Retail news round-up on May 30, 2014: Consumer confidence climbs in May; Co-operative Group reveals reform timetable; Scotts & Co buys Rowlands Clothing

Consumer confidence rises in May

Consumer sentiment improved during May, the GfK Consumer Confidence Index showed. The index rose by three points to zero during the month, bringing morale to its highest level since April 2005.

“A rise of three points in a month is a significant change but what matters more, psychologically, is that the index has left negative territory for the first time in over nine years,” said Nick Moon, GfK’s managing director of social research.

The increase is another signs that the economy is strengthening and is likely to raise questions about how much longer the Bank of England will keep interest rates on hold.

Co-op to put reforms to vote in September

The Co-operative Group has drawn up a timetable to implement far-reaching reforms.

The troubled mutual will consult with area committees, regional boards and independent societies, then present draft rules in mid-August.

Final proposals will be put to a special general meeting in September and take effect as soon as approval is given.

The proposed reforms include creating a new board led by an independent chairman, and including non-executive directors with commercial experience.

Scotts & Co acquires Rowland’s Clothing

Multichannel retailer Scotts & Co has snapped up country clothing business Rowland’s Clothing, Drapers reported.

Rowland’s sells through nine stores, catalogues and a website.

“Having tracked the company over the past 15 years, we identified a strong affinity between our customer base and the Rowland’s brand,” said Scotts & Co chairman Nigel Swabey.

He said Rowland’s would be relaunched in February 2015 under its original name Rowlands of Bath.