Retail news round-up on December 22, 2015: Mike Ashley lashes out as Findel rejects board member appointment, and retail sales up in December.
Sports Direct hits out at Findel after failing to get Ben Gardener on board
Sports Direct has attacked Findel for under-delivering to its shareholders after failing to appoint a representative to the board of the replica football shirt maker.
Nearly 81% of Findel investors voted against Ben Gardener joining the board as a non-executive director.
In a strongly worded statement issued after the vote, Sports Direct said: “Findel should focus on trying to run its business more successfully and not reject offers of specialist assistance.”
“All the Findel business segments could have been improved for the benefit of all of its shareholders with the retail expertise of Sports Direct. Mr Gardener could have helped in all these regards and would have been a positive addition to a board that Sports Direct believes has under-delivered for its shareholders.”
In response to Sports Direct’s criticism, Findel said: “Over the last five years the new leadership team of Findel has been very focused on restoring shareholder value and the group is on track to record another significant step up in profit before tax in the current financial year.”
Retail sales volumes below expectations in December, says CBI
Retailers’ sales volumes are below expectations in December while growth is expected to slow next month, according to the latest CBI survey.
Around four in 10 businesses (43%) said sales volumes were up on December last year, but a quarter reported sales were down. The balance of 19% is an increase on November, but below expectations, the CBI said.
Only 22% of retailers expect volumes to increase in January, according to the CBI, which is the lowest prediction since May 2012.
Consumer morale edges up in December
British consumer confidence inched up to +2 in December from a six-month low of +1 in November, according to GfK.
However, households remain more worried about the economy than they were at the end of last year.
"This is the first time since the Consumer Confidence Barometer started in 1974 that the index has remained positive for an entire calendar year," said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK.