Retail news round-up on December 18, 2013: Retail sales rebound in December according to CBI, House of Fraser suitor plans to take it more upmarket, Adidas set to withdraw more products from Sports Direct

UK retailers return to strong rise in sales volume in early December

The CBI Distributive Trades Survey recorded a return to strong year-on-year increase in sales volumes in early December, after a poor show in the previous two months. The survey signals retailers may have performed better at the beginning of the key festive trading period than might have been expected in light of continuing worries over the sustainability of consumer spending growth. It revealed that clothing retailers and department stores reported buoyant trading in early December. The survey also signalled strong showings in the furniture and carpets, and hardware and DIY categories.

Galeries Lafayette has luxury plans for House of Fraser

House of Fraser suitor Galeries Lafayette plans to take the department store group more upmarket if it proceeds with a bid for the UK retailer. It is understood that the French department store group would invest heavily across House of Fraser’s entire store estate, including its many provincial storesPrivately owned Galeries Lafayette hopes to use its clout with luxury fashion labels to build House of Fraser’s brand proposition. It is thought it will also invest in House of Fraser’s private-label brands, which have been a driver of the retailer’s growth.

Adidas to withdraw more products from Sports Direct

Adidas is to pull further products from Sports Direct as part of its new “distribution strategy”. Sports Direct last week revealed the super-brand was withdrawing its Chelsea replica kit from sale at the retailer from next season. The news caused Sports Direct’s share price to plunge. It is understood that the Chelsea kit is not the only product impacted by a new strategy at Adidas, and further football merchandise and products outside the category are also set to be pulled from Sports Direct