Monthly Archives: May 2015

Discount retail is digging in as B&M buys 12 B&Q stores

Discount retail is digging in as B&M buys 12 B&Q stores
B&M Bargains, the cut-price variety retailer chaired by the former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, is understood to have snapped up 12 of the 14 sites that have so far been sold by the Kingfisher-owned B&Q, Britain’s biggest DIY retailer.
B&Q has previously revealed that it will shut 60 of its 360 stores over the next two years, while B&M said it would open 60 new stores this year alone – up from the 40 first mooted.
Tony Shiret, a retail analyst at the investment bank BESI, said: “The most significant news here is the disposal of 12 B&Q units to B&M (undisclosed but no leap of the imagination). Kingfisher management believes that B&M is no real threat to B&Q, with a limited overlapping range.
“While true of the current majority of B&M stores, the largest ones carry, in our view, a very credible range of DIY low-end furniture and to a lesser extent garden products.”
The news came as B&M, which sells everything from toys to gardening shears and tinned tuna, revealed its maiden full-year results since listing on the stock market. Pre-tax profits hit £61.7m in the year to March, against a £14.3m loss last time, on sales up 29.5 per cent at £1.65bn.
Its chief executive, Simon Arora, said: “We originally planned on opening 40 stores this year, but property developers are back with confidence and more mature retailers are rightsizing their estate and exiting sites, so we’ve raised this to 60 stores.”
Sources at B&M added that many of the new stores would be purpose-built by developers for the company.
Like-for-like sales increased by 4.4 per cent and Mr Arora added that he plans further expansion into Europe, after buying the German group Jawoll earlier this year.
The cold weather has hit more recent sales, although Mr Arora said he was able to fill B&M’s shelves with different items due to its wide range of products. He added: “I asked my two girls last weekend if they wanted to get out the paddling pool, and they both looked at me like I was mad.”
By contrast, Kingfisher revealed that like-for-like sales at B&Q fell 1.1 per cent in the first quarter, although this was offset by continued strong growth at its Screwfix business, up 15.4 per cent, which targets the building trade. Outdoor seasonal and building product sales were hit hard, dropping 4 per cent.
The strong pound also hit Kingfisher’s French business. Sales at Castorama and Brico Dépôt, which make up a third of total revenues, declined by 12.4 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively. 


Tommy Hilfiger launches furniture collection

U.S. fashion house of Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., recently announced the addition of furniture to the Tommy Hilfiger Home collections. Available in the United States and Latin America as of fall 2015, the furniture collection will be offered in two collections and available through key department stores, specialty stores, and e-commerce partners.
The two Tommy Hilfiger’s furniture collections are comprised of the modern city collection, which channels urban sophistication with upholstered bedframes and sofas in luxurious tufted velvets, crisp linens, and soft leathers in signature hues of red, white, and blue, and the coastal collection, which offers a cool take on classic American styling with white washed wooden bedroom furniture and natural linen upholstered seating in light blues and grays.
While the brand’s existing home decor collection, which includes bedding, bath, and decorative accessories, is licensed and produced by Global Brands Group, the furniture collections will be produced under a license agreement with LF Products (a Li & Fung company).

Latest global ranking of luxury brands by value

Louis Vuitton and Chanel were the only big luxury brands to increase in value last year as the industry grappled with slowing sales in China and Russia, research company Millward Brown said Wednesday in the 2015 BrandZ study.
Vuitton gained 6 percent to $27.4 billion, placing LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s biggest brand atop the luxury ranking for the 10th straight year. Chanel’s value rose 15 percent to $9 billion, propelling it to fourth in the list behind second-place Hermes and Kering SA’s Gucci.
The value of the top 10 luxury-goods brands — based on interviews with more than three million consumers and an analysis of companies’ performance — fell 6 percent, or $7.1 billion, to $105 billion as companies from Prada SpA to Cartier declined.
Spending on lavish gifts has fallen in China as the government clamps down on corruption, while Russia’s shoppers are suffering from the ruble’s depreciation and sanctions tied to the conflict in Ukraine, Millward Brown said. At the same time, efforts to appear more exclusive have created opportunities for cheaper brands such as Michael Kors and Tiffany, which finished in the top ten for the first time, the researcher said.
Chanel and Louis Vuitton fared better than their peers thanks to their unique approach, according to Elspeth Cheung, Millward Brown’s Global Brandz Valuation Director. Chanel has harmonized prices across regions, encouraging more in-store consumption, Cheung said. And Vuitton has successfully revitalized its brand with a fresh take on its original LV monogram.
The worst performers were Cartier, whose value decreased 15 percent to $7.6 billion, placing it sixth, while Prada slumped 35 percent to $6.5 billion, according to the study. An overly expensive product mix and lack of novelty at Prada have led shoppers to spend elsewhere, analysts at Exane BNP Paribas have said.
Hermes’s value fell 13 percent to $18.9 billion and Gucci declined 14 percent to $13.8 billion, according to the study. Rolex fell 6 percent to $8.5 billion, placing it fifth. Rounding out the top 10 most valuable luxury brands were Burberry in eighth, and newcomers Michael Kors and Tiffany.
The luxury ranking is part of a broader study commissioned by WPP Plc, the advertising-company parent of Millward Brown. Apple Inc. overtook Google Inc. as the world’s most valuable brand with its estimated value rising 67 percent to $247 billion, Millward Brown said. Google’s value gained 9 percent to $173.7 billion.
Vuitton ranked 34th in brand value across all industries, compared with 30th last year.

