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Retail round up – the Sunday papers

Tesco eyes £1bn from bank sale, Hedge fund takes £100m bet on M&S, Will Marks & Spencer be able to beat the Christmas blues?, High street shopping monitor Springboard bought for £6m, Ikea embarks on biggest programme of price cuts, Ramsay to sell stake, Polished performer, Warm weather leaves M&S feeling the chill, How supermarket staff demand payments from suppliers for an 'easy' bonus, M&S profits fall again, Topshop in Big Apple after Beyonce deal, TV ads to revive our thirst for beer


Retail round up – the Sunday papers

Sunday Telegraph

Tesco has begun exploring the possible sale of a stake in its banking arm as it speeds up plans to raise billions of pounds in much-needed additional capital. The troubled supermarket giant, fighting the biggest crisis in its 95-year history, is in the early stages of examining a potential partial float of Tesco Bank, which could raise between £500m and £1bn. The grocer’s new chief executive Dave Lewis has been forced to consider the possible sale of the bank and several other prized assets including its Asian operations.

A US hedge fund giant has made a £100m bet against Marks & Spencer as Britain’s biggest clothing retailer prepares to unveil another slump in sales. Lone Pine Capital, which controls $27bn (£16.9bn) of assets, has built a 1.6pc short position in M&S in recent weeks as concerns have grown about the company’s trading.

A company that counts the number of shoppers on Britain’s high streets has changed hands in a £6m deal. Springboard, which measures footfall for the British Retail Consortium amongst others, has been purchased by its management, backed by venture capital firm YFM ­Equity Partners. YFM invested £3m into the buy-out, which was led by chief executive Steve Booth.

Ikea says it will make its biggest ever round of price cuts this year as the British arm of the Swedish furniture retailer plans to double sales by 2020. The retailer said it was spending £27m on reducing prices across its stores, "the largest investment into lowering prices we've ever made in a single year". The announcement came as it revealed that Britons’ love of flat pack furniture has seen them spend £1.4bn at Ikea in the last year, with demand for energy efficient kitchen appliances and sofa beds boosting UK sales.

Sunday Times

Gordon Ramsay is cooking up a deal to sell a 50% stake in his restaurant empire. The celebrity chef is working with advisers at BDO to find an investor willing to help fund the expansion of a business that includes Bread Street Kitchen in the City and his Chelsea flagship. It is anticipated that a deal could value the company at up to £80m.

A range of nail varnishes and lipsticks popular with celebrities, such as Pixie Lott, is to be bought by the largest retailer in Saudi Arabia. Fawaz Alhokair, which owns the Marks & Spencer franchise in the oil-rich kingdom, last week agreed a deal to buy Models Own for about £20m. The sale will deliver a fortune to its shareholders, the largest of which are founders Mark Rodol, former chief executive of the Ministry of Sound dance music operation, and his brother, Steven.

Marks & Spencer is braced for a double dose of bad news this week as it reports a fall in clothing sales and a slowdown in its food business. The high street bellwether is believed to have been hit hard by the unusually warm autumn weather, which prompted a rare profit warning from Next last week as jumpers and coats remained unsold. Analysts expect M&S to announce a 3.7% fall in like-for-like general merchandise sales in the three months to the end of September — worse than the 1% drop previously forecast — and growth of just 0.2% in food sales.

Mail on Sunday

One-off payments demanded by supermarkets from suppliers could contribute billions more to profits than previously thought, sources have told the Mail on Sunday. Supermarket demands for such payments are also too closely tied to buying staff’s individual bonuses, industry experts have warned. Analysis by The Mail On Sunday shows the overstatement of profits at Tesco began to emerge at about the same time as bonuses ran out.

Marks & Spencer is this week set to announce its fourth first-half profit decline in a row as it loses market share in clothing sales to its main rival Next. Profit at M&S – Britain’s biggest clothing retailer – is expected to have fallen 3.4 per cent to £252 million in the six months to the end of September. The figures will pile pressure on M&S chief executive Marc Bolland, who has presided over 13 consecutive quarterly like-for-like sales falls in its clothing and home business.

Billionaire Sir Philip Green is poised to open a flagship Topshop store on New York’s Fifth Avenue just days after signing a deal with singer Beyonce to produce an exclusive clothing range. The shop, which opens on Wednesday, will be Topshop’s second biggest in the world after its Oxford Circus store in Central London. Green is understood to be heading to New York for the launch. It will be the chain’s fifth store in the US, where it also has a deal to sell Topshop and Topman clothing in department store Nordstrom.

Brewers, retailers and pub companies will tell consumers ‘there’s a beer for that’ in a £10million TV advertising campaign aimed at reversing years of decline in beer drinking. The first ad will be aired tonight during ITV’s Downton Abbey. Drinks giants SAB Miller, Carlsberg, Heineken, AB InBev and Molson Coors have joined regional brewers Fullers, Wells & Young’s and Shepherd Neame, and the Society of Independent Brewers, the British Beer & Pub Association and Cask Marque to create Britain’s Beer Alliance.

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