Retail news round-up on June 11, 2015: Big Four grocers to lose 4% of market share by 2020, Laura Ashley AGM, Ex-Monsoon boss to bid for Tesco’s Dunnhumby

Britain’s ‘Big four’ to lose 4% of market share by 2020

Moody’s forecasts that ‘Big Four’ UK grocers’ share of market will fall 4% by 2020 as fast growing hard discounters Aldi and Lidl continue their expansion. Profit margins of Tesco, Asda, Sainsburry’s and Morrisons are unlikely to recover over the next 12-18 months, according to the ratings agency’s report.

“We expect Aldi and Lidl’s combined share of the UK market to reach 12%-15% by 2020,” said Sven Reinke, Moody’s vice president and senior analyst.

Investors in Laura Ashley vote against long-serving director

Laura Ashley’s shareholders have revolted the clothing and interiors retailer’s longest-serving director David Walton Masters at its annual general meeting. Masters, the group’s non-executive deputy chairman, was narrowly re-elected by investors in spite of 46% of the company’s independent shareholders voting against him.

Ex-Monsoon boss courted to join bid for Tesco’s Dunnhumby

Former Monsoon chief executive John Browett is in discussions with Apax Partners to join an acquisition offer for Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty arm Dunnhumby, according to Sky News. It is unclear whether a formal agreement between them has been reached, with Apax also said to be in talks with another former Tesco executive about joining its prospective management team.

J Crew cuts 175 corporate jobs

J Crew has slashed 175 full-time positions from its corporate headquarters in New York after 5% drop in sales. The retailer said layoffs of 10% of the staff are part of ‘meaningful and strategic changes’ to improve company’s outlook. The company reportedly asked the dismissed employees to leave immediately.