Argos opens first digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets

Argos opens first digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets

Argos is to open its first digital stores within Sainsbury’s supermarkets today as part of plans to open ten of the shops across the supermarket chain this summer.

The stores in North Cheam in Surrey and Nantwich in Cheshire will be the smaller, new format Argos stores and will offer the most popular products for immediate pick-up while 20,000 products will be available to collect from the store within a few hours.
With the North Cheam and Nantwich stores measuring around 1,000 square feet, other stores opening over the summer will range in size up to 5,000 square feet. 
Sainsbury’s retail and operations director Roger Burnley said: “This partnership with Argos is one of a series of steps we are taking to ensure we continue to offer our customers a wide range of products at great value and to make their shopping more convenient. We are looking forward to working with Argos to ensure the best availability and shopping experience for our customers.”
The new stores have been equipped for shopping “in the digital age”, with tablets that mirror the online shopping experience and staff on hand to help. Argos says around half of its total sales now start online, with around 90% of customers visiting one of 755 stores to pick up their goods.
Steve Carson, Argos director of retail and customer operations, said: “Working with Sainsbury’s will help us to bring the convenience of the Argos offer to more customers. This is the first time we have had stores in these specific locations. I’m delighted to bring our very latest digital stores to customers inside their local Sainsbury’s. I am particularly pleased with how our teams have worked together to make sure customers have the best experience of this very new partnership.”    
The eight further stores due to open in the summer will be in West Hove, Crayford, Calcot, Bognor Regis, Durham, Rustington, Drumchapel and Keighley.

Topshop rated Britain’s worst fashion shop by Which?

Arcadia’s fashion chains Topshop and Topman have been ranked Britain’s worst fashion shops, closely followed by H&M and BHS, in the annual retailer survey by consumer watchdog Which?.
The annual survey of 100 well-known high street names, surveyed 9,409 members of the public to rate stores based on their prices, store environment, customer service and the range and quality of products. Scores are based on satisfaction with the shop on their last visit and the likelihood of recommending it.
While cosmetic and skincare retailer Lush was named the best high street brand for the second year in a row, narrowly overtaking department store John Lewis, Philip Green’s Topshop and Topman were ranked the worst fashion retailer at number 98, scoring just 55 percent, with Which? revealing that the fashion chain received low ratings for everything except customer service.
H&M was ranked joint 96th in the list with BHS, with the Swedish retail chain being rated poorly for service, while its products, stores and prices scored slightly better. BHS on the other hand ranks as the lowest department store, with consumers claiming that some stock seemed ‘dated’.

Chanel to begin selling eyewear online

New York – Earlier this year, Chanel announced that they would begin e-commerce operations in 2016. It was news that was met with applause by the fashion industry, and as it was announced on April 1 (April Fool’s Day), many were hesitant to believe the news was even true. Before the legendary French fashion house takes a full dive into e-commerce, however, they decided that they would begin testing the waters first.
Chanel takes first step into e-commerce

