Retail news round-up: Dr Martens plans 100 new outlets, Agent Provocateur reshuffles its board, MPs to hold debate on Boxing Day trading, and more

Dr Martens proposes 100 new outlets

Dr Martens is set to open 100 new stores and shop-in-shops over the next five years, Drapers reported.

The footwear brand opened 11 new stores and nine shop-in-shops in the year to 31 March even though sales reduced 4% to £232.4m.

The retailer closed around 250 non-strategic wholesale accounts, leading to a 14% decrease in wholesale revenues.

Company chief executive Steve Murray said: “As part of our strategy we identified the need to expand and upgrade our direct relationship with consumers at point of purchase, be it through our own stores, our partner stores or a much better web experience.

“This is working and it’s been particularly satisfying to see double-digit sales increases in our owned retail and ecommerce channels.

“Since the year-end, we’ve been pleased with how our new product continues to be received, especially our new DM’s Lite range, which was launched in September and is a strong complement to our Originals line.”

Agent Provocateur replaces chairman amid accounting scandal

Agent Provocateur has replaced Chris Woodhouse with Ian Lobley as chairman amid an inquiry into an accounting scandal, Sky News reported.

The lingerie brand has reshuffled its board owing to accounting issues that relate to statements about the company's profitability.

Woodhouse handed over the control to Lobley, a partner at 3i Group, Agent Provocateur's controlling shareholder. However, Woodhouse will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

3i has refused to comment on the detail of the accounting issues.

MPs to hold debate on shops ban

MPs will hold a Westminster debate on a petition that wants all retail shops to be closed on the day after Christmas.

However, Theresa May has refused calls to force a shops closure, saying it is not for the Government to tell businesses how to serve their customers, The Telegraph reported.

A British Retail Consortium spokeswoman said: "Individual retailers and employers in other sectors such as hospitality will make their own decisions on holiday staffing based on their customers' needs and preferences.

"Boxing Day has for years been a popular shopping day as customers take advantage of the Christmas sales, and retailers will respond accordingly to cater for customer demand.

"Most retailers offer flexible shift patterns to ensure time off is distributed fairly among those who don't wish to work throughout the holiday period."

Northern Ireland footfall increases 3.5%

Shopper numbers in Northern Ireland increased 3.5% in November, Irish Independent reported.

According to Springboard, there was an increase in the number of shoppers across main streets, retail parks and shopping centres. Footfall on main shopping streets reported an increase of 5% year-on-year.

Northern Ireland Retail Consortium director Aodhán Connolly said: "It is hugely encouraging in the run-up to our busiest time of year that consumers are showing their commitment to shops across Northern Ireland.

"The overall footfall growth rate of 3.5% is our best performance in more than two years."