Retail news round-up on November 23, 2015: Made.com launches new online mattress store and Debenhams demands discounts from suppliers.
Made.com creates hi-tech online mattress shop
Furniture chain Made.com has launched a new online mattress arm in a move to take on new entrants such as Eve and Leesa.
Retailing at between £500 and £700, ‘The One’ will launch in the UK, then France, before being rolled out across the upmarket retailer’s four other European export markets.
The medium to firm mattress has been designed using hi-tech materials, claims Made.com co-founder Julien Callede.
“We’re always looking for ways to disrupt new categories. We haven’t spent millions on this,” Callede told the Daily Telegraph.
The company expects the mattress arm to be a "multi-million-pound business" within a few years.
Morrisons chief David Potts in line to pocket multi-million bonus
Morrisons boss is set to receive a multi-million-pound bonus payout despite the grocer expecting sales to plunge.
Chief executive David Potts and his fellow directors will not be expected to increase grocery sales over the next three years from the £13bn achieved in the year to February.
The retailer has now pledged to begin handing out bonuses in 2018 if sales stand at just £12.7bn.
Meanwhile, US hedge fund Third Point has placed a £20m bet against the supermarket chain becoming the latest in a long line of funds shorting the company’s shares.
Other funds who have launched multi-million-pound bets on the ailing supermarket include Lansdowne Partners, Marshall Wace and UBS.
Debenhams continues supplier squeeze by demanding discounts
Debenhams has infuriated some suppliers in the run-up to Christmas after demanding a discount for the second time in three years in return for bringing payment terms closer in line with the industry standard.
In recent weeks, the department store chain has contacted suppliers asking for a reduction of between 1% and 2% on bills in exchange for paying them 30 or 60 days earlier than their current terms.
In a recent letter seen by The Sunday Telegraph, the retailer says the window for shorter payment terms will last only for a set period between November 24, 2015 and May 26, 2016. The scheme will come into effect from this Monday.
Darty agrees buyout by Fnac
London-listed white goods retailer Darty has agreed to be acquired by French book and music chain Fnac in a £558m deal.
The acquisition will create a retail group with sales of more than €7bn (£4.9bn) and earnings of around €270m (£189.4m).
Fnac chief executive Alexandre Bompard said the offer "constitutes a strategic opportunity for both groups by creating a leader in the French electronics, editorial and home appliance retail markets, as well as key player in the wider European consumer electronics landscape."