Though no specific dates have begin as to when, later this year, Chanel will begin selling eyewear online as the first of their e-commerce offerings. Chanel’s foray into e-commerce is a sign that other luxury brands won’t be able to hold out for much long. While many luxury brands, such as Celine, believe that e-commerce cheapens the exclusivity of a brand, luxury goods are in a slow growth period, because not even they were spared from the winter of discontent.
Now is as good a time as any to turn to as many ways to make your brand as shop able as possible. With the recent trend of mobile commerce becoming a thing to, for a brand to not be accessible either e-commerce wise or mobile wise could lead to stagnant and lagging sales numbers as time goes on. While nothing can ever compare to that experience of going into a designer boutique and selecting those perfect pair of Chanel sunglasses you’ve dreamed about since you began your designer sunglasses collection, e-commerce can sometimes be more convenient for those who don’t have time to shop or don’t have as many mall and boutique options due to their geographic location.
Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel Fashion, has said of Chanel’s first dip into e-commerce that it’s about “creating a luxury experience, as only Chanel can do.” For Pavlovsky, Chanel’s entrance into e-commerce is not about trying to boost sales numbers, but, rather, raising service levels so Chanel’s clients have the highest level of satisfaction. Pavlovsky stressed that digital is an excellent way for customers to find out when collections become available in store.
They plan to begin harmonizing global prices starting in 2016 when they take their full dive into e-commerce. They are hoping that e-commerce will help them better understand and cater to their customers needs. For those who have been marking away the days on the calendar until Chanel launches e-commerce your wait for eyewear just got shorter.

New ‘connected letterbox’ aims to shake up home delivery sector

A new ‘connected letterbox’ from Irish technology company Parcelhome is being piloted in Belgium with carriers DHL, GLS and DPD.
International carrier networks DHL, GLS and DPD are involved in a new ‘smart letterbox’ pilot scheme that aims to increase the percentage of parcel deliveries completed first time.
The rival carriers are working in collaboration with Irish technology company Parcelhome to test its new letterbox that can only be opened and accessed using a smartphone app.
Both delivery services and recipients can open the facility using mobile technology that Parcelhome says was developed after 18 months of research and development. The company says the tool is covered by multiple patents.
The trial will take place among 100 households in Mechelen, a city near Brussels, until July, and it will allow the online shoppers involved to experience the service and share feedback.
Pilot manager and general manager for Benelux, Luc van Bosstraeten, commented: “It is as simple to use as your letterbox, but it contains breakthrough technology.
“You can use the system to allow package carriers and even local shops to deliver their products at home. The only thing the deliverer needs is the app. For instance, in the course of the pilot we will also trial delivery of local goods, such as bakery and dry cleaning.”
He pledged that the system is “totally secure” and operates with the use of “dynamic codes comparable to the codes used in online banking”, adding: “The built-in scale issues a receipt, and the system can receive multiple packages from different carriers.
“As soon as a package is placed in the unit, the addressee is notified.”
The home delivery market has seen a number of new developments in the last 18 months, with companies like Doddle opening up pick-up, drop-off stores in convenient locations that allow customers to collect online orders on their way to and from work. Pelipod, meanwhile, was recently launched to try and address the same problems Parcelhome is aiming to solve.
Commenting on the Parcelhome pilot, Jan Van Roey, CEO of DHL Parcel Belgium, remarked: “Customer convenience is central to this project.
“We see the concept as an ideal supplement to our extensive Parcelshop network in Belgium. Both initiatives provide maximum accessibility and efficiency for customers, suppliers and parcel services.”


Highest Paid CEOs in Retail: Target Tops the List

Highest Paid CEOs in Retail: Target Tops the List
It still pays to be a top CEO. According to the Equilar 200 Highest-Paid CEO Rankings, conducted for The New York Times, the highest total compensation in 2014 for a Chief Executive Officer was $156 million. Brian C. Cornell from Target ranked as the highest paid CEO at a retailer, making a reported $28 million.
If you make it to the top at some of America’s best known retailers, compensation is a pretty penny. While much of the overall compensation came in the form of stocks, the rankings also include generous cash bonuses and perks. Cornell’s base salary, for example, is just $595,000.
The following is an excerpt of the 11 retailers with the highest paid CEOs from The New York Times rankings (for total compensation):

Target. Brian C. Cornell: $28,164,024.
Brian C. Cornell took on the roll of Chairman and CEO of Target just recently in August, 2014. Cornell also served as the CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods at Pepsico, Inc and was CEO and President of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Cornell’s top priorities at Target are accelerating the company’s performance and advancing Target’s omni-channel evolution, according to the retailer.

Kate Spade. Craig A. Leavitt: $20,763, 090.

Leavitt was elected to the Board of Directors in February 2014 and served as Co-President and Chief Operating Officer of Kate Spade LLC from his arrival in April 2008 through October 2010 at which time he was named CEO of Kate Spade LLC. Prior to joining the company, he was President of Global Retail at Link Theory Holdings where he had total responsibility for merchandising, operations, planning and allocation and real estate for the Theory and Helmut Lang retail businesses. Previously, he spent several years at Diesel and 16 years at Polo Ralph Lauren.

