. It will be run by Jeremy Coombes, a corporate financier with experience in lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. He said that the market was full of opportunity because of low-rent deals currently on offer as landlords were desperate to fill empty units.

The first opening is set to be in Hull in a former Mothercare store. We do not currently know the opening date.

Final thoughts

Going forwards the discount retailers will need to find more ways to remain relevant in the changing environment. With retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury's offering price matches to Aldi, the low price differentiator is not as strong as before.

Expect more development in the channel as the retailers look to satisfy the rising demand for online, and different shopping missions. 

Looking for more insight?

Discount newsletter

Categories
Coupons & Offers

How UK discount is evolving: online, convenience, new players

With COVID-19 impacting the way people shop, each channel has had to adapt to satisfy changing shopper needs. The discount channel has had a mixed experience dealing with these changes throughout the pandemic. Sales have been negatively impacted due to shoppers using fewer channels and avoiding smaller stores.

For the variety discounters, such as Poundland, they have also had challenges including temporary store closures due to reduced footfall. Across the channel, there has also been the wider question over how to respond to the rising demand for online. In this article we look at how the discount channel is evolving due to the changing trading environment.

Variety discounters Poundland and B&M looking to develop their online proposition

We have seen a mixed response to the rise in demand for online services in the discount channel.

With Lidl remaining firmly committed to its store-first strategy and Aldi dipping its toe into ecommerce with the launch of its click and collect service. Now we are seeing a response from the variety discounters; Poundland has launched a trial home delivery service in Ireland.

It will initially be available to 18,000 staff and selected guests. There will be a limited range of products of around 2,000 available, including food and general merchandise. This follows the retailer closing one of its stores in the UK (Cannock), to convert it to an online fulfilment centre.

Poundland has said it will begin trialling online delivery in the UK in 2021. B&M has appointed Jens Sorensen as a new digital director. His previous position was as The Range's chief digital and omnichannel officer.

Although B&M has not commented on what his role will be, or whether they are moving into e-commerce, his appointment suggests the retailer may be focusing more online in the future. In France, the retailer launched a click and collect service in 2020 and it is likely it will be looking to this market for learnings in the future. For subscribers looking for more insight, check out our How will discounters respond to online?

Aldi and Poundland trademark convenience formats 

We are increasingly seeing the discounters adapting their propositions to suit smaller locations, for example the launch of Aldi Local in 2019.

Further developments are potentially on the horizon as we see retailers trademarking new format names; Aldi has trademarked 'Shop & Go' with the Intellectual Property Office. This is likely to be linked to a new checkout-free solution, such as a pay-and-go app, as this requires less investment from the retailer than a new store format or self-scanning technology.

To find out more about potential technology innovation at Aldi, read our Aldi explores checkout-free solutions article. Poundland has applied to trademark 'Poundland Local' and 'Poundland Go!', pointing to its latest plans for new convenience store formats. Poundland Local is to apply to stores in small towns and close to urban neighbourhoods, while Poundland Go! is for a new convenience format near transport hubs.

The retailer first announced it would be segmenting its store estate in July last year. As part of the process of revamping its existing estate and opening new stores, it will be splitting its stores into three format categories:

  1. Destination stores offering the full range of products including food, homeware, health and beauty and clothing
  2. Core stores offering a wide range of products on high streets
  3. Convenience stores offering "grab and go" easy shopping

Poundland has also recently added its new chilled and frozen range to 46 stores, bringing its total stores carrying the range to 175. The plans is to roll it out to over 500 stores.

It also opened its 350th Pepco shop-in-shop this month. Both of these additions to the stores show the retailer is looking to satisfy different, wider missions, giving shoppers more reasons to visit. For subscribers looking for more insight on the convenience channel, check out our three part series on how you can grow in the convenience channel.

New players: Mere and JFT Central

Two new value retailers look set to open in the near future, adding more competition to an already competitive sector;

Russian retailer Mere aims to open four stores in the UK. Svetofor is a Russian discounter that has 3,200 stores worldwide. The company expanded to Europe in 2018, operating under the name Mere.

