Retail round-up: John Lewis to inject £9m to expand its beauty halls and Sports Direct under pressure over workplace practices review.

John Lewis to invest £9m in beauty halls as it taps into “growing” cosmetics demand

John Lewis has unveiled a £9m beauty hall expansion plan, which aims to “drive” more footfall to its department stores, The Guardian reported.

The retailer will increase the size of its beauty departments in Cambridge, Bluewater in Kent and Cribbs Causeway in Bristol by 50% and overhaul four other beauty halls including at Peter Jones in London’s Sloane Square.

New upmarket brands including Marc Jacobs, Mac and Tom Ford Beauty will feature at its beauty premises, as part of the investment.

John Lewis buying director for fashion and beauty Ed Connolly said: “Beauty is one of the best performing categories at John Lewis and a significant footfall driver, so this investment is a reflection of our ambition in this space.”

Pension funds back independent review of Sports Direct’s staff treatment

The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has revealed plans to support the Unite resolution demanding an independent review of Sports Direct’s “appalling” workplace practices.

LAPFF’s chairman, councillor Kieran Quinn said: “LAPFF’s hope is that an independent human capital strategy review will rectify any workplace practices deemed inappropriate and will help Sports Direct move forward from the reputational and financial damage it has suffered.

“LAPFF’s view is that responsible business practices by companies lead to sustainable returns for investors over the long term. We are worried that this view is not shared by Sports Direct.”

Asda to pay back shoppers on supermarket spends with new Cashback Plus card

WalMart-owned Asda has introduced a new cashback card, which will pay 2% back to its customers on their spending at the supermarket, the Daily Mail reported.

The Cashback Plus credit card, which has a £3 monthly fee, also pays shoppers 1% on their spends everywhere else.

The grocer said there is no cap on the amount customers earn.

Best Buy quarterly earnings jump as online sales surge

US retailer Best Buy reported a 32.6% jump in its second quarter earnings per share to 61 cents per share, the Financial Times reported.

Total revenue for the three months increased 0.1% to $8.53bn (£6.47bn), held back by the closure of 12 large format and 22 mobile stores.

The electronic goods specialist said its domestic comparable store sales grew 0.8%, while US online sales climbed 23.7% to $835m (£633m), in a sharp acceleration.

Ecommerce now accounts for 10.6% of Best Buy sales compared with 8.6% last year.

Best Buy highlighted demand for health and wellness wearable tracking devices, as well as home theatre, major appliances and computing, while mobile phones and gaming product sales declined.