CVS Health. Larry J. Merlo: $24, 285, 460.

Merlo became President and CEO of CVS Health in 2011. Under Merlo’s leadership, the company has strengthened its commitment to public health, eliminating tobacco sales in all of its stores in 2014 and changing its corporate name to CVS Health. Merlo, a pharmacist by education, joined CVS/pharmacy in 1990 through the company’s acquisition of Peoples Drug. 

L Brands. Leslie H. Wexner: $23, 645, 114.

Leslie H. Wexner is the founder, chairman and CEO of L Brands, Inc. In 1963, Wexner founded L Brands with one store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Columbus, Ohio – The Limited – with sales of $160,000 the first year. In the years that followed, he expanded his business portfolio through both invention and acquisition, growing L Brands to an approximately $10 billion segment leader with more than 90,000 associates focused on lingerie, beauty and personal care product categories.

TJX. Carol Meyrowitz: $23, 322, 902

Meyrowitz has been CEO of TJX since January 2007, a Director since September 2006 and also served as President from October 2005 to January 2011. TJX companies include T.J. Maxx, Homegoods and Marshalls. According to Forbes, Meyrowitz made headlines in early 2015 when she announced that, like Walmart, she would increase the minimum wage for hourly U.S. retail workers to $9 an hour. 

Starbucks. Howard Schultz: $21, 466, 454

Schultz is Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, resuming the role of CEO in January 2008. He joined Starbucks, in 1982, as director of operations and marketing when Starbucks had only four stores. Today, Starbucks has more than 21,000 stores in 66 countries. Schultz left Starbucks for a short period of time to start his own Il Giornale coffeehouses and returned in August 1987 as CEO to purchase Starbucks with the help of local investors. Howard created two landmark programs: Starbucks offered comprehensive health coverage for eligible full- and part-time workers, among the first in the retail industry, and offered employees equity in the company in the form of stock, called Bean Stock.

Walmart Stores. C. Douglas McMillon: $19, 070, 249

McMillon is the President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Walmart). From February 2009 to February 2014, Doug served as President and CEO of Walmart International. From 2006 to 2009, he served as President and CEO of Sam’s Club. McMillon started out as an hourly summer associate in a Walmart distribution center in 1984.

Walgreens Boots Alliance. Gregory D. Wasson: $16, 707, 232

Wasson, President and CEO, retired after the close of the second step of the Alliance Boots transaction with Walgreens. Wasson joined Walgreens in 1980 as a pharmacy intern. In 2010, he led the acquisition of Duane Reade and, in 2012, identified the opportunity to begin the process of the strategic partnership with Alliance Boots.

Gap. Glenn K. Murphy: $16, 064, 312

Murphy served as CEO at The Gap, Inc. from 2007 until January 2015, when he retired, and served as the Chairman and CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation from 2001 to 2007, according to Bloomberg.

Estee Lauder. Fabrizio Freda: $14, 981, 826

Fabrizio Freda has been President and CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies, since July, 2009, and is a member of the Company’s Board of Directors. He joined the company in March 2008 when he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Freda previously had a 20-year career at Procter & Gamble (P&G), where he was responsible for various operating, marketing and strategic efforts. 
Williams-Sonoma. Laura J. Alber: $14,679,216

A driving force in the growth of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI), Laura Alber has served as the company’s President and CEO since 2010. She has extended the WSI imprint into new categories with introductions such as Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, PBdorm and most recently new growth opportunities — West Elm and West Elm Market, Mark and Graham, Rejuvenation and the WS Agrarian collection.

Mr Price: Group’s dividend beats estimates

IOL Business – May 25th, 09:23

Mr Price Group extended gains after the clothing, furniture and linen retailer declared a dividend that beat estimates and said profit had climbed 21 percent.  
The retailer had increased the dividend by 20 percent to R5.80 a share, the Durban-based company said in a statement on Friday. That compares with the R5.79 median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed. Earnings per share adjusted for one-time items rose to R8.65 in the year to March 28.
That compares with the R8.69 median estimate of 14 analysts surveyed. The stock increased by 0.91 percent to R247.25 at the close of the JSE on Friday. 
Mr Price remains the worst performer on the 10-member FTSE/JSE Africa general retailers’ index, which has rallied 20 percent this year.

