Retail news round-up: Tesco files defence case against shareholders, investigation reveals factory workers’ low wages, and new head of menswear for Harvey Nichols

Tesco files defence case against shareholders

Tesco has filed a 42-page defence in the High Court against 111 investors, stating that they have made “vague and amorphous” claims that cannot be substantiated, The Times reported.

The investors claim they have suffered losses of millions of pounds following the retailer’s accounting scandal.

Tesco, on the other hand, argues that the shareholders have failed to provide any evidence that any senior executives had any knowledge of or were “wilfully blind” to the retailer allegedly “deliberately communicating false and misleading statements to the market”.

The investors who are bringing the claim include the Kaiser Foundation, an American non-profit organisation, the Church Commissioners for England, and the American Red Cross.

Textile workers 'paid below minimum wage'

Workers in British textile firms are allegedly being paid as low as £3 an hour for making clothes for high-street retailers such as River Island and New Look, according to an investigation by Channel 4, Reuters reported.

The investigation claims Leicester-based Fashion Square and United Creations paid approximately £3 and £3.50 per hour respectively to its workers.

The national living wage in the UK is £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and older.

The Dispatches reporter recorded one of the bosses saying competition with Asian exporters was the reason the company wasn't paying the minimum wage, the programme claimed.

Boohoo said it was in talks with United Creations to provide workers the minimum wage.

Fashion Square and United Creations denied paying anyone below the minimum wage.

River Island did not respond.

Harvey Nichols appoints new head of menswear

Harvey Nichols has appointed David Aquilina as its new head of menswear to manage its eight stores in the UK and Ireland.

Aquilina replaces Darren Skey and will report to group fashion director Anita Barr.

Prior to joining Harvey Nichols, Aquilina was the buying manager at Kurt Geiger and international buyer for Hong Kong luxury department store Lane Crawford.

Sports Direct hires new broker

Sports Direct has replaced its three corporate brokers Goldman Sachs, Citi and Haitong with Liberum Capital, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The company is trying to move on from its spat with MPs over “Victorian” working conditions at its warehouse, a shareholder revolt over its governance and poor performance exacerbated by the plunge in the value of the pound.

Sports Direct did not comment.