Retail news round-up on January 24, 2014: Bathstore owner explores sale of business, JD Sports to open menswear fascia, City welcomes IPOs and House of Fraser ends Galeries Lafayette talks.
Bathstore owner Endless explores sale option
UK specialist bathrooms retailer Bathstore is poised to change hands as investment fund owner Endless grooms the retailer for a sale, Sky News reported. Endless bought Bathstore for £15m in May 2012 and has decided to examine a sale of the company.
The retail chain operates over 150 outlets across the UK and Endless has hired investment bank Rothschild to sound out interest from potential buyers. It is thought unlikely that Endless will be pursuing Bathstore flotation on the stock market despite a raft of retailers seeking a public listing this year.
JD Sports to open new menswear fascia
JD Sports is set to open a new menswear fascia named Open which it intends will reach “double digit” store numbers by the end of the year. JD said it had built an “experienced team” which includes Karen Millen joint managing director Steve Price, who left he womenswear retailer last week, and former Blue Inc buying and design director Stephen Galea to lead the retailer, which is set to open in the second half of 2014.
City opens door to retail IPOs as Poundland and Pets at Home head the queue
The City has given the green light to retail IPOs after poring over the industry’s Christmas performance. The window has opened for retailers seeking a public listing, but only for a limited time and only for the right companies, analysts and corporate financiers told Retail Week. Poundland and Pets at Home are expected to be among the first retailers to go public, followed by fashion etailer Boohoo and convenience chain McColl’s.
House of Fraser ends talks with Galeries Lafayette
House of Fraser looks likely to push the button on an IPO process this year after discussions with French peer Galeries Lafayette came to an end. Galeries Lafayette was in talks to acquire House Fraser, and had exclusivity until the end of this month. It now looks likely that House of Fraser will join the long list of retailers attempting to float this year.