It will open its first store in the UK by the summer in a former Nisa branch in Preston, Lancashire. The other stores will open in Wales and Yorkshire. Following this, the retailer is said to be looking for future expansion across the UK.

The retailer claims to be 30% cheaper than Aldi and Lidl and operates a hard discount model with no marketing, and few staff. Stores will have around 1,200 SKUs. JFT Mega Discount Warehouse is opening a new format. It currently has 12 outlets on retail parks in the Midlands and the north of England.

The warehouse and online business currently sells a wide range of products including food & drink, health & beauty, garden, and DIY products. Customers have to sign up to a free membership scheme to shop in its warehouses. Its new format will be called JFT Central, and it will be another value-based variety store.

The retailer has said it is looking to open at least 50 stores, according to The Times. It will be run by Jeremy Coombes, a corporate financier with experience in lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. He said that the market was full of opportunity because of low-rent deals currently on offer as landlords were desperate to fill empty units.

The first opening is set to be in Hull in a former Mothercare store. We do not currently know the opening date.

Final thoughts

Going forwards the discount retailers will need to find more ways to remain relevant in the changing environment. With retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury's offering price matches to Aldi, the low price differentiator is not as strong as before.

Expect more development in the channel as the retailers look to satisfy the rising demand for online, and different shopping missions. 

Looking for more insight?

Discount newsletter

Categories
Coupons & Offers

How UK discount is evolving: online, convenience, new players

With COVID-19 impacting the way people shop, each channel has had to adapt to satisfy changing shopper needs. The discount channel has had a mixed experience dealing with these changes throughout the pandemic. Sales have been negatively impacted due to shoppers using fewer channels and avoiding smaller stores.

For the variety discounters, such as Poundland, they have also had challenges including temporary store closures due to reduced footfall. Across the channel, there has also been the wider question over how to respond to the rising demand for online. In this article we look at how the discount channel is evolving due to the changing trading environment.

Variety discounters Poundland and B&M looking to develop their online proposition

We have seen a mixed response to the rise in demand for online services in the discount channel.

With Lidl remaining firmly committed to its store-first strategy and Aldi dipping its toe into ecommerce with the launch of its click and collect service. Now we are seeing a response from the variety discounters; Poundland has launched a trial home delivery service in Ireland.

It will initially be available to 18,000 staff and selected guests. There will be a limited range of products of around 2,000 available, including food and general merchandise. This follows the retailer closing one of its stores in the UK (Cannock), to convert it to an online fulfilment centre.

Poundland has said it will begin trialling online delivery in the UK in 2021. B&M has appointed Jens Sorensen as a new digital director. His previous position was as The Range's chief digital and omnichannel officer.

Although B&M has not commented on what his role will be, or whether they are moving into e-commerce, his appointment suggests the retailer may be focusing more online in the future. In France, the retailer launched a click and collect service in 2020 and it is likely it will be looking to this market for learnings in the future. For subscribers looking for more insight, check out our How will discounters respond to online?

Aldi and Poundland trademark convenience formats 

We are increasingly seeing the discounters adapting their propositions to suit smaller locations, for example the launch of Aldi Local in 2019.

Further developments are potentially on the horizon as we see retailers trademarking new format names; Aldi has trademarked 'Shop & Go' with the Intellectual Property Office. This is likely to be linked to a new checkout-free solution, such as a pay-and-go app, as this requires less investment from the retailer than a new store format or self-scanning technology.

To find out more about potential technology innovation at Aldi, read our Aldi explores checkout-free solutions article. Poundland has applied to trademark 'Poundland Local' and 'Poundland Go!', pointing to its latest plans for new convenience store formats. Poundland Local is to apply to stores in small towns and close to urban neighbourhoods, while Poundland Go! is for a new convenience format near transport hubs.

The retailer first announced it would be segmenting its store estate in July last year. As part of the process of revamping its existing estate and opening new stores, it will be splitting its stores into three format categories:

  1. Destination stores offering the full range of products including food, homeware, health and beauty and clothing
  2. Core stores offering a wide range of products on high streets
  3. Convenience stores offering "grab and go" easy shopping

Poundland has also recently added its new chilled and frozen range to 46 stores, bringing its total stores carrying the range to 175. The plans is to roll it out to over 500 stores.

