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Retail round up – the Sunday papers

Morrisons online at last, Battered M & S chief wants even more time, I want your credit cards to be free, Merlin float is magic for staff, Tesco chief Clarke banned for speeding, Co-op store sales fall against main competitors, Sports Direct set to net sales of over £2 billion


Retail round up – the Sunday papers

Mail on Sunday 
Morrisons is preparing a test of its much-anticipated online grocery operation before Christmas as the chain battles to catch up with supermarket rivals’ online shopping service. Boss Dalton Philips told The Mail on Sunday that there would be a test of its new high-tech warehouse in Dordon, Warwickshire, making Morrisons’ groceries available to a limited number of online shoppers in the Midlands in the run-up to the Christmas holiday.

Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland said it will take until April 2014 for the work of the new clothing team to show up properly in company results despite previously citing next autumn as the key time. Bolland’s plea for patience, made to The Mail on Sunday on the fringe of last week’s annual meeting of M&S shareholders, is likely to conflict with expectations among investors who will scrutinise the half-year results in November for early signs of a recovery in clothing.

Shoppers paying with credit and debit cards face higher charges from their banks because of a campaign by regulators and supermarkets against paying fees to MasterCard, warns its UK president Marion King. Her company is being investigated and sued for millions of pounds in the High Court by retailers, including supermarket giants Asda and Morrisons. But King is adamant that her business has been misunderstood and that the real victims of any clampdown will be shoppers.

Sunday Times
The owner of Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds could create dozens of millionaires when it goes public. Some 2,000 employees will share a windfall of hundreds of millions of pounds if the theme park giant pushes the button on a planned stock market listing. With potentially one of the most generous payouts ever seen, the company, which owns some of the world’s best-known tourist attractions, is being dubbed the “millionaires’ playground”.

Philip Clarke, the boss of Tesco, has been banned from driving for six months after being caught speeding. The chief executive of Britain’s biggest supermarket is understood to have been handed an automatic ban after accumulating more than 12 penalty points.

Sunday Telegraph
Market share data from Kantar Worldpanel published on Tuesday is expected to show that the Co-op has lost ground to its rivals over the past 12 weeks compared with the same period last year. The Co-op has suffered from declining sales for four consecutive months and has not increased its market share since October 2011, according to Kantar figures. The retailer’s market share was 6.6pc in July 2012 but is now around 6.2pc.

Sunday Express
The rapid expansion of Sports Direct should see the retailer score full-year profits of £215 million this week, 42 per cent up on last year. City analysts forecast that the firm founded by Mike Ashley will net sales of £2.1 billion compared with £1.8 billion last year.

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