The Office for National Statistics retail sales figures for February 2003 show retail sales growth is continuing to slow.
An underlying 4.6% sales volume growth is the lowest underlying rate of growth in two years. It contrasts with 4.8% sales volume growth in the three months to January 2003, and over 6% in April and May 2002.

fmcg budgets up
Marketing budgets in the fmcg sector are set to increase by 5.4% this year. Key growth areas will be in digital and direct marketing, according to research by direct marketing agency EHS Brann in conjunction with London Business School.

investment RISES
Londis retailers average investment in store refits has risen from £15,717 per project in 2000, to £31,647 last year.
Sales director Terry Bedford said stores invested a total of £7.3m last year in Londis three development packages, Value, Intermediate and Genesis.

bagel strength
Bagel company Maple Leaf Bakery is expanding its Rotheram, south Yorkshire bakery and has commissioned new freezer and coldstore facilities for its Peterborough bakery. MD Peter Maycock said the investment would maintain its position as the number one bagel supplier as the category expands.

Gold for sir peter
The Chartered Management Institute has awarded Sainsbury group chief executive Sir Peter Davis its Gold Medal Award for vision and leadership.

POPULAR HOLIDAYS
Convenience chain Jacksons has reported positive customer response to its new promotion with Eurocamp, which offers selected holidays half price for customers who spend over £5.

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