Retail news round-up September 30, 2013: Ikea to sell solar panels, Dixons to create 3,000 Christmas temp jobs, Tesco poised to reveal profit fall, Harrods to undergo revamp and Topshop hires creative design consultant.

Ikea’s UK stores to sell solar panels

Furniture retailer Ikea plans to sell solar panels for the first time at all of its 17 British stores within next 10 months to tap growth in the heavily subsidised green energy market.

Following a successful pilot at Ikea’s Lakeside store, which sells one photovoltaic (PV) system almost every day, the panels will be sold at the firm’s Southampton store today and then rolled out to all stores, Reuters reported.

Dixons Retail to create 3,000 Christmas temp jobs

Dixons Retail, owner of PC World and Currys, is creating 3,000 temporary jobs in the run-up to Christmas.

The retailer said that jobs will be created for stores across the country as well as for back-office support roles at its distribution and delivery hub in Newark, Nottinghamshire, and its call centre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

The retailer, who retained 300 of 3,000 staff taken on during last Christmas, said that best-performing temporary staff would be given permanent jobs.

Tesco likely to report drop in sales and profits

Tesco is expected to report fall in like-for-like sales for a second consecutive quarter when it reveals its first-half results on Wednesday. Rival Sainsbury is likely report accelerating sales growth as online and convenience stores continue to grow strongly .

It is projected that Sainsbury’s will report a 1.8% rise in like-for-like sales in a trading update for 16 weeks to September 28, while Tesco is expected to suffer a drop in UK like-for-likes of between 0.4% and 0.7% for the 26 weeks to August 24, Reuters reported.

Tesco is also likely to suffer a 6% fall in profits in Asia and a 20% drop in its European profits resulting in a profits fall for the second consecutive year.

Harrods set to undertake multi-million pound refurbishment

Harrods is set to undertake a multi-million pound refurbishment as part of an investment drive by Qatar Holdings to refresh its inside and restore its historic look. Qatar Holding acquired Harrods department store for £1.5bn in 2010.

The revamp will include the introduction of a chandelier designed by American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly  and the installation of a new escalator inspired by Harrods’ historic architecture, The Telegraph reported.

The new escalator, designed by architects Make, will cover all seven floors of the Knightsbridge store. Harrods will also restore the British-made copper cladding and lighting globes on the listed staircase next to the escalator.

Topshop appoints new creative design consultant

Topshop has appointed Geoffrey J. Finch, founder of Antipodium, as its part-time creative design consultant.

Finch will work under Kate Phelan, Topshop’s creative director, and Emma Farrow, head of design and will continue to act as creative director for his own brand, The Telegraph reported.