Retail news round-up on May 27, 2014: MySale acquires Cocosa, The Hut scraps IPO, Selfridges plans Oxford St revamp, Blue Inc to reveal IPO plans this week
MySale acquires Cocosa for undisclosed amount
Australian fashion sales website backed by Sir Philip Green, MySale, has bought flash sales site Cocosa for an undisclosed sum as it steps up UK launch plans, the Financial Times reported. MySale, which could not be reached for comment, is also expected to be considering a London listing, according to the newspaper.
“The acquisition of Cocosa.com gives us a fabulous foundation to build on as we finalise our plans for our UK launch,” Jamie Jackson, MySale founder said. MySale has also acquired a database of more than 800,000 customers from Cocosa, the British daily reported.
The Hut Group rules out stock market flotation
Online health and beauty retailer The Hut Group has ruled out an initial public offering (IPO) this year, amid concerns about unsustainable technology valuations and volatile share prices, the Financial Times reported. The company had looked at a £350m float earlier this year. Chief executive Matthew Moulding said The Hut had no need to raise funds and it had returned £13m to investors, which include private equity group Balderton as well as retailing grandees, Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Stuart Rose. It is expected to consider a flotation within the next two years.
Selfridges plots flagship London store refurbishment
Selfridges is planning to overhaul its flagship London store at Oxford Street in a £300m five-year investment, the Telegraph reported. The group will begin revamping the premise next month in what Selfridges describes as the largest ever single investment in a department store.
The accessories offering will be expanded, with the handbag department more than doubling to encompass 50,000 sq feet, and a new store entrance will be created on the east side of the building, on Duke Street. In addition, the bulk of the Selfridges UK head office will be moved to Wigmore Street nearby.
OKA names Peter Chappelow as non-executive chairman
Upmarket furniture retailer OKA has strengthened the management team with the appointment of retail veteran Peter Chappelow as non-executive chairman, the Telegraph reported. Chappelow has served as chairman of clothing brand MandM Direct, parenting club Bounty, and the largest UK footwear manufacturer Hotter Shoes. Alongside his new role at OKA, which is run by the Prime Minister’s mother-in-law Viscountess Astor, Chappelow is presently chairman of corporate rates adviser CVS.
High street stores see share fall 3% in physical entertainment market
According to Kantar Worldpanel’s quarterly retail barometer survey, online retailers now take one in every three pounds spent on CDs, DVDs and console games, the Telegraph reported. High street stores’ market share in physical entertainment is falling by 3% year-on-year due to competition from online players. Increasing online sales have been driven by older shoppers moving onto the web, the study claimed.
Etailer Amazon now represents 17.6% of total spend on physical entertainment products. One in five physical entertainment products were sold through Amazon during the 12 weeks ending April 13. British supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons now dominate 41% of sales in the entertainment category between them. Tesco has the largest share with 15.8%. Video games retailer GAME now accounts for 6.3% of physical entertainment sales, despite selling neither video nor music.
Blue Inc to announce plans for market flotation
Streetwear retailer Blue Inc is set to defy signs of a weakening appetite for floats this week when it announces intentions for a market listing, the Sunday Times reported. The company wants to raise about £15m on AIM in a deal that could value it at £60m. Its boss Steven Cohen aims to double the number of stores to 500 and enhance the website.
LK Bennett sales fall 3%
LK Bennett sales fell 3% last year due to aggressive high street competition. The premium fashion retailer posted group sales of £91.2m in the year to July 2013. LK Bennett said it was due to “challenging trading conditions” in the UK, according to the Mail on Sunday. Sales in its overseas business in The Netherlands, Spain, France and the US grew 36.5%. It also refinanced, switching its loan facilities from Lloyds Bank to Burdale Financial with a four-year, £20 million agreement.
Co-op set to meet to overhaul structure
The Co-operative Group is set to unveil a timetable to overhaul its management. The mutual is set to meet for the first time this week since members agreed to structural reform at its annual general meeting last week, according to the Mail on Sunday.