Retail news round-up on February 11, 2015: Nike to launch women’s-only store; Apple reaches $700bn; Sports Direct probed; and more.
Nike poised to launch first women’s-only store
Nike is tipped to open its first women’s-only retail outlet on London’s King’s Road in May. The sportswear maker is set to introduce a female-focused store layout, already trialled in the US and Shanghai, according to the Evening Standard. The shop will stock running, training and sportswear products.
Apple first to reach market value of $700bn
Apple becomes the first company in history to hit $700bn in market value, according to its chief executive Tim Cook. ‘We’ve taken (the mobile operating system) iOS and extended it into your car, into your home, into your health. All of these are really critical parts of your life,’ Cook said.
Sports Direct probed over USC’s administration
The government’s Insolvency Service is probing Sports Direct and administrators for collapsed fashion retailer USC as ex-employees take legal action over a controversial restructuring of the chain. The investigation comes after Mike Ashley was called before a Scottish parliament committee to give evidence on the demise of USC, which fell into administration last month.
Victoria’s Secret pressurised to offer plus-size lingerie
Victoria’s Secret has come under pressure to stock plus-sizes in their lingerie collections, The Telegraph reported. Change.org petitions have been signed by thousands of women demanding the retailer to offer sizes larger than a UK size 20 and also to feature ‘curvier, more realistic supermodels’ in its campaigns and runway shows. Around 3,500 people have signed the two new petitions, which comes as Sports Illustrated magazine made history by featuring a plus-sized model in a new #CurvesInBikinis ad.
MSPs and lawyers for former employees are examining the way about 80 staff at USC’s Scottish warehouse were made redundant when administrators were called in to West Coast Capital, a Sports Direct-controlled entity which owned 28 USC stores. Two firms, Duff & Phelps and the Gallagher Partnership acted as joint administrators after a supplier, fashion brand Diesel, took action over an unpaid bill.
Morrisons could abandon ‘misting’ machines
Morrisons is to scrap in-store misting machines in the coming weeks, The Independent has learned. The machines, installed in around 300 branches of the 500-strong chain, are to give fruit and veg a spray of moist freshness.
Some store workers have suggested the misting machines exacerbated this effect with shoppers: giving them the impression that Morrisons had become too upmarket for them and that they would be better off at the discounters.