Retail news round-up: Mulberry sales surge, M&S hit by shop workers' union, and Zara owner accused of slashing bills

Mulberry sales surge 10%

Mulberry sales have increased 10% owing to tourist shoppers at London, The Telegraph reported.

The luxury group, however, reported a loss of £500,000 for the six months to September end, following its £1m investment in new range by designer Johnny Coca.

UK retail sales increased 12% during the period to £55.4m, with like-for-like sales up 7%. During the last 10 weeks, sales increased 4% compared with the same period last year; however, domestic demand has reduced.

Mulberry chief executive Thierry Andretta said: “We are all totally committed of ensuring that 70% of our handbags are between £500 and £995.

“We are really happy about this and think we offer the best value for price out of any of our luxury rivals.

“There is the level of the pound but I think there is less risk of London being a terror attack [compared to other European cities] and that is making it more and more attractive,” he said.

M&S hit by union over pay offers to bosses

Marks & Spencer has come under the scanner by shop workers' union Usdaw over the pay share offered to its top bosses while staff are facing pay cuts and store closure, The Belfast Telegraph reported.

Chief executive Steve Rowe may take home approximately £2m on top of his annual salary in 2019. Finance chief Helen Weir could gain £1.3m and director of customer, marketing and M&, Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, could get £1.2m.

The pay depends on the company's earnings per share, cash flow and return on capital employed over a three-year period.

Usdaw's deputy general secretary Paddy Lillis said: "Our members in M&S find it difficult to understand how the company can justify such huge rewards for senior management when the staff are facing enforced pay cuts and store closures."

An M&S spokesman said: "The changes to pay and premiums, which come into effect from April, will reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernise our business and make our colleagues among the highest-paid in UK retail.

"Nobody need be worse off and the vast majority will receive higher total pay."

Zara owner accused of using Ireland to slash bills

Inditex, owner of brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti, has been accused of using Ireland to slash at least €585m (£493m) in taxes from 2011 to 2014, The Irish Independent reported.

According to Green party lawmakers in the European Parliament, the clothing retailer has been using “aggressive” corporate tax avoidance techniques in Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland.

The Greens/EFA group in a report in Parliament at Brussels said the techniques used are "currently legal", but raise "questions whether Inditex pays taxes where its real economic activity takes place".

The retailer rejected the content of the report, saying it was "based on mistaken premises that lead to erroneous conclusions".

Inditex said: "Operations between companies of the group are audited regularly by the tax authorities".