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Retail round up - The Thursday papers

Woolworths returns as online business, Marks & Spencer worst supermarket for packaging, study finds, Marks & Spencer board woes deepen, OECD warns of 'weak and sluggish' UK growth...

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail round up - The Thursday papers

The Telegraph
Woolworths, which collapsed into administration at the end of last year, has been revived as Woolworths.co.uk, an internet business, with the much-loved Pic 'n' Mix making a return.Toys, children's clothing, computer games and CDs, alongside sweets such as white mice, mallow twists and fizzy cola bottles, will all be sold at Woolworths.co.uk which opens for business this morning. The online shop is aimed squarely at families and it hopes to successfully compete with the supermarkets by offering "a lot of fun in one place". It will not sell the domestic appliances and DIY equipment that featured in many of the larger Woolworths shops. Full article.

Marks & Spencer, which has spent the last two years running a high-profile environmental campaign, is the supermarket with the most packaging, according to a study.While M&S has gone to great strides to improve its green credentials – most controversially charging for plastic bags – it lags behind Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons when it comes to packaging.Its packs of bacon, punnets for mushrooms, and tubs for ice cream are all heavier than rivals' similar packaging, a study by Which?, the consumer body has found. Full article.

Marks & Spencer's boardroom woes have deepened, with corporate governance bodies coming out in support of a resolution to split Sir Stuart Rose's joint role as chairman and chief executive.The move against his position gathered pace yesterday after it emerged that M&S's deputy chairman, Sir David Michels, had told investors he would be keen to take on the chairman's role. Such an appointment could prompt Sir Stuart to leave before his planned retirement date in 2011.Full article.

The Times
The recession will end this year but Britain’s economy will endure a bout of stagnation, failing to grow at all next year, as the recovery proves weak and sluggish, the West’s leading official think-tank is predicting.In a stark challenge to Alistair Darling’s optimistic forecast for Britain to rebound sharply in 2010 with growth of at least 1 per cent, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projects zero growth for the UK next year, although that is an upgrade to its previous warning of a continued contraction by 0.2 per cent. Full article.

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