Retail round-up: Burberry boss offloads shares, August retail sales are best in six months and consumer confidence improves in August

Burberry chief Christopher Bailey cashes in on share sale

Burberry’s boss and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey has offloaded almost 19,000 shares valued at £253,500, The Times reported.

Bailey will step down from his chief executive position in 2017 when Marco Gobbetti, who currently is chairman and chief executive of French luxury fashion brand Céline, joins the board of the luxury fashion retailer.

In a stock market statement, the brand said its Asia Pacific region chief executive Pascal Perrier also sold 72,162 shares worth £985,732.92.

Warm weather lifts retail sales in August

Retail sales recorded its strongest in six months in August, driven by warmer weather, Reuters reported.

The sales volume index increased to +9% year-on-year this month, marking its highest level since February, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Clothing reported a strong month for sales volumes and online sales volumes picked up over the same period, outstripping expectations.

CBI head of economic analysis and surveys Anna Leach said the summer weather has helped boost high-street sales, but "firms do expect sales growth to ease next month".

Leach said: "While the fall in sterling has boosted visitor numbers to the UK, it is likely to push up the price of imported goods over time which will mean households will be more likely to rein back spending on non-essentials."

Brexit fears subside as August consumer confidence surges

UK consumer confidence seems to have recovered this month after Brexit fears faded, Reuters reported.

The index surged by 3.2 points in August to stand at 109.8, recording its biggest month-on-month increase since February 2013, according to the YouGov/Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) survey.

CEBR’s director Scott Corfe said: "This month's improvement in consumer confidence follows positive news from other areas of the economy and slightly punctures the arguments of those who predicted immediate economic Armageddon following a Brexit vote.

"However, this could easily change next year as the weakness of sterling pushes up the cost of imports. 2017 could be the year that consumers stumble."

Sears takes £227m in debt funding as it moves into second quarter loss

US department store retailer Sears has raised $300m (£227m) in debt financing from billionaire Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund ESL Investments as it fell into the red, The Times reported.

The chain said it could seek an additional $200m of debt from other investors.

Sears swung into a net loss of $395m in the second quarter, compared with a profit of $208m a year earlier.

The owner of Kmart discount store chain posted a 5.2% decline in comparable store sales for the three months to the end of July.

Lampert, who has invested heavily in Sears’ digital and loyalty programmes, said the company was operating in “a challenging competitive environment”.