Retail news round-up on July 28, 2014: Home Retail considers Homebase disposal, retailers attack ‘supermarket tax’ proposal, Leighton and Norman in frame for Morrisons chairmanship

Home Retail Group mulls sale of £1.5bn DIY chain Homebase

Home Retail Group is considering selling its £1.5bn DIY business Homebase, which would allow it to focus on strengthening its Argos brand.

The potential spin-off forms a part of a review by group chief executive John Walden. A final decision may be made in the coming weeks, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Retailers oppose £400m ‘supermarket tax’ proposal

Business leaders have criticised councils’ controversial call for a £400m ‘Tesco tax’, the Telegraph reported.

The retailers believe a supermarket levy would drive up prices while leaving the “onerous” business rates regime untouched.

BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said the tax plan would punish investment and cost jobs without doing anything to reform the business rates system. The proposal, drawn up by a group of 20 councils led by Derby city, would mean big supermarkets would be taxed to pay for improvements to local shopping areas.

Former Asda and Tesco executives in running for Morrisons chairman role

Retail veterans Archie Norman and Allan Leighton are among the candidates in the frame to become the new chairman of beleaguered grocer Morrisons, the Telegraph reported.

Norman and Leighton led a turnaround of Asda. Other names being considered are John Gildersleeve, a former Tesco director, and John McAdam, senior independent director at Sainsbury’s.

The process of finding a replacement for Morrisons chairman Sir Ian Gibson is believed still to be at an early stage. A primary task for thee new chairman would be to decide on the future of chief executive Dalton Philips and whether to press ahead with his drive to lower prices.