Retail news round-up on January 16, 2015: Foschini Group to buy Phase Eight; Aldi signs £1m worth of Burns Night supplier deals; Booker to roll out 50 convenience stores and more.

Breakfast Briefing: The morning news update

South African retailer buys Phase Eight

South African clothing retailer Foschini Group has agreed to acquire UK womenswear retailer Phase Eight for £300m, The Telegraph reported. The deal, expected to be announced in the coming days, will see the British brand rolled out across southern Africa as part of Foschini’s on-going international expansion plans. Phase Eight sells eveningwear and wedding dresses.

Aldi hands Scottish suppliers Burns deal

German hard discounter Aldi has awarded Scottish suppliers a £1m supply contract as it prepares to take advantage of this month’s Burns Night celebrations, according to Herald Scoland. The retailer is filling shelves in 500 stores with 21 Scottish ‘favourites’ from 18 suppliers ahead of January 25, with products ranging from haggis and black pudding to oatcakes.

Wickes taps Iris as lead strategy and creative agency

Home improvement retailer Wickes has appointed Iris as its new strategy and creative agency to help build a new brand platform, The Drum reported. The move is designed to expand Wickes’ consumer base within the competitive DIY sector.

Booker to accelerate discount shop rollout

UK’s biggest wholesaler Booker is planning to speed up its discount convenience stores rollout, according to The Financial Times.  It plans to open at least 50 convenience stores in 2015. The shops, under the Family Shopper brand offer value — pitched between what could be found in a no-frills discounter and a regular supermarket — but in a neighbourhood location, and with the longer opening hours of a convenience store.

Dixons Carphone hands Walker Media its £90m media account

Dixons Carphone has handed Walker Media its £90m media account, The Drum reported. Starting in February, Walker Media will work across Dixons Carphone’s key UK retail and service brands, including Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse, Knowhow, Geek Squad and Dixons Travel. ZenithOptimedia, owned by the Publicis Groupe, will also manage the account having acquired a majority stake in Walker Media in 2013.