Retail news round-up on March 17, 2016: Mike Ashley gets week's second ultimatum to appear for hearing and Asda announces job cuts.

Mike Ashley gets second ultimatum of the week to appear before MPs

Sports Direct’s billionaire owner Mike Ashley has been issued with his second Westminster ultimatum of the week to appear before a parliamentary select committee, The Guardian reported.

Dennis Skinner, MP for Bolsover, Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, and Gloria de Piero, MP for Ashfield have threatened to back off a planned visit to the sports retailer's warehouse unless he appears in front of the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) select committee on June 7 to answer questions on its staff treatment and zero-hours contracts for most employees.

In a letter signed, they state: “We would be grateful if you could confirm that you will be making an appointment to answer questions from the BIS select committee in advance of our meeting on Monday 21 March ... or, regrettably, we will have to reschedule.

“To be clear, we are not prepared to meet at the facility in Shirebrook until you have set a date to respond to the BIS select committee”.

Asda confirms plans to axe 750 jobs

Asda has announced job cuts as it seeks to trim costs and protect sales from slipping further, The Guardian reported.

The grocer is planning to axe up to 500 jobs in stores and 250 at its head office in Leeds.

The supermarket retailer will also close staff canteens in all shops and cut some shop-floor services such as photo processing and pizza-making as part of turnaround plan called Project Renewal.