Retail Round up - The Sunday papers
UK households 'lost 13pc of wealth in one year', Christmas turkey shortage feared, Australian retailer Howards Storage World opens Scottish store, Matalan weighs £1.5bn sell-off, JD plots £42m football coup, Floors-2-Go seeks more investment to carpet its growth,
The Sunday Telegraph
The huge impact of the economic turmoil on households in Britain has been revealed by new figures that show that household wealth in Britain fell by £844bn between 2007 and 2008, driven by sharp falls in house prices and the collapse of the stock market.It is expected to fall by a further £251bn in 2010 after a slight improvement this year.The near 13pc decline, to £5.8 trillion between the end of 2007 and the end of 2008, was a combination of a £394bn fall in housing wealth and a £450bn decline in net financial assets.The findings, by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), were described as "staggering" by Simon Kirby, research fellow at the think tank." In just one year that's almost the total annual income of households wiped from their stock of wealth," he said. Full article here.
Top-quality turkeys may be in short supply this Christmas because retailers ordered too few birds earlier this year.Two leading premium suppliers say supermarkets have misjudged the impact of the recession on consumer spending and that up to 30 per cent fewer premium turkey chicks were hatched this summer in preparation for Christmas.Paul Kelly, managing director of Kelly Turkeys, told The Grocer magazine: "Early in the year the major retailers dramatically cut their orders for premium fresh turkeys. They are now wondering if they made the right decision." Full article here.
Howards Storage World, the Australian homewares retailer, will on Saturday launch its first UK store in Scotland as part of a programme to open 500 shops in Europe over the next decade.The store group plans to open "a few hundred stores minimum" in the UK, said Dirk Spence, chief executive.Howards Storage World sells 3,500 products associated with storage and tidying. It has about 65 stores in Australia, and has signed a raft of franchise deals to expand the concept worldwide. Full article here.
The Sunday Times
Matalan has hired Price Waterhouse Coopers to advise on a possible £1.5 billion sale of the budget fashion chain.The move follows a string of unsolicited approaches from private-equity groups and investors interested in buying the Lancashire-based chain during the past two months.Matalan’s chief executive, Alistair George, is understood to have met a number of potentially interested parties including CVC, the European private-equity giant, but sources familiar with the group said that no bid had been tabled and the discussion was still thought to be at a very preliminary stage. A sale of Matalan would net hundreds of millions of pounds in profits for its founder, John Hargreaves, who took the business private in an £827m deal backed by £410m of debt three years ago. Full article here.
JD Sports is preparing to gatecrash the £42.5m takeover of AIM-listed Powerleague, Britain’s biggest operator of five-a-side football centres.The sports fashion firm is believed to be taking advice from bankers at Investec.Powerleague, which is chaired by Claude Littner — a close friend of Lord Sugar who enjoys regular cameo appearances on his Apprentice television show — has already agreed a takeover by Patron Capital, its biggest shareholder. Investors are due to vote on the deal at an extraordinary meeting next month.City sources said JD Sports had made no firm decision on whether to proceed with an offer but was thought to be considering buying the business and putting sports shops in the five-a-side centres. Full article here.
The Independent on Sunday
Floors-2-Go, the resurrected flooring retailer saved from extinction last year following a pre-pack administration, is close to agreeing an injection of growth capital from new backers.The Birmingham-based group, which was saved by flooring entrepreneurs Robert and Richard Hodges in August 2008, is conducting a beauty parade of venture capital investors. It's thought the company is looking for as much as £5m in growth capital to fund an expansion of the group, which was the subject of a £52m management buyout by Jon Moulton's Alchemy Partners in 2006. Full article here.
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