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

John Lewis sales heat up due to warm weather

John Lewis & Partners clocked up an 11.4% spike in sales during the week to March 2 as unseasonably warm weather drove shoppers back into store.

Sales dropped 4.6% in the same week a year ago after Britain was battered by the ‘Beast from the East’.

Fashion sales surged 23.3%, with new season fashion up 17%. Beauty sales surged 37.8% due to its ‘never knowingly undersold’ promise.

Sister retailer Waitrose & Partners registered a 0.9% uplift in sales during the same week, driven by fresh fruit, vegetables and Pancake Day-themed produce.

Across the partnership, total sales climbed 4.5%.

Global Fashion Group adds ex-Guess boss to board

Global Fashion Group has appointed former Guess boss Victor Herrero as a non-executive director.

Herrero, who also formerly headed up Inditex’s Asia Pacific business, will chair GFG’s sustainability committee.

Herrero said: “I am thrilled to have joined the GFG board. Having worked with GFG during my time as CEO at Guess, I am really excited about the future of the company and am looking forward to working with the other members of the board and the broader management team on the next phase of GFG’s development.”

Holland & Barrett boss Aldis departs

Holland & Barrett chief executive Peter Aldis has stepped down after 10 years at the helm and chair John Walden has taken on an expanded role.

Walden becomes executive chair and UK managing director Steve Carson has been promoted to group managing director.

Brexit uncertainty hits retail sales

Retail sales slipped in February as Brexit uncertainty dented consumer spending.

Industry like-for-likes declined 0.1% in the four weeks to February 23, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Paperchase proposes CVA

Paperchase has unveiled plans for a CVA.

Under the proposal, up to 28 of its 145 stores would have rents cut by 50% for a three-month window, after which stores they would will either shut or continue to operate for a rent-free period.

Findel rejects Sports Direct bid

Findel has rejected a £139m takeover bid from Sports Direct.

Sports Direct yesterday made a mandatory cash offer for Findel at 161 pence per share.

Ann Summers appoints joint managing director

Lingerie retailer Ann Summers has appointed Maria Hollins, formerly of House of Fraser and Asos, as joint managing director.

Vanessa Gold, sister of Ann Summers CEO Jacqueline Gold, will retain her role as managing director, Drapers reported.

Hollins left her post as executive product and trading director at House of Fraser in March 2018 and has since been freelancing as a retail consultant.

She joined the department store group as executive director buying and design in May 2016.

Waitrose ponders ‘pick your own’ aisles

John Lewis-owned grocer Waitrose is pondering the opening of in-store ‘allotments’ where shoppers can pick their own produce.

John Lewis is in discussions with indoor agriculture technology specialist LettUs Grow about the idea, the Daily Mail reported.