It also opened its 350th Pepco shop-in-shop this month. Both of these additions to the stores show the retailer is looking to satisfy different, wider missions, giving shoppers more reasons to visit. For subscribers looking for more insight on the convenience channel, check out our three part series on how you can grow in the convenience channel.

New players: Mere and JFT Central

Two new value retailers look set to open in the near future, adding more competition to an already competitive sector;

Russian retailer Mere aims to open four stores in the UK. Svetofor is a Russian discounter that has 3,200 stores worldwide. The company expanded to Europe in 2018, operating under the name Mere.

It will open its first store in the UK by the summer in a former Nisa branch in Preston, Lancashire. The other stores will open in Wales and Yorkshire. Following this, the retailer is said to be looking for future expansion across the UK.

The retailer claims to be 30% cheaper than Aldi and Lidl and operates a hard discount model with no marketing, and few staff. Stores will have around 1,200 SKUs. JFT Mega Discount Warehouse is opening a new format. It currently has 12 outlets on retail parks in the Midlands and the north of England.

The warehouse and online business currently sells a wide range of products including food & drink, health & beauty, garden, and DIY products. Customers have to sign up to a free membership scheme to shop in its warehouses. Its new format will be called JFT Central, and it will be another value-based variety store.

The retailer has said it is looking to open at least 50 stores, according to The Times. It will be run by Jeremy Coombes, a corporate financier with experience in lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. He said that the market was full of opportunity because of low-rent deals currently on offer as landlords were desperate to fill empty units.

The first opening is set to be in Hull in a former Mothercare store. We do not currently know the opening date.

Final thoughts

Going forwards the discount retailers will need to find more ways to remain relevant in the changing environment. With retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury's offering price matches to Aldi, the low price differentiator is not as strong as before.

Expect more development in the channel as the retailers look to satisfy the rising demand for online, and different shopping missions. 

Looking for more insight?

Discount newsletter

Categories
Coupons & Offers

How UK discount is evolving: online, convenience, new players

With COVID-19 impacting the way people shop, each channel has had to adapt to satisfy changing shopper needs. The discount channel has had a mixed experience dealing with these changes throughout the pandemic. Sales have been negatively impacted due to shoppers using fewer channels and avoiding smaller stores.

For the variety discounters, such as Poundland, they have also had challenges including temporary store closures due to reduced footfall. Across the channel, there has also been the wider question over how to respond to the rising demand for online. In this article we look at how the discount channel is evolving due to the changing trading environment.

Variety discounters Poundland and B&M looking to develop their online proposition

We have seen a mixed response to the rise in demand for online services in the discount channel.

With Lidl remaining firmly committed to its store-first strategy and Aldi dipping its toe into ecommerce with the launch of its click and collect service. Now we are seeing a response from the variety discounters; Poundland has launched a trial home delivery service in Ireland.

It will initially be available to 18,000 staff and selected guests. There will be a limited range of products of around 2,000 available, including food and general merchandise. This follows the retailer closing one of its stores in the UK (Cannock), to convert it to an online fulfilment centre.

Poundland has said it will begin trialling online delivery in the UK in 2021. B&M has appointed Jens Sorensen as a new digital director. His previous position was as The Range's chief digital and omnichannel officer.

Although B&M has not commented on what his role will be, or whether they are moving into e-commerce, his appointment suggests the retailer may be focusing more online in the future. In France, the retailer launched a click and collect service in 2020 and it is likely it will be looking to this market for learnings in the future. For subscribers looking for more insight, check out our How will discounters respond to online?

Aldi and Poundland trademark convenience formats 

We are increasingly seeing the discounters adapting their propositions to suit smaller locations, for example the launch of Aldi Local in 2019.

Further developments are potentially on the horizon as we see retailers trademarking new format names; Aldi has trademarked 'Shop & Go' with the Intellectual Property Office. This is likely to be linked to a new checkout-free solution, such as a pay-and-go app, as this requires less investment from the retailer than a new store format or self-scanning technology.

