Retail round-up on June 30, 2016: ASA bans Aldi sales adverts, Sports Direct misses Irish opportunity and N Brown partners with L Marks.

ASA bans Aldi sales adverts for misleading customers following Morrisons complaint

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned three adverts from the supermarket Aldi for misleading customers, following a complaint by Morrisons and two members of the public.

A comparison of two TV adverts at Aldi with Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, alleged that a weekly £70 Aldi shop would result in an increase of nearly 40% in cost at the big four grocers – around £98, the Independent reported.

A £33.04 Aldi basket was compared with a competitor's equivalent in the second TV advert which it said would cost £53.35.

Morrisons stated that the price comparison was false as Aldi did not make it sufficiently clear that it was comparing its own-brand products to the branded products sold by the supermarket, not the big four grocers' own-brand ranges.

Matthew Barnes, Aldi’s UK and Ireland chief executive said he was "extremely disappointed" by the decision.

Sports Direct to miss out on expanding its Irish presence

Sport’s Direct has missed out on the chance to expand its Irish presence, as Debenhams emerged as the chosen bidder for its own business in Ireland, according to the Irish Independent.

Founder Mike Ashley has been seeking a larger presence in Ireland for his business, having acquired earlier this year the Irish department store Heatons and what was previously the Boyers store in Dublin.

The owner of Newcastle United already holds a 10.5% stake in the Debenhams group.

In May, Debenhams Ireland was appointed an interim examiner, Kieran Wallace of KPMG, after the group made consistent losses since 2007.

The company claims that it has paid above-market property rents to the Roche family who had sold its business to Debenhams a decade ago.

N Brown partners with L Marks to launch its own innovation programme

N Brown has teamed up with innovation specialist L Marks to launch a new innovation programme called JDWorks, reports Drapers.

The Manchester based retailer is looking for eight start-ups that focus on innovation in product offering, ways to shop, customer experience, customer loyalty, supply chain and using new data to shake up the business and help improve its capabilities and service.

Shortlisted applicants will take part in a 10-week partnership programme and will receive mentoring, office space and investments from N Brown.

“Digital development is a massive focus for us and partnering with L Marks will allow us access to some of the most innovative ideas from start-ups, which by their nature, are very agile,” said N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler. “They can react extremely quickly to the opportunities presented by our ever-changing retail and technology landscape.”