Retail news round-up on June 13, 2014: Ex-Comet staff to get multi-million pound payout, Sports Direct bids for Cotswold Outdoor and Simply Be launches in Ireland.
Ex-Comet staff to get multi-million pound payout
Thousands of ex-Comet staff have won a multi-milllion pound settlement after an employment tribunal ruled they had not been properly consulted about redundancies when the electricals retailer collapsed. The ruling could spell a payout of more than £10m to former Comet workers, which will be met by the taxpayer.
Sports Direct bids for Cotswold Outdoor
Sports DIrect has submitted a bid for up for Sale outdoor retailer Cotswold Outdoor. The overture follows his unsuccessful attempt to buy Blacks Leisure, which rival JD Sports snapped up in 2012.
Cotswold’s parent company AS Adventure, which owner Lion Capital has put up for sale with a £300m price tag. Clayton Dubilier & Rice is also thought to have submitted a bid for Cotswold.
Simply Be and Jacamo to open first Irish store
Fashion retailers Simply Be and Jacamo have confirmed their plans on setting up their first store in Ireland at Belfast’s CastleCourt shopping centre, reports the Belfast Telegraph. Previously occupied by fashion retailer, Republic, the store is set to open by August 2014.
Simply Be and Jacamo will open a flagship Oxford Street store this year, along with a further five stores across the UK, adding to their nine successful outlets.
Consumer Rights Directive comes into force
The EU has brought into force a new set of consumer rights in order to protect them from hidden fees, charges and other issues. According to the EU Consumer Rights Directive, consumers can no longer be charged high fees for buying online with their debit or credit cards and extends the “cooling off period” from seven working days to 14 calendar days during which the order can be cancelled and a refund can be claimed.
Moreover, the directive bans all hidden fees and charges, with sellers obliged to include any extra amounts before the order is placed by the customer. Also, there will be a ban on pre-ticked boxes. Consumer minister Jenny Willott explained: “What we want to see are empowered, savvy shoppers who know their rights, look around for the best deals and drive competition.”