Sainsbury's backtracks over Prosser and Rose calls retail fashion to arms
This week last year, Kingfisher posted fourth-quarter sales growth of 13.7 per cent as its chairman vowed to stay on. Commentators had tipped Sir Francis Mackay for the chairmanship of Sainsbury's, and he took the opportunity to scotch the stories. This year, Kingfisher's fourth-quarter results are not nearly so glowing. Year-on-year sales rose 7.1 per cent, but like-for-like sales were level.

In the same week as Mackay confirmed his commitment to Kingfisher, Sainsbury's was suffering from a shareholder revolt over its decision to appoint Sir Ian Prosser as deputy chairman. The City saw the appointment as temporary, until the departure of outgoing chairman Sir Peter Davis. Prosser, seeing that his position at Sainsbury's was becoming increasingly untenable, bowed out of the running. This year, Sainsbury's is enjoying relative stability under the chairmanship of Philip Hampton. However, Hampton and chief executive Justin King are still under a cloud, following poor third-quarter results announced in January.

At London Fashion Week last year, British Fashion Council chairman Stuart Rose (pictured) called on the event to embrace retailers' offerings, as well as haute couture. The event had been hit by increased competition from similar events in other European cities. At London Fashion Week this year, Rose again called for closer links between British high fashion and the high street. This time he urged his fellow retailers to support and nurture young design talent.