Sunday News Roundup
Rose back behind the counter, Ocado delivers red ink after cash boost, Profit is sweet for patisserie, Centre Point orders a makeover, Slumberland dreams of sale, Becks backs Ramsay revival, The traditional local could soon be a coffee shop, PayPal customers hit by technical glitch that sees payments taken up to four times, Kim Winser: 'My clothes, and my business, are made to last'
The Sunday Times
Sir Stuart Rose is to become chairman of Fat Face, the clothing chain. It is the second senior boardroom role he has taken on in the past two weeks. The former Marks & Spencer boss will succeed Alan Giles, who has told Fat Face he will stand down after seven years. Rose’s appointment comes less than a fortnight after the 63-year-old was named chairman of Ocado, the online grocer. At Fat Face, he will be reunited with his former M&S colleague Anthony Thompson, who is chief executive of the fashion retailer. Rose will join the board next month and take over as chairman in July.
Ocado is poised to reveal rising losses this week as the online supermarket struggles to convert its growing popularity into profits. The company, known for its brightly coloured delivery vans, is expected to have increased sales by more than 11% to £716.2m in the year to November. But its house broker, Numis, predicts that pre-tax losses will increase from £2.4m to £6m because of the falling value of assets such as its warehouse at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
The company behind Patisserie Valerie cafes enjoyed a sharp rise in sales and profits last year. Turnover at Patisserie Holdings increased 22% to £49.5m in the year to September 2012 while pre-tax profits jumped 28% to £5.9m. Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners, owner of the business, said the rise was a result of new openings and consumers’ appetite for “affordable treats”. Patisserie Valerie is expected to add more than 20 branches this year.
The property developer hoping to revitalise the Centre Point skyscraper in London’s West End has struck an unusual alliance with a fashion designer, writes Oliver Shah. Almacantar, backed by Italy’s super-rich Agnelli family, has hired Eley Kishimoto, the design house famous for its pattern prints. The collaboration could see special materials and patterns created for the inside of the building. The design firm, founded by the husband-and-wife team Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto, has already come up with a range of patterns inspired by Centre Point.
The bed and mattress manufacturing giant behind the Slumberland and Jensen brands is heading for a £1bn sale. The private equity group Arle Partners has hired Deutsche Bank to sell Hilding Anders, which is based in Sweden and has 7,000 staff in 40 countries. As well as Slumberland, Britain’s No 1 bed maker, Hilding Anders owns Dunlopillo, the beds and pillows business with a headquarters in Harrogate.
Financial backing from Beckham is a vote of confidence in Ramsay, who has pulled off a remarkable comeback. David Beckham is going to be my sous chef.” Gordon Ramsay smiles and puts down his glass of wine. This is not a concept for a reality television show, but a real restaurant. The former England captain is investing some of his football fortune in the chef’s newest venture, Union Street Cafe, due to open this September near London’s Borough market.
The Mail on Sunday
Forget the war of the coffee shops. The battle between the big chains such as Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero and their smaller independent rivals is nothing compared with the real clash on the high street – coffee shops versus the great British pub. Pubs are in long-term decline, down from about 69,000 in 1988 to 49,500 today, and the trend is expected to continue as latest figures show 18 pubs close every week.
PayPal users have been affected by a technical glitch with some customers having payments taken four times from their bank account. The online payments system blamed a technical issue which lasted for three hours on January 27 and 28. PayPal, which has 123 million customers globally, emailed customers to apologise if they were affected.
After success at M&S, Pringle and Aquascutum, Kim Winser is about to sell fashion under her own name at last. She is probably one of the most influential women in fashion retailing that you have never heard of. And unlike some industry types, wrapped up in the crazy world of champagne-swilling, shoulder-rubbing and back-slapping, Kim Winser seems to prefer it that way. The 53-year-old former commercial director of Marks & Spencer, boss of Aquascutum and chairman of Agent Provocateur, is almost nervous about putting her name to her new clothing business, despite her deep conviction that Winser London will be a worldwide brand in just a few years.
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