Retail news round-up August 27, 2013: John Lewis to open at Westfield London, Dwell customers struggle to recovery money, LK Bennett up for sale and Sports Direct poised to enter FTSE100.
John Lewis poised to open in Westfield London
John Lewis is close to approving a deal to open its fourth London store at an extension of the Westfield shopping centre in the wealthy west London area.
However a final decision will be taken at board meeting for the John Lewis Partnership scheduled for next month, The Telegraph reported.
John Lewis, which has 39 stores across the UK, would give company to Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and House of Fraser stores, who are already at the Westfield centre.
Dwell customers unlikely to recover £5m
Dwell’s customers are facing a tough task to recover £5m after the furniture retailer collapsed in June with a string of unfulfilled orders. As reported by administrator Duff & Phelps, Dwell’s creditors are also unlikely to get any payout from the administration.
Dwell collapsed with debts of £16.3m to unsecured creditors, including £4.9m in customer deposits and £800,000 to HM Revenue & Customs, The Telegraph reported.
Duff & Phelps’ report also revealed that Dwell suffered stock-shortage issues due to no supply from its main suppliers in China after the retailer failed to make payments in early 2013.
Fashion chain LK Bennett up for sale
Private equity firms Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius, which acquired 70% in the retailer in 2008, have begun sounding out City advisers in preparation for the sale of fashion retailer LK Bennett.
The owners are expecting a £100 m-plus sale of the company after its popularity was boosted by the Duchess of Cambridge, The Express reported.
LK Bennett, which has 51 UK shops and 13 in the US, has presence in the Middle East and is considering entering the Chinese market.
Tesco’s UK-preferred poultry sourcing ‘distorting’ Irish market
Irish poultry farmers have branded Tesco “hypocritical” for its commitment to source all UK-sold fresh poultry from the UK, and not sourcing from the Republic of Ireland. According to Alo Mohan, chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association poultry division, this is putting pressure on prices in Ireland and surplus poultry meat from the UK is being dumped on their market.
However, Tesco said that all fresh chicken is sourced from Ireland, and is quality approved, Farmers Weekly reported.
The retailer also said that more than half of this originates from producers in the Republic with sourcing growing by over 30% in the last year.
Sports Direct on course to enter FTSE 100
Sports Direct is heading to the FTSE 100 list for the first time next month. Sports Direct’s soaring valuation has put the retailer in line for elevation to FTSE 100.
FTSE Group decides the constituents of its indices by ranking London-listed companies by their market capitalisation. Investor demand for shares in the sports retailer has been stoked this year by record sales and profits, The Telegraph reported.
Shares in the FTSE 250 group, which were floated in 2007 at 300p apiece, have surged 72pc since the start of the year to close at 664½p on Friday, giving the company a market value of almost £4bn, The Telegraph reported.
Sports Direct’s last month posted a 40 % increase in full-year pre-tax profits to £207m which was boosted by high-profile sporting events such as the Olympics and Euro 2012.
Debenhams recalls steam irons
Debenhams has recalled its 4,265 Best Buy Value steam irons after a customer reported an electrical fault while using the iron, which caused the cable to ignite.
Customers were asked to stop using the iron and return it to any Debenhams store to be issued with a full refund, The Express reported.
The product had been available at Debenhams stores in the UK, Republic of Ireland and online at Debenhams.com and Debenhams.ie with a retail price of £12. According to the company spokesperson, most of the products were bought in stores in the UK with 336 bought in stores in Ireland, and 73 online.
Topshop to open store in Paris
Fashion retailer Topshop is to open a permanent retail outlet within the high-end department store Galeries Lafayette Haussmann in Paris.
After opening a pop-up store in the famous Parisian department store in February, Topshop has decided to establish a more permanent presence in the French capital, The Guardian reported.
The company will open its outlet during October.
A selection of clothing and accessories from Topshop’s permanent collection will be presented in a 200 sq. meters retail space, along with a rotation of items from its seasonal collections and high-end lines.
Karen Millen increases marketing spend for Autumn/Winter season
Designer womens wear brand Karen Millen is increasing its marketing spend for this year’s Autumn/Winter campaign as it hopes draw attention on an international scale.
The brand has already partnered with photographer David Bailey to shoot the global advertising campaign, which features four new models, Marketing Week reported.
Karen Millen, which has 372 stores in 55 countries, plans to increase its retail footprint to 400 stories by the end of next year, which will see its entry in new markets such as Russia, China, Central America and the US. Karen Millen generates about 60% of sales from its international markets.
Marks & Spencer’s grouse meat could come from illegal source
The environmentalist and former conservation director at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Mark Avery said that grouse meat on sale in Marks & Spencer (M&S) stores could come from estates where birds of prey are illegally shot to maximise the food supply.
He has called for a boycott of company until it demonstrates its supply chain is ethical and secure, The Guardian reported.
RSPB claims there is strong evidence that some gamekeepers routinely kill birds of prey to protect the grouse population from natural predators and has asked M&S to demonstrate exactly which properties their meat came from. However, in a statement to the Guardian, M&S said its grouse came from a single supplier, Yorkshire Game, which sources game from estates in northern England and Scotland.
Supermarkets start selling Christmas ranges
Tesco and Asda have started selling first festive chocolates a full 122 days before Christmas. Both retailers confirmed that a small collection of tins and tubs were on sale at their stores. Cash and carry chain Costco has also started selling Chrismas trees, tinsel and advent calenders, The Telegraph reported.
Cadbury’s and Nestle usually begin selling their Christmas tins and tubs to retailers from the end of July however, according to Cadbury’s, supermarkets had been “very quick off the mark this year getting them onto shelves”.