Retail round-up on May 17, 2016: Property tycoon and BHS suitor Yousuf Bhailok withdraws from the race and Mike Ashley agrees to appear before MPs.
BHS suitor Yousuf Bhailok pulls out from rescue race
Property millionaire and BHS bidder Yousuf Bhailok confirmed that he has pulled out of the race to rescue the collapsed high street chain after the administrator told suitors to improve offers by tens of millions of pounds, the Telegraph reported.
The withdrawal from the process comes after he was told that he would have to bid to buy all of BHS’s 164 stores, including 40 loss-making shops that are on the administrators' “red list”.
Bhailok said: "Caution has to be exercised in light of certain risk factors as far as the overall level of the bid. We believe we have to keep within our parameters if we were to successfully revive the vast majority of the operation."
Meanwhile, Matalan’s private founder John Hargreaves has emerged as the front-runner to make an offer in order to rescue BHS, according to the Telegraph.
Hargreaves is thought to be working with a rival retailer ahead of a bid deadline today.
Mike Ashley offers to give evidence to MPs for the first time
Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley has agreed for the first time to appear in front of Westminster MPs on June 7 to answer questions on its work practices and conditions at the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse complex in Derbyshire.
Ashley, however, has offered to do so on the condition that the politicians agree to visit his Shirebrook premises on June 6, according to the Telegraph.
The offer, which was made in a letter sent to Iain Wright, chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, includes an invitation to fly the MPs in his helicopter to the Sports Direct warehouse.
The nod to appear comes more than two months after he was first summoned before Parliament to give evidence.
Dreams taps DAC Group to handle local search
Beds specialist Dreams has hired DAC Group to manage the local search activity.
Dreams’ head of ecommerce Richard Voyce said: “Local search represents an exciting opportunity, allowing us to capture demand at an increasingly local and personal level. DAC’s deep expertise, combined with their proprietary technology, has brought a rigour and process to an area of our marketing that historically has been challenging.”
DAC managing partner Mike Fantis said: “For many retailers, managing local search across a large store footprint can seem unwieldy and is therefore often overlooked. We are delighted to be working with Dreams and bringing the technology – which has delivered high-performing campaigns for our clients in the US and Canada – to the UK market.”