Retail news round-up on March 28, 2014: Forever 21’s Irish store makes loss, Ikea Ireland posts record profits, Walmart sues Visa and shoppers expectations on inflation falls to four-year low
Forever 21’s only Irish store in Dublin posts full-year loss of €12.5m
Fashion chain Forever 21’s only Irish outlet on Jervis Street centre in Dublin fell deeper into red by posting a loss of €12.5m in the financial year to the end of February 2013, Irish Independent reported. The underlying loss at the store, even without the impairment charge, widened to €4.4m from €3.4m a year ago. Revenue at the shop plunged to €9.3m from €11.5m. The total employee headcount at the Irish shop had tumbled to 147 from 216 a year earlier at the end of February 2013.
Ikea Ireland records 96% increase in full-year pre-tax profits
Ikea Ireland almost doubled its pre-tax profit to €5.8m in the 12 months to the end of August 2013, Irish Independent reported. The pre-tax profits growth was driven by lower cost of sales and lower interest charges, along with revenue increase. Shoppers at the retailer’s Irish outlet in Dublin last year spent almost €2m per week on home furnishings. Revenues at the Ballymun shop last year rose marginally from €102.6m to €103.98m. The store’s operating profits climbed 19% €7.6m. The directors anticipate that the level of activity and profitability in future years will continue to be in line with expectations.
Walmart accuses Visa of fixing price of credit card fees
Walmart has sued credit card firm Visa for damages that are estimated to be over $5bn (£3bn), BBC News reported. The US retailer has alleged that Visa worked with large banks to fix the price of transaction fees it charged to Walmart.
It argues that Visa worked with large banks ‘to illegally fix the interchange fees and inflate the network fees that Walmart and other merchants pay on Visa charge card transactions’. The company claims those large fees then caused ‘enormous damage’ between 2004 and 2012.
British expectations for inflation over next 12 months ease to 2.1% in March
According to a YouGov survey, the UK public’s inflation expectations for the year ahead eased to 2.1% in March, the lowest level since December 2009, Reuters reported. This was down from 2.2% in February. February inflation in Britain declined to 1.7%, its lowest level in more than four years.