Retail news round-up on March 11, 2014: Retail sales down 1% in February as food price inflation slows, EBay boss John Donahoe’s total compensation cut by more than half, HMV to ditch pre-owned game sales

Retail like-for-likes down 1% in February as food price inflation slows

Retail like-for-likes fell 1% in February after a bumper January. The decline in sales values was driven by supermarket discounting campaigns launched by the value grocers that resulted in a sharp slowdown in overall price inflation in the food sector. Retail total sales grew 2.8% over the three month period, however, within this, food sales declined 1.7%, according to British Retail Consortium/KPMG data.

The top performing category in February was home accessories, followed by furniture and flooring as the biggest contributor to overall growth. Online sales of non-food products surged 14.3%.

EBay boss John Donahoe’s total compensation cut by more than half

Etailer eBay has slashed the total pay of its chief executive John Donahoe by 53% after the retailer missed its financial targets, BBC News reported. Donahoe was offered a pay packet of $13.8m (£8.3m), including salary and bonus in 2013, down from $29.7m a year earlier. Donahoe’s annual cash incentive declined by 43% from a year ago, while his basic salary increased by 2%. Although their chief executive had performed well, the firm “fell short of its financial goals”. However, the main explanation for the severity of Donahoe’s pay cut is his one-time award of $14.8m in performance shares in 2012, which doubled his compensation that year.

HMV to ditch pre-owned game sales

Entertainment retailer HMV is to exit the pre-owned games market, with a bumper discount on all its existing pre-owned stock currently underway, Xbox Achievements reported. The retailer will no longer buy used video games from consumers and sell them on at a discounted price.

Saudi retailer Alhokair mulls acquisition targets in UK and US

Saudi Arabia retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co is exploring three to five acquisitions in the UK and the US, according to a company executive, Reuters reported. Alhokair is in discussions with certain parties but will only close deals if they are a good fit, chief strategy officer Rob Cass said at a conference in Dubai. “We are looking at other opportunities, similar type brands that we believe have got the capabilities to grow,” Cass said.

He added Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co, the largest listed retailer on the Saudi stock market, was talking to “top-tier international banks” for possible advisory roles on the transactions but had not hired anyone yet. The deals may complete in the next financial year, which starts on April 1.