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Retail round up -the Sunday papers

Sunday Telegraph

Tesco launches Tesco Cars on Sunday, a website offering thousands of used cars for sale. Andy Higginson, Tesco’s chief executive of retailing services, said that the site has been designed to provide a “convenient, easy and safe” alternative to traditional used car forecourts. He said that the cars will be around 20pc cheaper than forecourt-sold cars due to low overheads. In launching the service, Tesco hopes to grab a slice of the £24bn motor market. “It is about following the customer into areas of spend. It is a £24bn market and we will have a tiny proportion of it. We can bring trust. A lot of people find it intimidating with the hard sell. There is no hard sell here,” said Mr Higginson. Shoppers - who can gain up to 2,000 Tesco Clubcard points by buying a car - will be able to search through up to 3,000 former hire or lease cars each week on the website.

Private equity firms and trade buyers have expressed an interest in either buying a stake in or acquiring the whole group. The company, founded by enterpreneur Nick Jenkins, engaged advisers from Ingenious Media in 2008 and the corporate finance boutique has been working with since then to study the approaches. Bankers believe the company could be worth between £120m and £140m. However, it is understood is not being actively marketed by Ingenious Media to potential investors or buyers. " gets phone calls every couple of weeks from interested parties and Ingenious Media were appointed to deal with those approaches," said one person familiar with the situation.


The Observer

Marks & Spencer is expected to add to a gathering sense of gloom among high-street retailers this week by revealing a "grisly" drop in clothes sales as consumers tighten their belts in anticipation of the government's cuts. Fresh from announcing plans for a flagship store on the Champs-Elysées after a decade's absence from France, the venerable retailer is likely to reveal a 6% fall in like-for-like sales of non-food merchandise for the three months to March. Food could be marginally up by 1%, according to a consensus among analysts' forecasts, with total sales down by 2%.

The Independent on Sunday

Fabergé, famous for its jewel-encrusted eggs and synonymous with Tsarist Russia, is set to return to London after a 94-year break. Pallinghurst Resources, which bought Fabergé in 2007 with plans to restore its status as one of the world's most exclusive brands, is searching for a flagship shop to showcase fine jewellery, watches and objets d'art. A Fabergé board member, Sean Gilbertson, said: "The last Fabergé store outside Russia, at 173 Bond Street, closed in 1917. All the money in the world passes through London so we thought it would be appropriate to be there."

Marks & Spencer, due to update the market on Wednesday, will be targeting international expansion for its future growth in the face of deteriorating trading conditions in Britain. Consensus forecasts predict M&S will report a 6.2 per cent slump in like-for-like sales of clothing for the 13 weeks to 2 April. In contrast, food sales have risen 1.3 per cent. Its underlying sales in the UK are forecast to fall by 2.5 per cent in the quarter. The retailer has confirmed plans for a store in Paris. It is aiming for sales from its international operations, excluding Ireland, of between £800m and £1bn over the next four years. Currently, its international sales are just over £500m.

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