Retail round-up: Pizza Hut owner eyes French Connection, Notonthehighstreet’s fund raising, and Sir Philip Green wants BHS inquiry dropped

Maplin owner considering £400m bid for French Connection

Maplin Electronics and Pizza Hut's owner is reportedly eyeing a bid for fashion retailer French Connection, This is Money reported.

Private investor Rutland Partners, which also owns the Bernard Matthews turkey business, is understood to be mulling an offer worth £400m for the high-street chain. lands £21m from investors

Online retailer has secured £21m from its investors in a move to expand in the UK and international markets.

The fundraising was led by German media investor Hubert Burda Media as well as existing investors Index Ventures, Industry Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures.

The etailer said it will use the capital on technology and marketing for the website to win new retail partners.

M&S chief Steve Rowe considers scaling back overseas

Marks & Spencer's recently appointed chief executive Steve Rowe is considering scaling back the chain’s international expansion plans, This is Money reported.

Rowe, who took over from Marc Bolland in April, is reviewing the future of the clothing retailer’s international stores and wants to scrap expensive leases signed during Bolland’s reign as M&S boss.

He could drastically cut down M&S’s overseas shops again, particularly those with expensive rents in cities such as Paris.

Weak pound boosts retail spending in July after Brexit

Customers spent more money on shopping in July after Brexit, helped by a weaker pound, The Times reported.

Sales across UK shopping centres grew 0.5% last month as jewellery sales rose to 2.7%, according to Hammerson’s retail tracker.

Furthermore, fashion accessories sales increased 12% year-on-year, being the biggest riser.

Tablet cases, mobile phone battery packs and headphones jumped 6.9% in the sound, picture and technology category.

Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said: “Domestic consumers are treating themselves to seasonal favourites and one-off luxury items.”

Footfall over the bank holiday weekend declined 4.1% from the same period last year, partly because of rain in some areas, according to Springboard.

ISS urges Sports Direct investors to oppose Mike Ashley’s re-election

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley is facing a major revolt over the re-election of the retailer’s ownership, following criticism by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which provides suggestions on voting ahead of company meetings.

ISS urged an independent review of Sports Direct's governance as well as its shareholders to contemplate whether they can continue to support its non-executive directors, Sky News reported.

Sir Philip Green wants BHS inquiry dropped if he helps plug pension deficit

Sir Philip Green is demanding regulators abandon a separate investigation into collapsed BHS's enormous pension deficit if he makes a “voluntary” financial contribution to its retirement scheme, Sky News reported.

It is still unknown whether the regulators would be willing to provide such an assurance to Green.

One ally of the Topshop billionaire said: "This would be a voluntary contribution, and it would be unrealistic to expect it to be made unless the anti-avoidance probe was discontinued."