Retail news round-up on November 2, 2015: Sports Direct probed by CMA, Lidl boss gets 56% pay hike and Paperchase lands funding for expansion.

Sports Direct faces probe over alleged blocking of negative reviews

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is probing Sports Direct and a handful of other retailers over allegations that it blocked negative reviews of products on its website in an apparent move to boost sales.

This forms part of an investigation launched in June to examine abuse of website reviews.

The CMA has requested the Daily Mail hand over the evidence for its Sports Direct article to Jon Riley, its director in charge of the investigation.

A spokesman for the CMA said: ‘We are grateful to have received a large amount of interesting information during our call for information on online reviews and endorsements. We are now assessing that information to determine whether any further action is necessary.’

BHS looks to sublet and sell Oxford Street flagship

Troubled BHS has appointed property agency Cushman & Wakefield to examine options for its prime site on Oxford Street in central London.

The struggling department store group is considering plans to raise as much as £89m by subletting and then offloading its flagship outlet.

The leasehold would be worth between £81.3m and £88.8m if the store was split into separate units and sublet to other retailers, according to a brochure circulated to potential buyers.

Paperchase gets financial backing for international expansion

Paperchase has secured a multi-million-pound funding deal to spur its expansion in the UK and overseas months after scrapping plans to sell the business.

The stationery, greeting cards and gifts retailer has negotiated a £50m facility from private equity group Permira and Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The deal includes a £32m six-year loan from Permira Credit Solutions, the debt lending and advisory business of Permira, and £18m from Lloyds.

The chain’s chief executive Timothy Melgund said: “The debt will enable us to further build on the momentum in the business and continue to deliver our ambitious growth plans.”

Lidl’s managing director receives 56% pay increase

Lidl has handed its managing director Ronny Gottschlich a 56% pay hike following a bumper year in which annual sales reached a record £4bn.

This was a big increase on the £620,000 he received in 2014, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Gottschlich has been rewarded for taking the hard discounter’s share of the UK grocery market to 4.3%.