Retail Week looks ahead to next week with full-year figures from French Connection, Ted Baker and bid deadlines for Argos on the agenda.


Next week in retail


The supermarket giant reports its fourth quarter trading update on Tuesday, days before its “put up or shut up” deadline in the battle to gain control of Argos. Sainsbury’s has outperformed its big four rivals once again in the latest Kantar data, but its like-for-like sales fell 0.4% during its third quarter. However, boss Mike Coupe hailed volume and transaction growth during that 12-week period and the City will be seeking signs that those trends have continued.


The online grocer unveils its first-quarter trading update on Tuesday. The update comes just a month after the etailer posted a 65.3% surge in full-year pre-tax profits to £11.9m, as customer numbers exceeded 500,000. Since then Ocado’s share price has plummeted, after Morrisons, with whom it has a 25-year deal to deliver its online grocery proposition, penned a deal with Amazon to provide the US etail titan with hundreds of fresh, frozen and ambient products.

French Connection 

The fashion retailer and brand posts its full-year results on Tuesday. All eyes will be on the embattled chain after like-for-like sales inched up 0.2% in the 16 weeks to November 21, compared with a 6.1% drop the previous year. The City will be looking for signs of sales momentum after French Connection revealed in November that it was exiting seven more “non-contributing” stores, including one on London’s Regent Street.

The Budget

Retailers will be hoping for some good news on business rates when George Osborne delivers his Budget speech on Wednesday. The Government’s review of the business rates system has been delayed, but the Chancellor has promised to finally unveil his plan for the changes this week.

Ted Baker

The fashion retailer unveils its full-year results on Thursday. Ted Baker notched up a 10.1% increase in total retail sales over Christmas as it continues its march overseas. The retailer and brand opened concessions in France, Spain and Mexico during the crucial trading period and launched a new store in California, as well as franchise shops in Sydney and Saudi Arabia.

Argos bid deadlines

Sainsbury’s and rival bidder Steinhoff both have until 5pm on Friday to “put up or shut up” in their attempts to acquire the retailer. The supermarket giant had looked set to secure a deal until Christo Wiese-backed Steinhoff swooped with an 11th hour all-cash offer. Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe has vowed not to overpay for Argos but appears poised to up its bid. Argos owner Home Retail Group has already sold Homebase after Wesfarmers completed that acquisition at the end of February.