Retail news round-up September 16, 2013: Asos expected to report strong fourth quarter; Debenhams’ full year like-for-like sales expected to jump; River Island under pressure to suport Bangladesh factory safety agreement; Cook sales surge; Dixons considers launching repair service

Asos expected to report strong fourth quarter performance

Asos is expected to report strong fourth quarter performance with a 43% increase in sales to £208m this week. The sales boost will primarily be driven by 52% increase in sales from international markets and 32% leap in UK sales.

The retailer is also expected to report 16% jump in its pre-tax profits to £52m, according to The Express.

Debenhams’ full-year like-for-like sales expected to increase by 2.1%

Debenhams is expected to report a rise of 2.1% in its full-year like-for-like sales between late June and early September when it delivers its full-year trading update next week.

However, industry analysts forecast that pre-tax profits for the full year will be down 3% from £158.3m a year earlier to £153m because of a weak first half, according to The Express.

River Island under pressure to support Bangladesh factory safety deal

Clothing retailer River Island is under increasing pressure to sign a factory safety deal in Bangladesh after rival Arcadia finally signed the agreement.

The Global Poverty Project is calling on its 30,000 British members to write to River Island to support the accord. However, River Island said it agreed with the “principle and intent” of the accord but still had queries to clear up, according to The Guardian.

Cook sales surge from a growing demand of ready meals

Frozen food retailer Cook has reported a 7% rise in like-for-like sales in the year to March 31, with total sales rising 20%. The retailer’s sales in the year increased from £26.5m to £31.9m, while pre-tax profits rose by more than a third, from £1.3m to £1.8m, The Telegraph reported.

The surge in sales is due to benefits from a growing demand for higher quality ready meals following the horsemeat crisis.

Dixons considers launching repair services

Dixons is looking for ways to expand as the company agreed deals to offload Pixmania and its struggling Turkish arm. The retailer is considering investment in a services business and is thinking of launching a local electrician and repairs service, The Telegraph reported.

Dixons wants to explore the repairs service market as at present, consumers who damage their computers, tablets or mobile phones often have to send them back to the manufacturer for repair.

It comes as the retailer opens a high-tech store at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, revealing it as an “urban toy shop”.

The outlet is designed with a number of ‘stay and play’ areas and high-end technology to attract more female shoppers and younger tech-savvy customers. The retailer plans to roll out the design across its estate of smaller shops based in high streets and shopping locations if the format proves to be a success.