Retail round-up on June 1, 2016: Co-op sells its crematoriums business for £43m, Home Retail boss could get windfall if sold to Sainsbury's and M&S to go music-free.
Dominic Chappell blames Sir Philip Green for collapse of BHS
BHS owner Dominic Chappell has blamed its former owner and Arcadia Group's Sir Philip Green for the plight of the high street chain.
Chappell said Green had failed to deliver on a pledge to ensure the backing of credit insurers and had not left sufficient cash in the business.
“Philip Green never stood good for his word,” Chappell told the Guardian. “We worked so hard. It was Philip Green’s interfering and breaking of his word that caused this to happen.”
Co-op sells five crematoria to Dignity for £43m
The Co-operative Group has offloaded its crematoria operations to funeral services group Dignity and will invest the proceeds into improving its funeral homes business.
The Co-op will receive £43m for the five crematoria. All staff will transfer to the new owner, which has more than 725 funeral homes and 39 crematoria.
The crematoriums are located in Craighton, Glasgow; Emstrey, Shropshire; Grenoside, South Yorkshire; Lichfield, Staffordshire; and Stockport, Greater Manchester.
Richard Lancaster, the managing director of Co-op Funeralcare, said: “This agreement is key in allowing us to further invest in providing essential funeral services to our members and customers in communities across the UK as we have done for over 100 years.”
Home Retail chief could net windfall of over £5m after Sainsbury's buyout
Home Retail Group boss John Walden could pocket a windfall of more than £5m in cash and shares if the owner of Argos is taken over by Sainsbury’s.
It is not clear if Walden will remain at the job if Sainsbury’s finalises the £1.4bn takeover deal, but Home Retail Group’s annual report revealed that in either case the chief executive would be able to cash in more than 650,000 shares and options, which are not subject to performance conditions.
M&S to switch off ‘disorientating’ background music in stores
Marks and Spencer is to stop playing background music in its stores for the first time in 10 years following complaints from the customers about the noise.
The clothing retailer said it will implement the new music-free policy in the next few weeks at its 300 clothing and home branches across the UK.
This would mean shoppers will browse the stores in complete silence and will no longer hear familiar Christmas songs when shopping over the festive period.
The move is thought to be designed to please M&S’ ageing customer base.