Hargreaves to make £817m Matalan bid
Matalan chairman John Hargreaves is expected to table a£817 million bid for the discount chain on Wednesday.

The story was carried by a number of newpapers over the weekend, which cited various 'boardroom sources' as saying that if Hargreaves made the mooted 200p a share offer it would be accepted. Hargreaves, who owns 53 per cent of the business he founded in 1985, has previously made offers of 180p and 195p a share.

The Times reported on Saturday that Swedish furniture retailer Ikea had delayed the planned launch of its online store from this year until spring next year.

Ikea UK managing director Peter Høgsted said that the delay was a result of making sure the company had ' -a sustainable model that is equal for everyone'. He also complained the UK planning system was to blame for limiting the company's expansion to just four new outlets in the past six years.

Meanwhile Arcadia founder Sir Philip Green has attempted to bounce back from last week's loss of Topshop brand director Jane Shepherdson by revealing that chef Gordon Ramsay and society designer Kelly Hoppen had been commissioned to design new ranges.

On the supermarket front, Sainsbury's is expected reveal a sales surge of more than 6 per cent in its second-quarter trading statement this week, according to The Observer.

The Sunday Times said Tesco is going to have to deal with allegations in tonight's Channel Four News that it sells clothes made using illegal child labour in Bangladesh.

In better news for the UK's biggest retailer, the Independent on Sunday said that Tony Blair will this week lobby his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on relaxing rules preventing foreign supermarkets operating in the sub continent.

The Observer reported that Greenbee, John Lewis's online travel and finance business, had received 5 million hits in the first three days of trading since launching last week.