Retail round-up: Morrisons marches into school uniform war, Ashley’s BHS bid rejected, and ‘misleading’ farm brands investigated

Morrisons enters school uniform battle with quality guarantee

Morrisons has marched into a retail battle against Lidl and Aldi by offering a 200-day quality guarantee on its school uniforms, The Times reported.

The move by the supermarket comes after Lidl stated that it would sell a primary school uniform including polo shirt, jumper and trousers or skirt for £3.75, as well as sweatshirts from £1.25 and leather school shoes at £6.99.

A survey commissioned by Morrisons revealed that four in five parents need to replace school uniforms within the same year of purchase. Its new quality guarantee outstrips all its rivals.

Asda offers a 100-day guarantee, M&S 35 days, Aldi 60 days and Lidl 30 days.

Liquidators reject Mike Ashley’s rescue bid for BHS

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley’s bid for parts of BHS has been rejected for being worth “practically zero”, the Express reported.

BHS went into liquidation last month after administrator Duff & Phelps failed to find a buyer. Following this, Ashley wrote to Duff & Phelps stating that he wanted to purchase the BHS brand and parts of its estate.

According to some sources, the administrator felt that Ashley’s proposal was untenable.

BHS has 164 stores and 11,000 employees in the UK. The first 20 stores are reported to close this week, affecting 580 workers.

Earlier this month, the international arm of BHS was sold to Qatari retail group Al Mana for an undisclosed sum.

Trading Standards to investigate ‘misleading’ farm brands

The National Farmers' Union claims some of the UK's largest supermarkets are duping shoppers into thinking they are buying British products.

The NFU has made an official complaint to Trading Standards over the use of brands that it claims could mislead consumers.

The complaint highlights Tesco’s Woodside Farms and Boswell Farms as examples of brands that are ostensibly British but whose products are often imported. 

Woodside pork is actually imported from countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, and some beef products sold under the Boswell brand originate in Ireland.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said: "The NFU’s legal team has looked at this carefully and as a result we are asking Trading Standards to look at whether ‘fake’ farm branding complies with the relevant legal requirements.”