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

Mothercare delays full-year results

Mothercare has pushed back the reporting of its full-year results by 24 hours.

The nursery specialist had been scheduled to file its results for the year ending March 30 with the stock exchange this morning, but will now do so on Friday May 24.

The retailer said it took the decision “as a result of the complexity of our financial year”, which included a £117.5m refinancing and radical restructuring of its store portfolio through a CVA.

Despite the delay, Mothercare moved to reassure the market that it would deliver results “in line with market expectations”.   

Body Shop owner Natura to buy Avon

The Body Shop’s Brazilian owner Natura is to snap up direct-selling cosmetics firm Avon in a £1.6bn deal.

Natura said the acquisition would create the world’s fourth-largest beauty company and boost its direct sales proposition, amid stiff competition from online as cosmetics brands increasingly look to sell direct to consumer.

The deal, which is due to complete early next year, is subject to approval from competition regulators.

Avon boss Jan Zijderveld said: “This combination is the start of an exciting new chapter in Avon’s 130-year history. It stands as a testament to the progress of our efforts to ‘Open Up Avon’, and we believe it will allow us to significantly accelerate our strategy and further expand into the online channel.”

Independent shops reviving high streets, study suggests

Small businesses are more confident about the future of the high street and plan to expand in the coming year, new research has revealed.

According to a survey by Visa, 74% of smaller independent shop owners said they were optimistic about the future of the high street, up from 52% a year ago.

And 34% of small businesses said they planned to open more shops during the next 12 months.

Visa’s research found that 34,511 independent shops opened on the UK’s high streets last year, up 4.5% on 2017.