Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.
5.13pm HMV reopens Bluewater store
HMV has reopened its Bluewater store just one week after annoucing its closure. The location was one of 27 HMV stores shut with immediate effect, including Oxford Street and Manchester Trafford Centre, after Sunrise Records boss Doug Putman bought the company out of administration.
Staff at the Bluewater shop resumed their old jobs after Sunrise struck a new rent deal with landlords.
11.25am John Lewis posts flat weekly sales
John Lewis Partnership total sales in the week to February 9 were flat compared to the same period last year.
Waitrose & Partners clocked up a 1.9% increase in sales, but John Lewis & Partners suffered a 3.2% drop in revenues compared to the same week last year.
Fashion sales were up 3%, driven by new season women’s accessories and menswear, which grew 11.4% and 8.9% respectively.
However, a 7.8% decline in electricals and home technology, and a 4% fall in homewares, hindered John Lewis’ weekly performance.
10.03am Simba sleep slashes its valuation for second time
Mattress retailer Simba sleep has slashed its valuation for the second time in three months.
The British start-up company is aiming to raise £10m after reducing its valuation to £20m- a long way off the £1bn one of its founders said the company could be worth in a few years.
The reduction in valuation is the second since November last year where the company looked to raise £40-£50m with a reduced £125m valuation.
Simba’s co-founder and chief executive Steve Reid told Sky News: “The funding environment became increasingly challenging after November 2018 due to a number of external factors.
“These included macroeconomic and political uncertainty, as well as the well-publicised decline in the market capitalisation of other e-commerce and direct-to-consumer businesses.
“We have had to adapt our fundraising plan to accommodate the above, whilst ensuring we remain on track to hit full profitability in the UK this year as per our business plan.”
07:50am Amazon launches own-brand furniture for UK shoppers
The online titan has launched two own-brand furniture lines.
The online retailer’s two ranges comprise an affordable “Scandinavian-inspired” range called Movian and more upmarket offering called Alkove.
Amazon’s homeware ranges will be expanded across home furnishing and lighting lines.
07:32am Office profits slide as HoF demise hits sales
Office has recorded a steep decline in its full year profits as sales were hampered by House of Fraser’s collapse and the wider consumer spending slowdown.
The footwear specialist posted a 40% fall in pre-tax profit in the year to July 1 2018 to £15.4m exacerbated by a 4% decline in sales to £285.5m.
The retailer said it is owed £700,000 in sales from House of Fraser concession and added that “according to the administrators it is unlikely that this amount will be received by the company.”
Office operates a store network of 116 stores and 40 concessions.
07:22am Debenhams secures £40m credit facility extension
Debenhams has extended its credit facility to buy the ailing department store chain time to finalise its financial restructuring plans.
The department store retailer has agreed an additional 12-month rolling credit facility with its key lenders which “provides £40m of increased liquidity headroom”.
The retailer has said that the credit extension “will act as a bridge to facilitate a broader refinancing and recapitalisation