Sunday News Roundup
11 March 2012 | by The Retail Bulletin
Tesco forced to apologise to customers as it's plagued by problems at Â£30m 'dotcom-only' store, Spanx founder Sara Blakely becomes youngest self-made woman, Starwood plans to expand W hotel chain, Greek crisis: for the Chelsea set of Athens, Aga sales drop as housing market stalls
Mail on Sunday
Tesco forced to apologise to customers as it's plagued by problems at £30m 'dotcom-only' store
Tesco has apologised to online shoppers for deliveries arriving late after experiencing ‘teething problems’ at a new £30 million computerised distribution depot. The delays have affected an area covering more than one million homes. Even when vans have arrived at shoppers’ homes, customers have found items missing from their order.
Spanx founder Sara Blakely becomes youngest self-made woman to join Forbes' World Billionaires list
So famous is Spanx, that whenever a we see a glimpse of a celebrity's slimming undergarments, the brand name almost inevitably appears in the headline. And it seems that the A-list aren't the only ones, as the company's founder, Sara Blakley, appears this week on the cover of Forbes' Billionaires issue. The 41-year-old, who originally hails from Florida but is now based in New York, is the youngest self-made woman to make the list. Iceland founder lines up Canadian cash for £1bn bid
Starwood plans to expand W hotel chain
US hotels group Starwood is planning a major expansion of its boutique "W" chain following the success of its first UK branch in central London. The company, which is also behind brands such as Sheraton, Le Meridien and St Regis, wants to increase the number of W hotels worldwide by a third over the next three years, with a sizeable proportion of the new openings expected to be in Europe.
The expansion will lead to the creation of as many as 8,000 jobs and will add a further 4,700 rooms to the W business, taking its total to 12,036 worldwide.
Greek crisis: for the Chelsea set of Athens, it's still a life of luxury brands
As the country struggles, the rich still buy Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton - though they may more discreet about flaunting it. Greece may be facing years of austerity – even after securing the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history last week — but take a 20-minute cab ride north of central Athens to the suburb of Kifissia, and it is hard to find many visible signs that the programme of spending cuts is starting to bite.
Aga sales drop as housing market stalls
Cash-strapped Britons shun the luxury cooker brand, driving sales down 3%. Aga Rangemaster struggled to sell its aspirational cookers last year, as cash-strapped Britons stopped making home improvements. The shares stayed broadly flat on the news, down just 0.25p at 86.1p. The company, which counts Gerard Depardieu among its customers, said sales slipped 3% to £251m. Chief executive William McGrath said: "It was not an easy year for higher ticket consumer products." Sales of Agas are closely linked to the housing market, as it is the kind of product people buy when they move into a new home.
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