Retail news round-up on March 21, 2016: BHS believes it has landlords' support, Jigsaw mulls Swiss expansion and Co-op set to sell Somerfield.
BHS’s future could be at stake if biggest creditor abstains from voting
BHS is ‘confident’ that it has the support of major landlords for a crucial restructuring vote due this week that will decide its future.
However, the chain’s biggest creditor is planning not to take part in the ballot, putting the retailer on a knife edge.
It is understood the state-backed Pension Protection Fund (PPF), which is rescuing BHS’s 20,000 savers, intends to hold back from voting on a controversial insolvency proposal.
The retailer requires 75% of creditors to vote in favour of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) at the meeting or fall into administration.
Jigsaw mulls Swiss entry
Clothing firm Jigsaw is considering entering Switzerland as part of its European expansion plans, The Telegraph reported.
The fashion chain’s chief executive, Peter Ruis, said: “Switzerland has a good economy and no matter what’s happening in Europe they will manage it.”
Ruis also has plans to grow the retailer’s revenues from £100m to £500m. He added: “In purely economic terms and because of the distraction, it is better to stay in Europe, because no one knows what will happen if we are out.”
He also ruled out a Scandinavian venture owing to “their different body shape”.
Dunelm boss increases stake in French Connection
The chief executive of home furnishings retailer Dunelm is thought to have boosted his shareholding in French Connection by spending a total of about £3m, according to The Times.
Will Adderley’s investment vehicle WA Capital has upped its stake in the fashion retailer to about 7% from 5% through a series of transactions.
Co-op wants to offload Somerfield outlets
The Co-operative Group is in discussions to offload almost 100 UK stores acquired during its disastrous £1.6bn takeover of Somerfield in 2008.
The mutual approached potential buyers about the possible sale of former Somerfield shops in a move to restore its finances to a sound footing according to Sky News.
The sale process for Somerfield Stores Limited, which exists as a separate entity within the Co-op Group, encompassed 41 trading stores and 56 properties, which do not trade under the Co-op Food brand.