Retail news round-up on February 13, 2014: Morrisons boss rallies troops for turnaround, Karen Millen to launch Knightsbridge flagship, Harrods mulls overseas expansion and more

Morrisons boss rallies troops for turnaround

Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips has drawn on American military survival tactics used during the Vietnam War to galvanise his forces as he bids to revitalise the embattled grocer.

Philips, speaking at Morrisons’ National Kick Off conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, urged staff to ignore Morrisons’ critics and cited the Stockdale Paradox, which advocates confronting the harsh reality of a situation while retaining faith in ultimately prevailing.

The reference suggests Philips believes that, while he knows there is a long, hard road ahead in turning around Morrisons, he is confident his strategy will succeed.

Karen Millen to open Knightsbridge flagship with working atelier

Karen Millen is to open a flagship store in Knightsbridge with a working design studio to offer bespoke pieces.

The store, which is due to open by Easter, will be located in a former Benetton shop sandwiched between luxury department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols and cements Karen Millen’s push into the accessible luxury market.

Harrods mulls overseas expansion

Famous London department store Harrods is preparing to go international as it looks at locations in New York City and ‘other prime cities’, according to chairman of the company’s executive board Ahmad Al-Sayed. He told Women’s Wear Daily, ”Everything is for discussion, and we are examining different ways of expansion,” but insisted the classic London building with its green awnings would not be copied overseas. The company is eyeing big business investments for the year ahead.

Hobbs ecommerce director departs

Hobbs director of ecommerce Gracia Amico has left the fashion retailer after just over a year in the role.

Amico stepped down this month. She took up the role in January 2013, moving from Topman where she was head of ecommerce.

Hobbs marketing director Clare Dobbie will take on Amico’s responsibilities while the retailer seeks a replacement.

Musgrave to rename all 24 Superquinn stores as SuperValu

Wholesale group Musgrave will rebrand all Superquinn supermarkets as SuperValu by tomorrow,The Irish Times reported. Musgrave bought Superquinn for €229m in October 2011. All 24 shops will be rebadged.

SuperValu managing director Martin Kelleher said the name change follows an ‘excellent performance’ by SuperValu over the Christmas period.

H&M’s maiden shop to open in India in 2014

World’s second-biggest fashion retailer H&M will be opening its first store in India this year, becoming the latest to capitalise on the opening of the Indian economy to foreign operators. In spite of worries over inflation in India, H&M chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said: “It is one of the most exciting countries in the world right now, with so much potential.”

Ann Summers targets rival retailers in campaign to banish generic Valentine’s gifts

Ann Summers ran a cheeky Valentine’s Day marketing campaign that projected messages onto rival retailers’ stores, rallying consumers against generic romantic gifts.

Last weekend the retailer targeted stores including Liberty in London with slogans such as ‘A bunch of roses belongs in the eighties’ and ‘Nice cards are for mantelpieces’, while ‘Chocolates are for hospitals’ appeared on a Thorntons shop.