To find out more about potential technology innovation at Aldi, read our Aldi explores checkout-free solutions article. Poundland has applied to trademark 'Poundland Local' and 'Poundland Go!', pointing to its latest plans for new convenience store formats. Poundland Local is to apply to stores in small towns and close to urban neighbourhoods, while Poundland Go! is for a new convenience format near transport hubs.

The retailer first announced it would be segmenting its store estate in July last year. As part of the process of revamping its existing estate and opening new stores, it will be splitting its stores into three format categories:

  1. Destination stores offering the full range of products including food, homeware, health and beauty and clothing
  2. Core stores offering a wide range of products on high streets
  3. Convenience stores offering "grab and go" easy shopping

Poundland has also recently added its new chilled and frozen range to 46 stores, bringing its total stores carrying the range to 175. The plans is to roll it out to over 500 stores.

It also opened its 350th Pepco shop-in-shop this month. Both of these additions to the stores show the retailer is looking to satisfy different, wider missions, giving shoppers more reasons to visit. For subscribers looking for more insight on the convenience channel, check out our three part series on how you can grow in the convenience channel.

New players: Mere and JFT Central

Two new value retailers look set to open in the near future, adding more competition to an already competitive sector;

Russian retailer Mere aims to open four stores in the UK. Svetofor is a Russian discounter that has 3,200 stores worldwide. The company expanded to Europe in 2018, operating under the name Mere.

It will open its first store in the UK by the summer in a former Nisa branch in Preston, Lancashire. The other stores will open in Wales and Yorkshire. Following this, the retailer is said to be looking for future expansion across the UK.

The retailer claims to be 30% cheaper than Aldi and Lidl and operates a hard discount model with no marketing, and few staff. Stores will have around 1,200 SKUs. JFT Mega Discount Warehouse is opening a new format. It currently has 12 outlets on retail parks in the Midlands and the north of England.

The warehouse and online business currently sells a wide range of products including food & drink, health & beauty, garden, and DIY products. Customers have to sign up to a free membership scheme to shop in its warehouses. Its new format will be called JFT Central, and it will be another value-based variety store.

The retailer has said it is looking to open at least 50 stores, according to The Times. It will be run by Jeremy Coombes, a corporate financier with experience in lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. He said that the market was full of opportunity because of low-rent deals currently on offer as landlords were desperate to fill empty units.

The first opening is set to be in Hull in a former Mothercare store. We do not currently know the opening date.

Final thoughts

Going forwards the discount retailers will need to find more ways to remain relevant in the changing environment. With retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury's offering price matches to Aldi, the low price differentiator is not as strong as before.

Expect more development in the channel as the retailers look to satisfy the rising demand for online, and different shopping missions. 

Looking for more insight?

Discount newsletter

Categories
Coupons & Offers

How UK discount is evolving: online, convenience, new players

With COVID-19 impacting the way people shop, each channel has had to adapt to satisfy changing shopper needs. The discount channel has had a mixed experience dealing with these changes throughout the pandemic. Sales have been negatively impacted due to shoppers using fewer channels and avoiding smaller stores.

For the variety discounters, such as Poundland, they have also had challenges including temporary store closures due to reduced footfall. Across the channel, there has also been the wider question over how to respond to the rising demand for online. In this article we look at how the discount channel is evolving due to the changing trading environment.

Variety discounters Poundland and B&M looking to develop their online proposition

We have seen a mixed response to the rise in demand for online services in the discount channel.

With Lidl remaining firmly committed to its store-first strategy and Aldi dipping its toe into ecommerce with the launch of its click and collect service. Now we are seeing a response from the variety discounters; Poundland has launched a trial home delivery service in Ireland.

It will initially be available to 18,000 staff and selected guests. There will be a limited range of products of around 2,000 available, including food and general merchandise. This follows the retailer closing one of its stores in the UK (Cannock), to convert it to an online fulfilment centre.

Poundland has said it will begin trialling online delivery in the UK in 2021. B&M has appointed Jens Sorensen as a new digital director. His previous position was as The Range's chief digital and omnichannel officer.

