Retail news round-up: BHS administrators call for winding up of Retail Acquisitions, and CBI reports increase retail sales balance
BHS administrators call for winding up Retail Acquisitions
BHS administrators Duff & Phelps have said that there was “overwhelming evidence” that Retail Acquisitions Ltd (RAL) is insolvent, Belfast Telegraph reported.
A petition by administrators to investigate the transfer of money from BHS to Dominic Chappell's company has been issued.
Chappell had used the company to buy BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green.
Following an application by Chappell's legal team, a judge in London ruled there should be an adjournment for further evidence to be filed.
A spokesman for RAL welcomed the court's decision and indicated the company is planning to sue Green or his companies.
Retail sales balance increase
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reported that the retail sales balance increased 9% compared with January, Reuters reported.
Despite the improvement, retailers are raising their prices at the fastest rate in six years and cutting staff in preparation for a slowdown on the high street in the wake of Brexit.
British consumers returned to the shops this month but a rise in inflation following the Brexit vote has made retailers more downbeat about the outlook.
Retailers expect their business situation to deteriorate over the next three months, prompting them to scale back investment and hiring.
CBI economist Ben Jones said: "As the impact of the weaker pound feeds through supply chains, retailers are trying to absorb some of the increase in their import costs through savings."
Lidl set to create 360 jobs in Scotland
Lidl has been given planning permission from North Lanarkshire Council for a new centre at Eurocentral on the M8, creating up to 360 jobs, Daily Express reported.
The retailer is preparing to relocate its 400-strong workforce from Livingston, West Lothian, to the new site off Coddington Crescent.
The construction work at the 58,000 sq m hub will begin in six months.
Lidl’s bosses say the new facility will enable it to provide support for its 92 stores, create more local job opportunities and create further expansion and investment in Scotland.
Sainsbury’s to revive clothing brand
Sainsbury’s is planning to launch a new homeware brand and re-establish its Tu clothing brand, following the appointment of creative agency Portas, The Drum reported.
The move comes following a 10% growth in Tu clothing sales over the third quarter of 2016.