Retail Round up The Sunday papers
ITV seeks sales tie-in with supermarkets, Marks & Spencer to unveil £600m stores revamp, Rick Stein to create jobs with Cornwall expansion, Selfridges family snaps up Oxford Street neighbour, Arcadia to close Dorothy Perkins on Oxford Street, Womenswear line to rival Savile Row, Stratford's Westfield shopping mall chiefs pin hopes on euro tourists, Comet auction in peril as sales tumble 20%, M&B eats up cajun chain, John Lewis managing director Andy Street warns of 'fragile' High Street, Sun shines on fast-growing Travel Republics sale plan, Sainsburys fixes tills to match rivals prices as supermarkets set for new price war.
ITV could partner with Tesco, as it holds talks with supermarkets about linking its food shows and websites direct to retailers' websites, in a bid to diversify from advertising. Customers watching a show or looking at a website that features a recipe for an apple pie, for example, could link directly to a Tesco shopping page with a basket full of the apples and the other baking ingredients featured. ITV hopes to get a minimum of 75p per transaction if shoppers proceed to the checkout.could partner with , as it holds talks with supermarkets about linking its food shows and websites direct to retailers' websites, in a bid to diversify from advertising. Customers watching a show or looking at a website that features a recipe for an apple pie, for example, could link directly to a Tesco shopping page with a basket full of the apples and the other baking ingredients featured. ITV hopes to get a minimum of 75p per transaction if shoppers proceed to the checkout.
Marc Bolland, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, will reveal plans for a multi-million pound overhaul of the retailer's stores on Monday. The store makeovers are set to include a range of different store formats based on the age, affluence and demographics of local people, taking into account rival retailers in the area. The "cluster" model, as it is known internally, will start to be seen by customers as early as next month, after a pilot of new-style stores tests shoppers' reactions.
Celebrity chef Rick Stein has revealed plans to expand his Padstow-based restaurant and food empire as his company posted rising sales and profits. The Seafood Restaurant, which includes Mr Stein’s 11 ventures that include fish and chip shops, cafés and a public house, has seen sales increase by 4pc in the year to August. Full time employment passed the 300 mark for the first time as it opened a seafood restaurant, deli and fish and chip shop in Falmouth during 2010.
Independent on Sunday
The retail dynasty behind Selfridges has snapped up a prime retail block next door to its flagship London store in an £80m deal. The Weston-family firm has bought a 40,000 sq ft block on Oxford Street currently occupied by French Connection. The fashion chain has a lease that runs until 2025, but Selfridges could take ownership sooner. French Connection recently agreed to pay more than £3.2m a year for the store after a rent review arbitration found against the chain, so might be amenable to getting the expensive site off its books. With Selfridges, the Westons own the UK's second-largest department store – after Harrods – and had to beat off competition from other bidders to buy the French Connection site.
Sir Philip Green's Arcadia is to close one of its Dorothy Perkins stores on Oxford Street and has sold the lease to the chemist, Boots. Arcadia has been moving some of its brands, such as Dorothy Perkins and Burton, into its Bhs stores to save on rent.
Two former corporate businesswomen are launching a clothing line for women in the board room. Cheryl Mainland and Polly McMaster are in the process of the first round of external financing for The Fold which will launch in London and New York. They are looking to raise more than $1m from backers. Their outfits, selling for an average of £250, will all be designed and made in the UK.
Westfield, the largest urban shopping mall in Europe will open in east London this week amid hopes that foreign shoppers might bring in the cash that British shoppers seem unwilling to part with. One financial expert said experts could not say that the project would have been cancelled had anyone been able to predict the economic slowdown, but with the capital awash with rising numbers of tourists, it could well be down to London's cachet with fashion-conscious Europeans to keep our stores afloat.
The sale of Comet hangs in the balance this weekend as its French owner, Kesa, prepares to reveal a 20% slump in sales at the struggling electricals chain. Discussions began last week between Kesa bosses and two possible buyers — Hilco, the restructuring specialist, and private equity house Op Capita.
The Mitchells & Butlers pub group is expanding on the high street with a deal to buy Old Orleans restaurants. M&B, where Joe Lewis, the billionaire investor, is the largest shareholder, has acquired the eight-strong chain from what is left of the Regent Inns leisure operation.
Mail on Sunday
The boss of John Lewis has warned that the battered High Street is poised on a knife edge and could face disaster if hit by any further shocks to consumer confidence. Managing director Andy Street said the consumer economy remained ‘fragile’ despite stores being in the thick of critical preparations for Christmas. High Street sales are stagnant and shoppers have less money to spend. ‘I would describe the retail market as flat,’ said Street, speaking ahead of the opening of the latest John Lewis store at Westfield Stratford City next to the Olympic Park in east London on Tuesday.
Travel Republic, one of Britain’s fastest-growing online travel agents, has appointed advisory firm NM Rothschild to look at a sale or listing for more than £150 million. The business, based in Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, was set up eight years ago by university friends Paul Furner, Chris Waite and Kane Pirie, who stand to become multi-millionaires if it is sold.
An aggressive price-matching promotion by Sainsbury’s has started a supermarket price war that grocery suppliers warn could escalate out of control. In a trial at 18 of its stores, Sainsbury’s is effectively guaranteeing to match prices at rival supermarkets. Tills at the shops are linked to the supermarket’s database of prices charged by its rivals on 12,000 branded products.
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