Although B&M has not commented on what his role will be, or whether they are moving into e-commerce, his appointment suggests the retailer may be focusing more online in the future. In France, the retailer launched a click and collect service in 2020 and it is likely it will be looking to this market for learnings in the future. For subscribers looking for more insight, check out our How will discounters respond to online?

Aldi and Poundland trademark convenience formats 

We are increasingly seeing the discounters adapting their propositions to suit smaller locations, for example the launch of Aldi Local in 2019.

Further developments are potentially on the horizon as we see retailers trademarking new format names; Aldi has trademarked 'Shop & Go' with the Intellectual Property Office. This is likely to be linked to a new checkout-free solution, such as a pay-and-go app, as this requires less investment from the retailer than a new store format or self-scanning technology.

To find out more about potential technology innovation at Aldi, read our Aldi explores checkout-free solutions article. Poundland has applied to trademark 'Poundland Local' and 'Poundland Go!', pointing to its latest plans for new convenience store formats. Poundland Local is to apply to stores in small towns and close to urban neighbourhoods, while Poundland Go! is for a new convenience format near transport hubs.

The retailer first announced it would be segmenting its store estate in July last year. As part of the process of revamping its existing estate and opening new stores, it will be splitting its stores into three format categories:

  1. Destination stores offering the full range of products including food, homeware, health and beauty and clothing
  2. Core stores offering a wide range of products on high streets
  3. Convenience stores offering "grab and go" easy shopping

Poundland has also recently added its new chilled and frozen range to 46 stores, bringing its total stores carrying the range to 175. The plans is to roll it out to over 500 stores.

It also opened its 350th Pepco shop-in-shop this month. Both of these additions to the stores show the retailer is looking to satisfy different, wider missions, giving shoppers more reasons to visit. For subscribers looking for more insight on the convenience channel, check out our three part series on how you can grow in the convenience channel.

New players: Mere and JFT Central

Two new value retailers look set to open in the near future, adding more competition to an already competitive sector;

Russian retailer Mere aims to open four stores in the UK. Svetofor is a Russian discounter that has 3,200 stores worldwide. The company expanded to Europe in 2018, operating under the name Mere.

It will open its first store in the UK by the summer in a former Nisa branch in Preston, Lancashire. The other stores will open in Wales and Yorkshire. Following this, the retailer is said to be looking for future expansion across the UK.

The retailer claims to be 30% cheaper than Aldi and Lidl and operates a hard discount model with no marketing, and few staff. Stores will have around 1,200 SKUs. JFT Mega Discount Warehouse is opening a new format. It currently has 12 outlets on retail parks in the Midlands and the north of England.

The warehouse and online business currently sells a wide range of products including food & drink, health & beauty, garden, and DIY products. Customers have to sign up to a free membership scheme to shop in its warehouses. Its new format will be called JFT Central, and it will be another value-based variety store.

The retailer has said it is looking to open at least 50 stores, according to The Times. It will be run by Jeremy Coombes, a corporate financier with experience in lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. He said that the market was full of opportunity because of low-rent deals currently on offer as landlords were desperate to fill empty units.

The first opening is set to be in Hull in a former Mothercare store. We do not currently know the opening date.

Final thoughts

Going forwards the discount retailers will need to find more ways to remain relevant in the changing environment. With retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury's offering price matches to Aldi, the low price differentiator is not as strong as before.

Expect more development in the channel as the retailers look to satisfy the rising demand for online, and different shopping missions. 

Looking for more insight?

Discount newsletter

Categories
Coupons & Offers

How UK discount is evolving: online, convenience, new players

With COVID-19 impacting the way people shop, each channel has had to adapt to satisfy changing shopper needs. The discount channel has had a mixed experience dealing with these changes throughout the pandemic. Sales have been negatively impacted due to shoppers using fewer channels and avoiding smaller stores.

For the variety discounters, such as Poundland, they have also had challenges including temporary store closures due to reduced footfall. Across the channel, there has also been the wider question over how to respond to the rising demand for online. In this article we look at how the discount channel is evolving due to the changing trading environment.

Variety discounters Poundland and B&M looking to develop their online proposition

We have seen a mixed response to the rise in demand for online services in the discount channel.

