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Retail round up - The Friday papers

Home Retail Group investors in protest vote over pay at owner of Argos and Homebase, Housing crash is now past its worst,European car sales 'will not recover for five years',Fashion designer George Davies names sites for GIVe chain, 'Consumer advocate' to take on legal action on behalf of ripped-off customers,The car stays in the garage as more drivers see green...


Retail round up - The Friday papers

The Daily Telegraph
Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos and Homebase, was given a wake up call over executive pay when more than a third of investors voted against the directors' remuneration report.Shareholders were angered by a new bonus incentive scheme that could see executives awarded up to 150pc of salary in cash.However, the protest vote - 35.66pc rejected the motion to approve the directors' remuneration report - was not enough to block the resolution. Full article.

The worst of the housing market crash is now over, David Miles, the Bank of England's new resident expert on the mortgage and property market, claimed yesterday.Professor Miles, who wrote a Treasury report on mortgages five years ago, said that both the housing market and the broader economy had now endured the worst of the slump, and could recover soon.His comments come amid growing signs that although the economy remains weak, the signs of recovery are now becoming increasingly convincing. According to Nationwide, house prices rose in June for the third time in four months. Full article.

The European car industry will have to wait at least five years before sales return to pre-recession levels and faces recording heavy losses during that period, a gloomy new report has claimed.With fewer and smaller cars being sold as consumers tighten their belts, the industry faces a liquidity crisis that will result in a 30bn (25.7bn) global cash surplus being wiped out this year and $40bn more leaking from the sector in 2010.Considerable overcapacity and the high levels of debt built up by manufacturers means the industry is set for fierce consolidation, according to AlixPartners, the turnaround specialists behind the restructuring of General Motors in the US. Full article.

George Davis, the high street fashion designer behind Next, Per Una and George at Asda, has named the locations of the first seven stores of his new GIVe chain, that will open in October.As well as stores on London's Regent Street and on Glasgow's Buchanan Street, Mr Davies will open in some of the UK's largest shopping centres; Liverpool One, Bristol's Cribbs Causeway, Sheffield's Meadowhall and Kent's Bluewater. A branch will also open in Kingston, Surrey. All the openings are set for the first few weeks of October. Mr Davies is in the final stages of securing the sites.Mr Davies is also in talks to sell the products through six UK and two Dutch department stores.Full article.

A media-friendly public figure is to be appointed to fight for consumers who feel they have been ripped-off, from retailers, banks, utility companies or any other major body.The new role is one of many measures announced this morning in a Consumer White Paper, presented by the new consumer minister Kevin Brennan. Full article.

The Times
More than
two thirds of environmentally aware people have cut the number of trips they make by car, a poll for The Times has found.Nearly 70 per cent of concerned consumers have reduced car use in the past year and the main reason for the switch to other forms of travel has changed from cost to factors such as better public transport, according to the annual Populus survey.Full article.

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