From business demises to a massive accounting scandal, the retail landscape encountered its fair share of turbulence in 2014. Retail Gazette takes a brief look at retail’s overall highlights during the past 12 months.
Winner of the trolley wars: Aldi
Supermarket chain Aldi saw sales grow by 25% to £260m for the year, with share growth expanding from 3.9% to 4.9% since 2013. Beating the Big Four as well as Waitrose, Aldi massively stepped up its game in 2014.
By ordering in a limited range of goods in comparison to other well known supermarkets, the German discounter is able to sustain cheap prices. It also buys the same product in bulk and reduces costs by adopting retail ready packaging, where products are delivered and ready to be shelved immediately.
Every little helps at Aldi, with alcohol prices considerably cheaper than its competitors, allowing the Grocer to sell 700 bottles of wine every hour.
Best overall appliance brand: Miele
Premium retailer Miele continued to offer top-of-the-range domestic appliances in 2014, trusted for its reliability and quality amongst UK consumers. Topping first and second place in each category of Which?’s laundy and dishwasher survey scores for test performance and ability, the German brand is famed for its innovativeness and dependable products.
The rising pureplay star of 2014: Missguided
Fashion e-tailer Missguided attracts over 8m hits a month and has set itself a sales target of £100m by March 2015. The fast fashion business prices its products affordably, which are a massive hit amongst students. Missguided customers experienced far less technical problems than those of online competitor ASOS.
The department store that stole Christmas: John Lewis
Britain’s favourite retailer John Lewis, saw like-for-like sales climb 6.9% over the five weeks to December 28, likely owing to the success of the John Lewis Christmas ad where CGI penguin Monty captured the hearts of the nation.
The one with the most controversial fashion campaign: Victoria’s Secret
Glamorous lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret caused chaos when it launched it’s ‘Perfect Body’ campaign earlier this year. The ad, for a bra called Body, sparked major concern amongst three students who petitioned for the “unhealthy and unrealistic standards of beauty” to be addressed.
The petition attracted over 29,000 signatures and the campaign message was renamed ‘A body for everybody’.
US underwear company Dear Kate challenged Victoria’s Secret with their own ‘Perfect Body campaign, showcasing a diversity in body types.
The fastest growing supermarket product: e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have the fastest growing sales volume in UK supermarkets. Sales of battery powered vaporisers are 49.5% year-on-year, ahead of sports nutrition bars, sparkling wine and bottled water.
The rise of e-cigarettes has seen an accompanying 6.1% decline in volume sales of nicotine replacement products such as patches and gum. A more health conscious nation and current crazy for gym culture has opened up the market to products aimed at aiding fitness.