With Lidl remaining firmly committed to its store-first strategy and Aldi dipping its toe into ecommerce with the launch of its click and collect service. Now we are seeing a response from the variety discounters; Poundland has launched a trial home delivery service in Ireland.

It will initially be available to 18,000 staff and selected guests. There will be a limited range of products of around 2,000 available, including food and general merchandise. This follows the retailer closing one of its stores in the UK (Cannock), to convert it to an online fulfilment centre.

Poundland has said it will begin trialling online delivery in the UK in 2021. B&M has appointed Jens Sorensen as a new digital director. His previous position was as The Range's chief digital and omnichannel officer.

Although B&M has not commented on what his role will be, or whether they are moving into e-commerce, his appointment suggests the retailer may be focusing more online in the future. In France, the retailer launched a click and collect service in 2020 and it is likely it will be looking to this market for learnings in the future. For subscribers looking for more insight, check out our How will discounters respond to online?

Aldi and Poundland trademark convenience formats 

We are increasingly seeing the discounters adapting their propositions to suit smaller locations, for example the launch of Aldi Local in 2019.

Further developments are potentially on the horizon as we see retailers trademarking new format names; Aldi has trademarked 'Shop & Go' with the Intellectual Property Office. This is likely to be linked to a new checkout-free solution, such as a pay-and-go app, as this requires less investment from the retailer than a new store format or self-scanning technology.

To find out more about potential technology innovation at Aldi, read our Aldi explores checkout-free solutions article. Poundland has applied to trademark 'Poundland Local' and 'Poundland Go!', pointing to its latest plans for new convenience store formats. Poundland Local is to apply to stores in small towns and close to urban neighbourhoods, while Poundland Go! is for a new convenience format near transport hubs.

The retailer first announced it would be segmenting its store estate in July last year. As part of the process of revamping its existing estate and opening new stores, it will be splitting its stores into three format categories:

  1. Destination stores offering the full range of products including food, homeware, health and beauty and clothing
  2. Core stores offering a wide range of products on high streets
  3. Convenience stores offering "grab and go" easy shopping

Poundland has also recently added its new chilled and frozen range to 46 stores, bringing its total stores carrying the range to 175. The plans is to roll it out to over 500 stores.

It also opened its 350th Pepco shop-in-shop this month. Both of these additions to the stores show the retailer is looking to satisfy different, wider missions, giving shoppers more reasons to visit. For subscribers looking for more insight on the convenience channel, check out our three part series on how you can grow in the convenience channel.

New players: Mere and JFT Central

Two new value retailers look set to open in the near future, adding more competition to an already competitive sector;

Russian retailer Mere aims to open four stores in the UK. Svetofor is a Russian discounter that has 3,200 stores worldwide. The company expanded to Europe in 2018, operating under the name Mere.

It will open its first store in the UK by the summer in a former Nisa branch in Preston, Lancashire. The other stores will open in Wales and Yorkshire. Following this, the retailer is said to be looking for future expansion across the UK.

The retailer claims to be 30% cheaper than Aldi and Lidl and operates a hard discount model with no marketing, and few staff. Stores will have around 1,200 SKUs. JFT Mega Discount Warehouse is opening a new format. It currently has 12 outlets on retail parks in the Midlands and the north of England.

The warehouse and online business currently sells a wide range of products including food & drink, health & beauty, garden, and DIY products. Customers have to sign up to a free membership scheme to shop in its warehouses. Its new format will be called JFT Central, and it will be another value-based variety store.

The retailer has said it is looking to open at least 50 stores, according to The Times. It will be run by Jeremy Coombes, a corporate financier with experience in lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. He said that the market was full of opportunity because of low-rent deals currently on offer as landlords were desperate to fill empty units.

The first opening is set to be in Hull in a former Mothercare store. We do not currently know the opening date.

Final thoughts

Going forwards the discount retailers will need to find more ways to remain relevant in the changing environment. With retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury's offering price matches to Aldi, the low price differentiator is not as strong as before.

Expect more development in the channel as the retailers look to satisfy the rising demand for online, and different shopping missions. 

Looking for more insight?

Discount newsletter