Retail round-up: Waitrose to tie up with British Corner Shop, ex-BHS owner defends himself over collapse and Ikea to upgrade quality of products.

Waitrose to tie up with British Corner Shop to target foreign sales

Waitrose has revealed plans for a deal with online retailer British Corner Shop in order to sell more of its merchandise overseas, The Telegraph reports.

Waitrose will provide over 2,000 own-label products through British Corner Shop, which sells British products in more than 138 countries.

This deal will give Waitrose access to international customers with brands including Waitrose Duchy Organic, Waitrose Baby, essential Waitrose and the Waitrose 1 range.

This new partnership will also enable Waitrose to "enter entirely new territories," including Germany and the US.

Former BHS owner defends himself over retailer's failure

Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has defended his actions during his time in charge of the 88-year-old business.

The ex-racing driver said the money he took out of the business did not have any impact on the BHS collapse, describing the £2.6m he received as “a drip in the ocean”.

Chappell, who received a £600,000 salary and withdrew a separate £1.4m, said: “Did I take a lot of money out? Yes, I did. But did the business fail because of the amount of money I took out? No, it didn't. This was just a drip [sic] in the ocean compared to the money what was needed to turn around BHS.”

Asda makes home-produced pork pledge to Scottish farmers

Asda has vowed to source and sell more Specially Selected Pork from Scotland, a promise made to industry leaders during a meeting at the recent Royal Highland Show, according to Pig World.

The Asda pledge was acknowledged by NFU Scotland vice president Andrew McCornick as “good news for the nation’s hard-pressed pig producers”.

The commitment to sell SSP was achieved during face-to-face meetings between NFUS and representatives of the major supermarkets.

The union team also met delegates from Tesco, Morrisons, the Co-operative, Marks & Spencer and Aldi, urging to give more support to home-grown products.

IKEA bids to upgrade product quality 

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is driving efforts to develop the quality of its products and to integrate manufacturing to cut back costs, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Peter Agnefjall, chief executive of Ikea Group, said that changes will be made in order to meet the increasing demand of durable products from customers.

Agnefjall added: "Customers expect us to do more [on quality]. And nowadays you can't really make products that are throwaway – when you buy a sofa table it needs to be built to last."

Ikea Group, which owns most Ikea stores, aims to hit €50bn in annual sales by 2020.