Woolworths Holdings Limited

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MIDDLE EAST: Peacocks To Spread Its Wings Offshore Jane Mallin | 25 Oct 00

Peacocks, the Cardiff-based value-for-money retailer that floated less than a year ago, is planning to expand overseas. The chain, which opened its 295th store in the UK at the end of September, is reported to be in discussions with a potential partner in the Middle East, with the aim of establishing a franchise. The retailer has identified the Middle East as a potentially strong market for its budget-priced apparel and is thought to be considering establishing a presence in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Peacocks is also said to be thinking about expansion into Eastern Europe.Talks are still at an early stage and a decision could be up to six months away. Richard Kirk, chief executive of Peacocks, was unavailable for comment.Despite the plans, the offshore business is likely to remain a relatively small part of the overall Peacocks operation while the group focuses on the rollout of its stores in Kingfisher's Big W outlets. Peacocks has signed a three-year deal with Kingfisher, the B&Q to Comet retail group that is dividing itself in two, to sell its clothes in Big W stores. Peacocks has already opened stores in five Big Ws. They are trading well and three more are planned in time for Christmas. An additional 20 stores will be opened during 2000 and 2001.Peacocks has also agreed to sell its clothes in Kingfisher's Woolworths stores for a six-month trial. If the tie-up is successful, Peacocks believes that it can more than double its turnover in five years. That would please shareholders, who have seen their shares sink from their 163p float price of last December to 104p. The company - the subject of a management buyout in 1997 - showed signs of suffering from rising competition in discount clothing when it revealed that comparable sales had slipped by two per cent in June and early July.


SCOTLAND: Peacocks Expands Into Scotland Jane Mallin | 10 Oct 00

Peacocks, the Cardiff-based value-for-money retailer, opened its first store in Scotland - and 295th UK store - at the end of last month. The 5,500 sq ft store, located in Leven, will be the first of five planned stores north of the border.Peacocks aim to open a further four stores in Scotland this year. The stores will be located in Kilmarnock, Port Glasgow, Wishaw and Dalkeith and will add a total of 31,600 sq ft to Peacocks selling space and will create 65 new jobs. Commenting on the store openings, Richard Kirk, chief executive of The Peacock Group, said: "The opening of this first store in Scotland is a milestone in the development of the business. Given the success of the Peacocks range within the Big W store in Edinburgh, we are very confident that the Peacocks proposition of good quality clothing, in a pleasant shopping environment at great value-for-money prices, will prove very popular in Scotland.Peacocks, which plans to open more outlets in secondary locations, announced earlier this month that it was to trial its adult clothing and footwear ranges in three new Woolworths stores as well as extending its participation in the Big W stores.


UK: Woolworths To Carry Peacocks Apparel And Footwear Lines just-style.com | 4 Oct 00

The Peacock Group plc, the value for money retailer, is to trial its adult clothing and footwear ranges in three new Woolworths stores.Peacocks has teamed up with Woolworths to sell the clothing and footwear ranges in the new store in Watford. The store opened on September 8 and incorporates 5,200 sq ft of Peacocks clothing located on the ground floor. The ranges will also be tested in the two new Woolworths stores to be opened in October at The Metro Centre, Gateshead and in Chester, following the acquisition of two C&A units. Peacocks will also be extending their participation in the Big W stores. The current involvement with four Big W stores will be extended when a further four new stores are opened before Christmas. The new stores will be located in Stockton, Glasgow Forge, Redruth and Bradford. An additional 20 stores will be opened during 2001 and 2002. Commenting on the developments, Richard Kirk, chief executive, Peacocks, said: "I am delighted that Peacocks are extending the trading relationship with Woolworths. Participation in these prime location stores complements our core strategy of expansion in more secondary locations and provides us with a significant growth opportunity. We already enjoy a very successful partnership with Woolworths through Big W. Its accelerated roll-out programme, coupled with this new development with main chain Woolworths if successful, presents a very exciting growth opportunity for the Group."Keith Flemming, MD of Woolworths, commented: "Peacocks has been an outstanding success in our four Big W stores to date and we are confident it will be equally successful in our three new Woolworths Stores. The three chosen - in Watford and two recently acquired C&A stores in Chester and Gateshead - are all large stores that have additional selling space to accommodate the Peacocks adult clothing and footwear range. This is an important trial for us and we are looking forward to the results."


UK: M&S Losing Its Grip On Childrenswear just-style.com | 4 Oct 00

Marks and Spencer's top slot in the lucrative childrenswear market is under severe threat, a new report has revealed. Figures just released by the Verdict market research group show that the gap in the market is closing fast. There is just a mere 1.2 per cent separating the top four players selling children's clothing in the UK. Marks and Spencer's share of the market has fallen from 7.9 per cent to 7 per cent, with Woolworths, which sells the popular Ladybird brand, following closely behind with its share to within 0.2 per cent of Marks and Spencer. Asda's own label George, and the Next store group are the two other names in the top four. Five years ago, George had just 2.7 per cent of the British childrenswear market. Today it is a staggering 6.3 per cent. In July this year, George, which has been popular for children's clothing for a long time, launched a new baby range. Next meanwhile, is also big in children's clothing. The Next childrenswear range was launched in 1987 and it is now stocked in 232 of its 330 stores. The range covers newborn to age 10, with older clothing available by mail order in the Next Directory. A Next spokesman said the company's sales figures are not broken down specifically for children's clothing.


EUROPE AND USA: John Lewis, Otto-Group Join WWRE Company Press Release | 18 Sep 00

The WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE), the retail e-marketplace, today announced two new members will join the exchange: John Lewis, the UK-based retailer; and the Otto-Group, the mail-order group. "The addition of these new members - both leaders in their respective markets - reinforces the WWRE's strong position as an exchange for retailers and suppliers," said Colin Dyer, newly appointed WWRE CEO. "The expanded membership base of WWRE is a win-win for all involved, from our retail members to suppliers to consumers."


USA: E-Marketplace Completes Successful Pilot Auctions Company Press Release | 7 Sep 00

The WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE), the retail e-marketplace, today announced that it has completed a series of online pilot auctions that successfully demonstrated the company's technology and positioned it to begin a more permanent and comprehensive schedule of auctions."We are now operational," said newly appointed WWRE CEO Colin Dyer.


AUSTRALIA: Top Retailer Chooses New Chief Jane Mallin | 1 Sep 00

Country Road has promoted Ian Moir, former chief operating officer, to chief executive officer. He replaces Ian Thompson.Country Road, based in Australia, operates as a retailer and wholesaler and is owned by the South African Woolworths Holdings group. The company says that the departing CEO will still work with the organisation in a consultancy role and will deal with strategic direction and identifying new business opportunities.Mr Moir was previously director of operations for the former International Wool Secretariat, which is based in the UK.The company has also appointed two new board members - Jonathan Pinshaw from of John Fairfax Holdings Ltd and Ron Baker from Mitre 10.


UK: Intelligent Tagging Trials Underway At Woolworths just-style.com | 5 May 00

High street retailer Woolworths (part of Kingfisher Plc) has teamed up with Logistics specialist Tibbett & Britten Group Plc to undertake trials of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging at the garment level. The exercise, which forms part of a much wider project between the two companies, is being conducted at Tibbett & Britten's distribution centre in Castleton and Woolworths' store at Monks Cross, York.


Home Shopping Key Note | 10 Apr 00

Home shopping in one form or another was rarely out of the news in 1999. However, the vast majority of interest was in the Internet. While the Internet is clearly paramount in the minds of UK retailers - not least the traditional mail order houses - it remains a channel of the future and has yet to impact on the revenues of the traditional players to a significant extent.

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