Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.
7.37am Jack Wills lenders draft in advisers
Jack Wills’ lenders have appointed EY to assess the retailer’s financial position.
Lenders led by HSBC have drafted in the accountancy firm to help in negotiations on borrowing covenants, according to Sky News.
New and existing shareholders are understood to have invested £20m into the business during the past couple of weeks.
7.08am The Works losses widen as its drives expansion plans
The Works losses widened in its first half as the business pressed ahead with its ambitious expansion plans.
The value retailer suffered a pre-tax loss of £7.9m in the 26 weeks to October 28, 2018, up from £4.5m the previous year.
Adjusted EBITDA also widened to £900,000 compared to £200,000 a year ago, while its adjusted pre-tax loss remained flat at £4.4m.
The Works said losses were driven by its store rollout plans, which saw 32 net new shops open during the period.
6.56am Retail needs Brexit ‘certainty’, BRC warns
Retailers “desperately need certainty” about the UK’s exit from the EU following the meaningful vote on Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, the British Retail Consortium has warned.
The Government suffered a bruising defeat in the Commons last night, losing the vote by 432 votes to 202.
And BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “The events in Westminster are cause for serious concern. A no deal Brexit means the public will face higher prices and less choice on the shelves.
“British businesses desperately need certainty about the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU and will be severely disadvantaged by a no deal.
“This really is crunch time and politicians must come together around a workable solution that safeguards consumers from the costs and disruptions of new constraints on the tariff-free and frictionless trade we currently enjoy with partners in the EU. The time for Parliamentary games is over.”
11.01am Emma Mattress turns over £9.4m in Q4
Emma Mattress has reported its biggest grossing quarter in the UK since its launch in 2017 - turning over £9.4m.
The premium bed-in-a-box brand posted an increase of 170% year-on-year between 01 October – 31 December 2018.
Emma Mattress said its Boxing Day sale saw the bed-in-a-box brand selling one mattress every two minutes during a 12-day promotion, generating £4.4million.
UK revenues have remained strong throughout the year, ending with a 246% growth in turnover year on year and contributing towards parent company Bettzeit Group’s annual revenues of €79million.
Emma Mattress was also the most visited bed-in-a-box website in the UK, France and Netherlands, in December 2018, according to Similarweb’s data.
Co-fiunder Benjamin Quiroga-Rivera, said: “Emma’s positive results are testament to our profitable and sustainable business model, which focuses on product quality, investment in R&D and efficiency when it comes to marketing spend.
“This comes at a time where some within the industry - and within investor communities - are questioning whether the online mattress bubble has burst and if it is possible to grow a successful mattress brand without burning a significant amount of money.”