Retail news round-up: H&M reports decline in sales, John Lewis to launch in-house denim label and Jones Bootmaker in talks with potential buyers

H&M reports decline in sales

H&M has posted a 1% year-on-year fall in local-currency sales in February for the first time in four years, with shares down 4.5%, Reuters reported.

The company’s fiscal first-quarter sales were £4.2bn.

H&M did not comment on the sales figures but will publish its full fiscal first-quarter report on March 30.

John Lewis debuts in-house denim label

John Lewis plans to launch its first in-house denim label called And/Or on March 22 in a bid to increase its fashion sales, The Telegraph reported.

The 90-piece collection targets a younger customer and follows the successful launch of brand Modern Rarity which helped increase the like-for-like sales 2.7%.

Denim prices will range from £85 to £120 and runs in sizes from 8 to 18.

The collection will launch online and in 15 John Lewis stores.

Jones Bootmaker in talks with potential buyers

Jones Bootmaker’s advisers are in discussions with two potential buyers Kurt Geiger and Endless about a deal that could save jobs, Sky News reported.

Alteri Investors which owns Jones has filed a notice to appoint administrators.

Alteri, Endless and Kurt Geiger's owner declined to comment.

Sports Direct accuses executive pay reports as fake

Sports Direct has issued a statement stating the data by Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) claiming that Sports Direct has a CEO-to-employee pay ratio of 400:1 is incorrect, The Telegraph reported.

A Sports Direct spokesman said: "This is fake news that appears to have been either deliberately or recklessly circulated by an irresponsible organisation that is making headlines at the expense of Sports Direct.”

Sports Direct said that the true ratio over 2012 to 2015 is closer to 9:1.

Zara founder to receive £1.1bn pay out

Zara founder Amancio Ortega will be receiving €1.26 bn (£1.1bn) in dividends, following an increase in sales, The Times reported.

Ortega owns 59% of Inditex, which has increased its cash pile 15% to €6.1 billion.

Inditex is giving €0.68-per-share dividend to its investors.