Stories by CIO (UK) staff

  • Net leads June upturn in retailing

    Online retailing played a significant part in an overall improvement in retail sales during June, the British Retail Consortium has reported. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) Sales Monitor report for June 2009 shows that non-food non-store sales in June increased by 16.8 per cent when compared to the same period last year. Non-food, non-store based sales also includes mail order and telephone sales. Sharon Hadiman, head of non-store retailing for the BRC said; "Online and mail order sales of non-food goods bounced back in June to the second highest growth rate this year."Although online retailing is on the increase and retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Mothercare have reported steady online growth, the BRC said that less than four per cent of food and non-food sales in the UK are acquired through non-store channels.Overall the retail sector had a better June than previous months of this year with the value of retail sales increasing by 1.4 per cent, according to the BRC like-for-like figures."June's sunshine gave overall sales a much needed boost," said Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC. "The heat wave helped food retailers and got customers buying outdoor goods, such as garden furniture, pools and picnic ware."Robertson did add a note of caution to the better than expected figures, reminding the industry that "big ticket" purchases such as furniture were still depressed as consumers still lived with concern about job security and debt levels.BRC creates the monthly sales monitor with CIO 100 ranked company KPMG. The financial experts are responsible for aggregating the sales data that retailers provide to the BRC.

  • Hays investing in IT as recruitment stays tough

    Recruitment specialists Hays said it is continuing to invest in its IT strategy despite reporting in a trading statement yesterday that it sees no upturn in the recruitment market.Hays said it has continued IT investment throughout the quarter ending June 30, 2009. A single platform is being rolled out to all Hays businesses which it believes will improve the service it can deliver to candidates and clients."This has been another tough quarter with continued reductions in demand across all the 28 countries in which we operate," said Alistair Cox, Hays chief executive. "Currently, demand continues to weaken in both our temporary and permanent placement business." Cox backed his management team and the headcount reductions they have been making to reduce the cost base of the business and said they would continue to "invest selectively".Hays saw its net fees <a href="http://www.cio.co.uk/news/3439/low-demand-for-full-time-staff-hits-recruiters">revenues reduce</a> by 37 per cent in the last quarter and as a result had to reduce its headcount group wide by a further eight per cent, bringing its total redundancy to 26 per cent. Permanent staff fees dropped by 57 per cent and temporary staff fees by 23 per cent. In the UK and Ireland net fees dwindled by 45 per cent, although Hays did report that its public sector business was "resilient".Around the world the Asia Pacific region witnessed a fees revenue drop of 46 per cent and continental Europe a drop of 25 per cent.Rivals <a href="http://www.cio.co.uk/news/118727/michael-page-could-be-hiring-to-meet-demand/">Michael Page reported earlier in the week</a> that it is still finding market conditions tough, but is considering hiring more staff in preparation for a return to demand for staff.