Retail news round-up: MPs accuse Sports Direct of spying on them, and retail sales increased in October

Sports Direct accused of spying on MPs at surprise visit

Sports Direct was accused of spying on the Business Select Committee with a recording device on their surprise visit to the company’s Shirebrook warehouse,The Telegraph reported.

As part of an investigation into allegations of poor working conditions, chairman of the committee, Iain Wright, gave one hour’s notice before arriving at the company’s warehouse on Monday.

The group of six MPs were given a three-hour tour of the warehouses and premises. 

MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, said a woman entered the meeting room with a tray of refreshments and placed a recording device underneath a chair.

The company’s officials were unhappy with the surprise visit because owner Mike Ashley was on leave and wanted to be there.

The company’s spokesperson declined to comment.

Retail sales increased in October

Retail sales increased 2.4% in October, the fastest rate since January, according to British Retail Consortium,The Telegraph reported.

Consumer spending on food increased 1.5%, indicating improved confidence. Clothing sales also increased, helping retailers hit by unseasonal weather, while the launch of the iPhone 7 surged demand for electronics in October.

The rise in foreign shoppers also boosted UK retail sales.

Richard Lim from Retail Economics said: "The collapse of sterling continued to attract a rising number of international shoppers who drove higher demand for luxury goods, particularly jewellery and watches.”