Retail news round-up on April 1, 2014: Sir Philip Green targets 50 Bhs food stores by September, Sports Direct loses bid for Elverys, Express Gifts owner Findel full-year sales up 5% and Card Factory to float on the stock market

Sir Philip Green draws plans to open 50 Bhs food stores by September

Sir Philip Green has devised plans for 50 BHS food outlets by September. “Let’s see what it does for the business, the stores and the brand — but if we like the results we can open 50 by September,” Sir Philip told The Times. Sir Philip opened the first of three trial food stores within BHS in Staines last week. A second will open in Warrington this week, followed by a third in Romford, northeast London, later this month.

Irish retailer Elverys to be bought by own management

Irish sportswear chain Elverys is set to be snapped up by its own management, Irish Independent reported. The management buyout (MBO) team, led by managing director Patrick Rowland, has indicated a commitment to retaining the retailer’s 700-strong workforce, and the bulk of its 56 stores. They have received new investment through corporate finance house CapNua and AIB.

The UK sports retailer Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley and US firm Hilco were among the losing bids. Court-appointed examiner of Elverys, accountant Simon Coyle of Mazars, selected the MBO team as preferred bidders following a competitive sale process. He must now present the offer to the High Court as part of a scheme of arrangement, which has to be backed by at least one class of creditor, before approval can be granted for Elverys to exit examinership. While no job redundancies are expected, it is still unclear whether all stores will be retained by the new owners.

Express Gifts owner Findel full-year sales up 5%

Express Gifts owner Findel revealed sales jumped  5% in its full year as it expects profits to be “substantially” ahead year-on-year. In a trading update after entering the close period for the year to March 28 Findel said sales in the second half of the year increased 4.7%. It expects operating profit and pre-tax profit “substantially ahead” of the previous year drive by the performance of Express Gifts and Findel Education.

Card Factory looks to float on stock market

Discount retailer Card Factory’s private equity owner Charterhouse is exploring a stock market listing with an IPO that could value at more than £700m, The Telegraph reported. The owner is working on float plans with UBS and Morgan Stanley and an IPO could be launched by the summer.