Retail news round-up on January 22, 2014: Black Friday to become permanent fixture; Jack Wills sues House of Fraser; BC Partners eyes stock market flotation for Phones4U.
‘Black Friday’ promotions set to become permanent fixture in UK retail
The US discount day dubbed Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving which falls late in November, looks set to permanently stay in the UK’s retail calendar after store chains adopted the American tradition for the first time, Reuters reported. For the first time, British store groups like Asda, Dixons Retail and John Lewis participated in a serious way last year. The trading figures published in January reflected a major influence on the shape of Christmas sales. Dixons chief executive Seb James said that the company is planning that ‘2014 Black Friday’ will be big again. Black Friday was John Lewis’ biggest ever day for online orders.
Jack Wills sues House of Fraser over trademark infringement
Fashion retailer Jack Wills is suing House of Fraser in court over claims that a pigeon logo used on its clothing line is too similar to the brand’s distinctive pheasant emblem, The Telegraph reported. Roger Wyland QC, representing Jack Wills, claimed the similarity of the two logos could confuse the customers who could believe the two brands are economically linked. He argued the logo used by the retailer constituted ‘passing off’ and infringement of the Jack Wills’ emblem.
The department store chain is counter-claiming for partial revocation of Jack Wills’ trademark, as it maintains there is widespread use of birds in clothing in industry logos and that customers are able to distinguish between them rather than being confused into thinking they are linked.
BC Partners eyes Phones4U flotation on London stock market
Private equity group BC Partners is looking to list Phones4U on the London Stock Exchange this year, in a move that could value the UK phone and electrical goods retailer at up to £1bn, The Financial Times reported. This will also give BC Partners an opportunity to exit the retailer earlier than expected. An IPO may be in place as early as the autumn, according to people familiar with the situation. The plans are at an early stage; however, no decision has yet been taken. The company would join its listed competitor Carphone Warehouse.