Retail news round-up on January 17, 2014: Selfridges launches its Festival of Imagination campaign, John Lewis and Ikea report surging January Sales and The Original Factory Christmas sales edge up
Mike Ashley plans celebrity-endorsed sportswear lines for Debenhams
Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley hopes to introduce celebrity-sponsored sportswear ranges into department store chain Debenhams, The Financial Times reported. According to people with knowledge of the plans, the ranges are the sporting equivalent of Debenhams’ exclusive designer line-ups.
There is a possibility that the ranges could be sponsored by some of Sports Direct’s brand ambassadors, who include James Cracknell, John McEnroe and Pat Cash, Carl Froch and Kirsty Gallacher. Alternatively, Ashley may look at exclusive designer lines incorporating some of his stable of in-house brands, such as Dunlop, Slazenger, Everlast, Kangol and Firetrap. Sources said the strategy could help boost the amount of goods sold via Debenhams’ existing store space, increasing its profits.
Sainsbury’s in talks with lenders for almost £1bn credit line
Sainsbury’s is seeking a credit line of as much as £1bn for the replacement of an existing facility, Bloomberg reported. Banks are offering Europe’s larget companies the lowest borrowing costs in more than five years. The supermarket chain is in talks with the lenders that provided a £690m credit line in 2010, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The sources added that the company has not yet chosen banks for the funding arrangement or proposed an interest rate. The retailer follows Tesco in looking to replace loans to capitalise on cheap rates offered by banks competing to lend to Europe’s largest firms.
Mytheresa.com welcomes Paula Reed as creative director
Luxury e-tailer Mytheresa.com has appointed Paula Reed as creative director, according to the Telegraph. In her new role, the former Harvey Nichols fashion director will be responsible for overseeing editorial direction and help expand Mytheresa’s special projects with designers and brands. Reed said, “I am thrilled to be joining a business when it is evolving and growing in such a dynamic way.” She quit Harvey Nichols in October 2013.