Retail news round-up on April 30, 2014: Co-op asks director to step down, Harvey Nichols recruits marketing director, GfK survey shows consumer morale improves and Dixons deal ‘as good as complete’.

Co-op asks director Stuart Ramsay to step down after leaks investigation

Troubled mutual The Co-operative Group’s boardroom director Stuart Ramsay has been forced to leave following an internal investigation into a series of leaks, the Telegraph reported. Ramsay has been asked by the 21-man board to step down immediately. A report into the leaks by investigator Kroll – which included details of former chief executive Euan Sutherland’s potential pay package and Lord Myners’ corporate governance reforms – was discussed by the Co-op Group board. Ramsay, a computer technician, has been involved with the Co-operative movement for more than a quarter of a century, and sat on the national executive of the Labour-linked Co-operative party. He was slated to depart later this year, having not sought re-election.  

Harvey Nichols recruits Shadi Halliwell as group marketing and creative director

Luxury department store chain Harvey Nichols has hired former O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell in the newly created position of group marketing and creative director, Marketing Week reported. She will join Harvey Nichols on June 9 and also sit on the management board, reporting to group chief executive Stacey Cartwright. Her remit will include brand development, advertising and marketing, as well as global responsibility for the look and feel of the brand.

GfK survey shows British consumer morale improves further in April

According to a GfK survey, UK consumer confidence improved in April and was the highest since June 2007. The headline consumer morale index increased to -3 from a year earlier at -27, Reuters reported. This rise was driven by an improvement in households’ willingness to make major purchases and in a better assessment of the economy as a whole, rather than stronger personal finances.

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse merger deal ‘as good as complete’

Tech retail giants Dixons Retail’s and Carphone Warehouse’s merger ‘will happen’, PCR understands. A source close to the situation has said that the deal is ‘as good as complete’ and is a matter of when it will be announced, not if. The source added that Dixons Retail wants Phones 4U out of its stores and Carphone Warehouse involved going forwards.