Retail news round-up: Duff & Phelps attacks pensions lifeboat, and Sports Direct breaks pledge by appointing former law firm for review

Duff & Phelps attacks pensions lifeboat

Duff & Phelps, formerly appointed to handle the collapse of BHS, has accused the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) of overriding other creditors’ interests and increasing the cost of dealing with the department store’s demise, The Times reported.

There have been struggles for control between the PPF, which is in the process of bailing out BHS’s pension scheme, and Duff & Phelps, one of the administrators.

Duff & Phelps has complained that "one creditor had control over the entire process (being the PPF)" and “the wishes of the general body of creditors” were ignored because their “views were overridden by the PPF”.

Duff & Phelps' managing director Phil Duffy said in a letter to Labour MP Frank Field that handing over to FRP Advisory was "akin to having one builder start building a house and another one finish it".

Sports Direct breaks pledge by appointing former law firm for review

Sports Direct has re-appointed law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) for reviewing its corporate governance despite pledging not to use it after protests from investors, The Guardian reported.

Sports Direct in September 2016 had said that an independent party other than RPC would conduct the review, intending to look at its boardroom structure and other management issues.

However, on Friday the company announced it would appoint RPC to lead the review.

Sports Direct said: “This decision has been taken in the light of recent frustrations over delays in appointing an independent party other than RPC to lead the review.

"These delays were due to the fact that we have twice accepted candidates who were put forward to chair the review by the Investor Forum, only for those candidates to subsequently be withdrawn.”

The retailer added that RPC had “adopted the highest standards” in its initial report and it was confident it would do the same in the corporate governance review.

Radley reports boost in Christmas sales

Radley is expected to report a 9% increase in its total like-for-like sales in the 6 weeks to December 25, The Times reported.

The British handbag and accessories group best known for its scotch terrier motifs on its handbags and other products will report an increase in comparable sales for the fourth year in a row.

Radley chief executive Justin Stead said: “Our global ecommerce business continues to grow strongly with an 18% like-for-like increase and our stores performed well, delivering a 6% like-for-like increase [during the period].

“As well as building our domestic business there has been a drive on international openings in Germany, Turkey, Dubai and Thailand over the last six months and these are delivering results above our expectations.

"The business and brand continue to gain momentum.”