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

River Island owners snap up Mint Velvet

River Island owners the Lewis family have bought fashion brand Mint Velvet in a deal worth around £100m.

The Lewis Trust Group (LTG), which also owns stakes in Everyman cinemas and US fast fashion label Dolls Kill, first bought a stake in Mint Velvet back in 2015.

Accprding to The Guardian, the Lewis family exercised an option to take full control of the company last week. 

Retail sales fall as Brexit uncertainty hits spending

Retail sales fell at the fastest rate for more than a year in March as lingering Brexit uncertainty weighed on consumers’ willingness to spend.

The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) monthly retail sales index plunged to -18% this month, compared to 0% in February. It meant more retailers reported a slump in sales than an increase.

The CBI’s head of economic intelligence Anna Leach said: “While real wage growth is picking up, consumer confidence has been hit by escalating uncertainty over Brexit and concern over the economy’s future.

“The pain currently being felt on the high street is yet another reason why it is so vitally important politicians agree a deal in parliament that is acceptable to the EU and protects our economy. No-deal must be averted at all costs.”