Retail news round-up: Agent Provocateur’s chief to step down, French Connection declines to engage with investors, posts boost in sales, and MySale reports online increase

Agent Provocateur’s chief to step down

Agent Provocateur’s chief executive Fabrizio Malverdi is in discussions with 3i about his future with the company, Sky News reported.

Sources close to 3i Group have acknowledged the talks about Mr Malverdi’s position as the company plans to inject new funds into the struggling business.

3i's chief executive Simon Borrows has asked advisers to offload the company following the emergence of accounting issues.

Last month, Agent Provocateur's chairman Chris Woodhouse stepped down amid an accounting inquiry.

3i declined to comment.‎

French Connection ignores its investors’ call

French Connection has ‘ignored’ the attempts to engage with its investors who are asking for a clear-out of the struggling retailer’s boardroom and a potential sale of the business, The Times reported.

The company has declined to comment on a letter received from Gatemore Capital Management.

In their letter, the investors have called for a shake-up of the retailer’s board and an investment bank to be appointed to oversee a potential sale of the business to “the highest possible bidder”.

Gatemore, with OTK Holding and Zoar Invest, controls approximately 15% of French Connection’s shares.

The investors are “deeply concerned about the company’s utter lack of progress in improving its operating performance”.'s boost in sales has posted a 28% increase in sales during the 12 weeks to January 9, The Times reported.

The furniture retailer’s digital sales increased 38% following the launch of websites in Germany and Ireland.

New shoppers have accounted for 73% on the orders of beds, chairs and sofas at its new showrooms in London’s Islington and Bankside.

The company is expanding abroad and currently trading in 12 countries.

MySale reports increase in online sales

MySale reported an 18% increase in online sales to A$126.5m (£77.5m) for the six months to December 31, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The Australian fashion website, backed by Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley, said that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased from A$1.5m to A$3m.

The company’s active customer base increased 19% and in turn online revenue experienced a growth rate of 18% to A$126.5m.

The company sells approximately 150,000 Sports Direct products on its Australian websites and is currently focusing on its recently acquired Cocosa site in the UK.