Retail news round-up on August 21, 2015: Liberty’s new fashion buying director, Big W boss quits and Tesco’s online wine club shut

Retail Week Breakfast Briefing

Tesco to close online wine club

Tesco will close its online club for wine lovers on August 28 to focus on its mainstream business. Launched in December 2011, the Tesco Wine Community also organised events such as annual wine fairs besides providing an online forum.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We have taken the decision to close our Wine Community website. We know the site has proved really informative for some customers, but we will now focus on providing information on our award winning wine range in store and on our website.”

Big W boss quits due to health reasons

Alistair McGeorge, managing director of Australia’s Woolworths-owned Big W, has resigned with immediate effect, citing health reasons. The resignation comes after a complaint about his behavior in the workplace.

“The behaviour was verbal in nature. This complaint has been investigated and finalised and for legal reasons we are unable to make any further comment on this matter,” The Guardian quoted Big W parent company Woolworths as saying.

Penny Winn, currently director of group retail services, will temporarily fill the position of managing director.

Liberty appoints new fashion buying director

Scott Tepper, who was head of collaborations, will be luxury department store Liberty’s new fashion buying director. He takes the place of Stephen Ayres who joined premium retailer Avenue 32 in early August.

Tepper, who was earlier with Kurt Geiger as head of luxury, had joined Liberty last year.

Build your own hamper with Fortnum & Mason

Luxury food and gifts retailer Fortnum & Mason’s website will now have a ‘build your own’ hamper service that will let customers create a personalised hamper from over 2,799 products.

The Guardian reported that hampers will be available for delivery in the UK and across the world or for collection from its flagship store in Piccadilly.

There is a choice of three different sized wickers – 15 inch wicker for up to six products, 19 inch wicker for seven to 12 products or 25 inch wicker for more than 13 products.

Inditex to get some Irish retail therapy

Zara owner Inditex will get some Irish retail therapy if the growth rates recorded at its Stradivarius stores are replicated across Ireland, The Irish Times reported.

Inditex also owns stores in Ireland operating under the Bershka, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti banners.

Recent accounts for Stradivarius show that its annual sales were up 18% to the end of January.