Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

Sports Direct posts formal offer for Game

Sports Direct has posted its formal offer document offering Game Digital 30 pence per share in a deal worth £52m.

Shareholders have been given until no later than July 11 to accept or reject the offer.

Mike Ashley owned Sports Direct is already its biggest shareholder and holds a 50% stake in its Belong gaming arenas which can be found in some of the larger Sports Direct stores.

If the deal goes through Game Digital would be added to a list of businesses Ashley owns including House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and Sofa.com.

River Island hires Will Kernan as chief executive

River Island has hired former Wiggle and The White Company boss Will Kernan as its chief executive.

Current chief executive Ben Lewis, nephew of founder Bernard Lewis, is stepping down after nine years but will remain at the business as a non-executive director.

Kernan, who has been boss of cycling specialist Wiggle since 2017, will join in September.

Bathstore on brink of administration

Bathstore is near to insolvency and has lined up accountants BDO to handle its administration.

The group’s owner, American billionaire Warren Stephens, is unwilling to inject more cash ahead of this month’s rent day, the Guardian reports, having failed to find a buyer for the loss-making business.

Administration would lead to the loss of 700 jobs and the closure of 168 stores.

N Brown sales fall despite digital growth

N Brown sales fell in its first quarter despite a healthy performance across its digital channels.

Total revenue fell 3.8% despite being boosted by an 8% financial services rise.

Product revenue was down 5.4% as digital revenues climbed 3%. Digital now represents 83% of total revenue, up from 74% the previous first quarter.

Dunlem raises expectations following strong trading

Dunelm has said that it expects full year profits to be higher than expected following a period of strong trading.

The business now expects pre-tax profits to be between £124 and £126m, up from its previous expectations of between £114 and £118m. Last year, pre-tax profit was at £102m.

The retailer will give a year-end update on July 10.

BRC acquires Oxford Summer School

The BRC has acquired Oxford Summer School from the British Independent Retailers Association as part of its Better Jobs campaign.

Oxford Summer School, now known as OSS Retail, runs retail leadership programmes which are taught by those in industry.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “This is an exciting time for the industry as it responds to the changing retail landscape. With technology changing the way consumers shop, it is essential we invest in the people who will facilitate the future successes of the industry.  

“Recently, our BRC learning division has launched two new apprenticeships into the market and launched Rethink Retail, our new careers guidance website. Working with OSS Retail will allow us to further build on our careers and development offering, for the benefit of our members and the wider industry.”