Retail news round-up on February 25, 2015: Bestway Group profit; Physical music shops; Ann Summers retains brand consultancy; American Apparel ousts creative director.

Bestway Group full-year profits increase 45%

Cash-and-carry operator The Bestway Group reported 1.2% increase in its annual turnover to £2.55bn from £2.52bn a year ago. For the 12 months ended June 30 2014, pre-tax profit surged 44.7% to £267.1m from £184.6m in 2013.

Zameer Choudrey, the group chief executive, said: “Despite a challenging business environment both in the UK and globally during the year under review, all the Group businesses continued to enhance their respective market share. In the last 12 months we have continued to demonstrate the strength of our business model and to create value for all our stakeholders.”

Talking about the future outlook, he said, “we see challenges ahead of us both in the UK and in Pakistan as the respective economies go through an economic stabilisation phase.”

Physical music shops hit record high

The number of physical music stores in the UK rose by 20.4% to 10,391, reaching an all-time high in 2014. Video outlets increased 18.8% year-on-year to hit 10,500 while the number of shops selling games grew by 1.3% to 5,665, according to Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). 

The main reason for the growth in the number of physical outlets selling entertainment is ‘an increase in the number of supermarket convenience stores and generalist retailers like Wilko, BHS and Matalan selling limited ranges of music and video aimed at the impulse market’, claimed the report published in the ERA Yearbook.

Ann Summers retains Propaganda as brand consultancy

Ann Summers has extended its partnership with brand consultancy Propaganda, which has helped the firm control a fall in footfall over the last 18 months. Propaganda will continue to shape the brand’s positioning as the ‘go-to pleasure retailer’, while widening its target customers.

American Apparel ousts creative director for second time

American Apparel has reportedly sacked its creative director Iris Alonzo for a second time, according to The Drum. The retailer has poached two new executives – Cynthia Erland as senior vice president of marketing and Thoryn Stephens as chief digital officer. The duo will report directly to chief executive Paula Schneider and set to begin their new posts on March 9. The moves were made under the instructions of Schneider, who is reportedly keen to revamp the company’s executive team.