Ikea UK sales rise 13% but profits fall
For the 2022 financial year, Swedish furniture retailer Ikea’s UK business has seen an uplift of 13% in sales, equivalent to £2.2bn. The company also saw its online sales double against 2019’s pre-pandemic figure. However, profits fell to £49.6m, down from £61.2m in 2021.
“Against the backdrop of financial uncertainty and rising costs, we made major strategic investments towards greater affordability, accessibility and sustainability,” says Ikea UK and Ireland country retail manager and chief sustainability officer, Peter Jelkeby.
He says Ikea is still on it’s journey to becoming “even more customer-centric” as part of its long-term transformation efforts, in a year where the retailer opened its first smaller format, more convenience focused store in Hammersmith earlier this year.
Ikea’s loyalty offering, Ikea Family, now has 10.5 million members in the UK, while the retailer reports it fulfilled 1 million click and collect orders this year. Last year, online sales made up 45% of the company’s total sales, which this year has dropped to 35% as customers return to stores post Covid-19.
Twitter says it will shut down accounts designed to promote other platforms, leading Musk to ask Twitter poll to decide if he should stay or go
In a now deleted post, Twitter declared it would be banning users from linking to other social media platforms on Sunday (18 December).
The tweet said the platform would “no longer allow free promotion” for other social media services. “Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post,” it added.
And now, Twitter owner Elon Musk has tweeted a poll asking Twitter users to vote on whether he should remain as head of Twitter. The poll currently has more than 13 million votes, with the majority calling for him to step down.
As a precursor to the poll, Musk tweeted that “Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again,” after backlash to the platform’s decision to ban sharing to other social media sites.
The news comes after yet another tumultuous few days for Twitter, after Musk banned a raft of tech journalists from the site on Thursday (15 December), from the likes of the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN. The bans for many of those suspended were then reinstated.
READ MORE: Musk asks Twitter poll if he should stay as boss
Vaping, soft drinks and energy drinks declared 2022’s fastest growing grocery categories
It’s been a year of convenience, claims new data from NielsenIQ and The Grocer. It’s convenience store categories that have witnessed the highest rise in 2022, such as vaping, which has grown by £434.1m.
Carbonated soft drinks come in at the second fastest growing at £264.3m growth, and sports and energy drinks have grown by £251.1m.
On the flip side, spirits have dropped by £752.5m, table wine by £615m, and lager by £575m, making all three the fastest falling categories, despite them last year being among the fastest growing. NeilsenIQ suggests the drop is in response to the shift away from at-home dining following the removal of Covid-19 restrictions.
Both the fastest growing and fastest falling lists exclude tobacco products. “The UK this year returned to more normal patterns of behaviour, from being able to socialise with friends and family without restrictions, to venturing into the office more frequently,” says NielsenIQ managing director UK and Ireland, Rachel White.
Other fast growing categories include bagged snacks (£229.1m), Petcare (£222.2m), cold and flu remedies (£218m) and bottled water (£214m). Among the fastest falling are vegetables, down £456.2m, fresh meat with a drop of £247.9m, and ale and stout which is down £166m.
“This has naturally led to a shift in the types of products in shoppers’ baskets to reflect consumers’ busier lifestyles, as well as a rise in demand for more convenience items, such as sports and energy drinks and bagged snacks. This may have also led to a decline in at-home cooking occasions, with many fresh items falling out of favour,” she adds.
Tesco to increase loyalty offering with more coupons
Tesco is reportedly revising its Clubcard scheme to increase the number of coupons it gives to customers. As the Independent reports, the supermarket retailer’s new ‘Clubcard & Grocery’ app, which is replacing the current Clubcard app in 2023, will offer customers vouchers three times more often than current levels.
Customers will be sent personalised savings offers every two weeks under the new scheme. Previously, customers received vouchers eight times a year. Tesco says customers who prefer the physical postal statement and vouchers can continue to use that method, however customers will be encouraged to go digital.
The change comes of the back of a year where Tesco drove its loyalty proposition further, with its Clubcard being used in approximately 75% of all Tesco sales and with 10 million customers using it through the app in the UK.
READ MORE: Tesco announces Clubcard changes to offer more savings
Audi goes out of home for Piccadilly Christmas campaign
Audi has created a 3D billboard at London’s Piccadilly Lights with agency BBH, becoming the first automotive brand to run ‘Deep Screen’ activity at the location, the brand claims.
‘The spirit of Christmas future’ sees the brand promote its Audi Grandsphere car, a “concept car that will shape the automotive future”.
“We’re excited to launch this futuristic campaign, using progressive media like one of the UK’s most high profile outdoor sites. For Audi, future is an attitude, and this campaign illustrates this attitude perfectly,” says Audi UK brand marketing manager, Laura Brennan.
“Our job is to put some distance between Audi and the other players in this burgeoning market. With its seasonal message, this amazing display is a great opportunity to help us do that,” adds BBH creative director Sacha Ward.