Fashion retailers prepare to appear before MPs, Topps Tiles posts full-year results and Quiz and Pets at Home unveil their interims.
Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail. Refresh this page to see the latest developments.
11.31am Sainsbury’s-Asda deal could increase prices, Lidl and Waitrose warn
The proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda could spark an increase in prices for consumers, two of its grocery rivals have warned.
Lidl and Waitrose told the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that prices could rise as a result of the combination, despite Sainsbury’s and Asda insisting that the deal would lead to a 10% drop in prices on grocery staples.
According to documents published by the CMA, Lidl said that, on products where Sainsbury’s and Asda do not compete directly with the discounters, “the merging parties will have the capacity to increase prices”.
Waitrose echoed that view, arguing that “the proposed merger may affect competition and impact outcomes for consumers”.
The CMA is currently conducting an in-depth probe into the deal.
11.02am John Lewis hails ‘biggest’ ever sales week
John Lewis & Partners has hailed the “biggest sales week” in its history as Black Friday promotions drove revenues.
The department store business said sales jumped 7.7% in the seven days to November 24, compared to the same week last year.
John Lewis said sales were driven by demand for its own Black Friday offers as well as promotions from competitors. The retailer price matched all discounts through its ‘never knowingly undersold’ policy.
7.24am Pets at Home profits tumble amid vet business review
Pets at Home has suffered a slump in half-year profits amid plans to buy back around 55 veterinary practices from joint venture partners.
The pet specialist said statutory pre-tax profit tumbled 80.5% to £8m during the 28 weeks to October 11. The fall was largely driven by a £29m charge it booked to “recalibrate” its vets business.
However, Pets at Home insisted the move would “allow practices to mature more swiftly” and “generate returns” for the business.
Within its core retail arm, total revenues grew 6% to £443.7m as like-for-likes advanced 4.7%.
7.11am Topps Tiles profits slump amid store investments
Topps Tiles has suffered a drop in full-year profits as it pressed ahead with investments into its store network and Parkside commercial division.
The flooring specialist said statutory pre-tax profit fell 25.3% to £12.7m during the 52 weeks to September 29.
Sales grew 2.4% to £216.9m, but Topps invested £1.5m into the opening of nine new stores and a further £1.1m into its burgeoning commercial business.
7.05am Quiz profits climb despite ‘challenging’ market
Quiz has posted an increase in sales and profitability despite what is called “challenging external market conditions”.
The fast fashion operator said statutory pre-tax profits rose 4% to £3.8m in the six months to September 30.
Group sales jumped 19% to £66.7m during the period.
6.55am Fashion firms to appear before MPs
Representatives from retailers including Marks & Spencer, Primark, Boohoo and Asos will appear before MPs on the environmental audit committee today, amid an inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry.
Members of the committee have written to the UK’s biggest fashion retailers asking how they can reduce the environmental harm.
Their questions to retailers include whether they pay the living wage, whether they recycle materials and how they are reducing the flow of microfibres into oceans.