Retail news round-up: Mike Ashley invites in MPs, Asda steps away from Black Friday, and Edinburgh Woollen Mill not guilty of mislabelling
Sports Direct boss invites MPs to face staff
Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has sent a letter to Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee chairman Iain Wright asking MPs to return to Shirebrook and face some of the retailer's staff, who were “deeply traumatised”, The Times reported.
In a move to draw a line under “spygate”, he is inviting the politicians to a live debate at Sports Direct’s Derbyshire complex.
He wrote: “I believe the best way forward would be for you to return to Shirebrook to join 500 of the people who work at Sports Direct for a live televised debate in our auditorium.
"This is something that our people have suggested to me would be hugely beneficial to them as they feel their voice is currently not being heard.
“As you will have seen during your visit, our people are extremely loyal and they believe passionately in Sports Direct. Some of these people are feeling scared, defensive and deeply traumatised by the criticism and abuse we have been subjected to over the past two years.”
The letter does not make any reference regarding the planting of recording video; instead it accuses Mr Wright of being “disingenuous”.
Asda continues to shun Black Friday
Asda is refraining from taking part in Black Friday for the second time, the Daily Mail reported.
It made the decision because customers "did not want the pressure of a flash sale".
Media relations director for Asda, Russell Craig, said: “Last year we said that we were stepping away from Black Friday.
"As much as we had developed a well-organised and executed event, the feedback from our customers was clear that they didn't want the pressure of a flash sale and preferred to know we were offering low prices throughout the festive season.”
Edinburgh Woollen Mill not guilty of mislabelling
Edinburgh Woollen Mill has been found not guilty of mislabelling scarves as 100% cashmere, The Scotsman reported.
The retailer went on trial after it was charged with falsely selling the scarves on two occasions in 2014.
But Sheriff George Jamieson found the company not guilty. He said no regulations had been breached in labelling of the products.
In court, the defence witnesses said their testing found the scarf samples to be “commercially pure”. Dr Philip Greaves said the previous tests might have been incorrect.
Sheriff Jamieson said: “The accused have presented evidence which would persuade me there is no breach. This is clearly a highly skilled area, so while not impugning Crown witnesses, I think the defence evidence would persuade me.”