Retail news round-up November 20, 2013: Asda launches click-and-collect in tube stations, Bonmarché lists on AIM stock exchange and business secretary Michael Fallon blasts Labour’s business rates reduction plan.
Asda launches click-and-collect in tube stations
Asda has partnered with the London underground operator Transport for London to put shopping collection points in six tube station car parks. The partnership is designed to allow London commuters to pick up groceries ordered online on the way home from work. Customers will be able to order the goods online before 12 noon and pick them up after 4pm. The pilot scheme is part of Asda’s plans to add 1,000 more places where consumers can pick up online orders and extend its operations in London and the south-east of England. If the scheme proves successful at the six pilot locations – East Finchley, Harrow and Wealdstone, High Barnet, Highgate, Stanmore and Epping – Asda plans to widen to additional tube station pick-up points.
Bonmarché lists on AIM stock exchange
Bonmarché has listed on the AIM stock exchange this morning. The fashion retailer, which is aimed at over 50s, was valued at around £100m, lower than the expected value of between £110m to £130m.
Private equity owner Sun European has retained a 52.4% share in the firm after selling 40% of its stake for the stock exchange listing. Investec is acting as financial adviser, nominated adviser and broker to the company.
Business secretary blasts Labour’s business rates plan
Business secretary Michael Fallon has said Labour’s plans to cancel a corporation tax cut to reduce business rates for small firms is like “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
Fallon said: “It is a false choice to pledge to cut business rates by increasing corporation tax for medium and larger companies. We have prioritised cutting corporation tax to make our economy competitive and show that Britain is open for business.”
Irish retailer Arnotts gets ‘credible’ financial backer to bid for loans held by IBRC
Irish retailer Arnotts’ board has got a ‘credible’ financial backer with retail interests around Europe, chairman Nigel Blow told The Irish Times. The backer, based in London, will help the retailer bid for its loans held by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC). Blow declined to identify the backer but said its support had been received after a long process to find a suitable partner to bid for the loans. This process was led by corporate financiers at Investec.
Arnotts loans to IBRC totals about €230m in two tranches consisting of retail and property close to its Henry Street store. Blow said it was bidding for all of the loans. The retailer’s backer was prepared to add four to six new stores which Blow said were more likely to be through homestores rather than full-line department stores.
Veteran analyst Shiret takes role at Espirito Santo
Veteran retail analyst Tony Shiret is about to take up a role with Portuguese bank Espirito Santo after making headlines over his previous job earlier this year.
From December, Shiret will be covering the retail sector again.
Shiret won an age discrimination tribunal against his former employers Credit Suisse, who he argued had unfairly dismissed him over younger colleagues, after working at the bank for 18 years.
Majestic widens corporate team in Scotland with addition of business development manager
Wine retailer Majestic has added new member to its corporate team in Scotland in a move to tap a larger slice of the on-trade market, The Scotsman reported. A business development manager had joined the company covering Glasgow and the west coast to complement an existing member of staff who covers Edinburgh and the Highlands. Lewis said that the wine specialist is targeting gastro-pubs, bars and restaurants, alongside wedding venues around Aberdeen and Inverness.