Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.
7:33 Nike growth slows in third quarter
Nike’s US sales rose 7% in its third quarter to over $3.8bn (£2.89bn), but growth in its homeland was slower than expected.
The sportswear colossus’ international revenues climbed 7% to $9.6bn (£7.31bn). China registered a 19% spike in sales.
Nike shares fell nearly 4% in after-hours trading, despite swinging to a profit of $1.1bn (£840m) during the period, compared with a net loss of $921m (£701m) in the same quarter last year.
7:22 Debenhams on brink of £200m refinancing lifeline
Debenhams is on the brink of securing a £200m funding injection in a bid to keep Sports Direct and Mike Ashley at bay.
The embattled department store chain is close to securing larger-than-expected borrowing facilities as it seeks to shore up its balance sheet and ward off the aggressive overtures of major stakeholder Sports Direct.
According to Sky News, Debenhams could make a statement to the stock exchange later today or early next week.
7:21am Google launches digital skills programme to boost high streets
Google has launched a new digital skills programme in a bid to boost Britain’s high streets.
The online giant has teamed up with the Federation of Small Businesses and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to provide smaller high street businesses with free face-to-face training, designed to help them “operate and grow in the digital economy”.
The programme, called the Google Digital Garage High Street Tour, is being launched in Rochester today, but will swing into action in May.
7:19am Walmart chief technology officer King exits
Walmart chief technology officer Jeremy King is set to leave the business at the end of the month.
King is set to depart on March 29 and his full-time replacement has yet to be found, according to the memo seen by Reuters.
He joined the company in 2011 and has revamped the American grocery giant’s ecommerce technology platform and overseen the transformation of 4,700 stores.
7:14am Levi’s returns to stock market
Shares in jeans maker Levi Strauss jumped by more than 30% overnight on its return to the New York stock market.
The FT reports that the company’s IPO raised $623m (£474.2m) through the sale of more than 36 million shares.
Levi’s has returned to public markets for a second time, having first floated in 1971. It was taken private again by the Haas family in 1985.
6:52am EU 27 agrees Brexit extension
The European Union has granted the UK a two-week extension overnight, pushing the Brexit deadline back from March 29 to April 12.
The extension was agreed following last-night’s talks between prime minister Theresa May and representatives from the EU’s 27 member states. May will now have another chance to try and force her Withdrawal Agreement through parliament at the third time of asking next week.
European President Donald Tusk said: ”The UK government will still have a choice of a deal, no-deal, a long extension or revoking article 50.”
The British Retail Consortium has been vociferous in its calls for the government to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Yesterday, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress, took the unprecedented move of writing a joint letter calling on the PM to have a “Brexit plan B”.