Retail news round-up on May 19, 2014: Longest-standing Co-op director steps down, Game shoppers to receive ‘virtual loyalty shares’, Whistles to open Bloomingdales concessions.

Co-op’s longest-standing director Ben Reid steps down

The Co-operative Group’s longest-serving director Ben Reid has resigned from its board after members unanimously voted to reform its governance, The Guardian reported. Reid, however, will remain as chief executive of Midcounties, the largest independent regional co-op. He had been on the board for 14 years and was one of the five representatives of independent societies to have boardroom seats as a result of their 22% shareholding in the group.

Game to hand shoppers ‘virtual loyalty shares’ worth £100 each

Game is awarding its 20,000 shoppers ‘virtual loyalty shares’ worth £100 each as part of a stock market float that is likely to value the UK video games retailer at around £400m, The Guardian reported. The value of the virtual shares is pegged to the company’s share price, but they can be swapped for credits to spend in the stores.

Whistles to open shop-in-shop in Bloomingdale’s flagship

Upmarket UK high street retailer Whistles will open its first US outpost later this month with a shop-in-shop space in the Bloomingdale’s flagship store on 59th Street in Manhattan, New York. The concession will reflect the feel of the brand’s London flagship on Dover Street in Mayfair, London. Whistles will also add to its department store presence in France this summer, The Telegraph reported. It will also launch a French-language website to capitalise on demand. “Opening in New York has been a dream of ours for so long, that I can hardly believe it is really happening,” said chief executive Jane Shepherdson.

UK high street footfall edges up 7.6% on sunny weather

Footfall in the UK high streets bounced back due to the summer weather, with the increase of 7.6% for the week to May 18, according to Springboard data supplied to Drapers It was up 5.7% on last year. It was not the only category to rise; retail parks also inched up 2% year-on-year, although shopping centres reported 3.5% fall.