Alibaba overtakes Amazon as Most Valuable Global Retail Brand worth $66.4bn

Wednesday 27 May 2015 – Veebs Sabharwal
In the tenth annual BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, released today by WPP and Millward Brown, the most valuable retail brands lack physical stores. Chinese e-tailer Alibaba shot into the top spot of the retail ranking after its IPO, overtaking Amazon and adding its $66.4bn brand value to the sector. Retail is now one of the fastest growth categories alongside technology.  
Amazon, the no.2 retail brand, saw a 3% decline in its brand value to $62.3bn but remains more valuable than Walmart, which it overtook in 2013. Walmart, no.3 in the retail ranking is worth $35.2bn and has 11,000 stores worldwide.
Discount retailers, with their value and quality offers have shown strong growth in recent years. Aldi (no.8), grew its brand by 22% to $11.7bn and Lidl (no.20), was up 27% to $6.0bn. Advertising focusing on promoting quality produce equal to the major multiples has helped the discounters’ value proposition and resulted in a shift in the balance of power. The major supermarkets no longer dominate the retail ranking.
Elspeth Cheung, Global BrandZ Valuation Director at Millward Brown said, “As retailers continue to fight off fierce price competition and operate in a category undergoing a radical transformation, there’s an underlying urgency to remain relevant to shoppers. Adopting a shopper-first attitude is not enough; retailers also need to create meaningful and differentiated brands if they want to find a path to growth.”
The BrandZ Top 20 Most Valuable Retail Brands 2015
Rank 2015
Brand value 2015 ($M)
Brand value change
Rank 2014
Rank in global Top 100
 The Home Depot









Whole Foods

Other highlights in the retail ranking included the convenience trend. Saving shoppers’ time and adopting a ‘customer-first’ attitude continues to boost retail brand values. Supermarkets such as Walmart (no.3) and 7-Eleven (a new entrant at no.17) capitalised on this with small format stores whereas Macy’s department store (no.18) also played to this trend as a one stop shop. Amazon (no.2) experimented in New York with a one-hour delivery service called PrimeNow.
Two new brands from China – In addition to no.1 brand Alibaba,, a Chinese e-commerce site that processed 689m orders in 2014 entered the ranking. The ability of Chinese brands to build brands overseas as well as at home is a common theme across many categories in this year’s ranking. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s largest overall retail market within five years.
In the BrandZ Top100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, Apple overtook Google to once again become the world’s most valuable brand, increasing its brand value to $247bn, a rise of 67% year on year. Though the AppleWatch has proved extremely popular, Apple’s brand value growth has been driven by successful sales of the iPhone 6. Google (no.2) also grew, achieving a 9% value increase to reach $173.7bn. Microsoft, now worth $115.5bn, is the new no.3, rising one position with value growth of 28%.
Technology is the fastest-growing category – up 24% in the last year, the tech brands in the Top 100 are worth more than $1tn, nearly a third of the value of all brands in the ranking.  


Tesco execs will have to hand back bonuses in future over misstated results
Tesco’s outgoing chief executive Philip Clarke will remain in situ until October when Unilever’s Dave Lewis is to take over

  Tesco’s former chief executive Philip Clarke was paid £1.2m for loss of office


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25 May 2015 | 0
Tesco has introduced a new ‘clawback’ provision, whereby executive directors could end up having to hand back their bonuses up to five years after they were awarded. The new scheme will come into force if Tesco discovers financial results have been misstated or if executives’ actions damage the company’s reputation in future.
Irish executives subject to the clawback provision include chief operating officer Geoff Byrne, commercial director John Paul O’Reilly, legal director Sarah Gallagher, marketing director Henry Dummer, personnel director Geraldine Casey, corporate affairs director Christine Heffernan, chief financial officer Adrian Lewis and new Tesco Ireland chief executive Andrew Yaxley.
The Sunday Independent reports annual cash bonuses can be recouped by Tesco for up to three years after they were first awarded, while long-term share bonuses could potentially be clawed back for up to five years.
The news comes after Tesco was obliged to pay out upwards of €2m in bonuses to its former group chief executive and group finance director last year. This is despite the fact that the group discovered profits had been overstated by more than €250m.
Former group chief executive Philip Clarke received £1.2m for loss of office, while ex-group finance director Laurie McIlwee was paid £970,880. Tesco attempted to withhold these payments while the investigation into the accounting scandal was ongoing. However the supermarket was contractually obliged to pay up unless it could establish that gross misconduct was at play.
The newspaper also reports that new chief executive Dave Lewis’ annual bonus will be tied to the company’s sales growth, 30% to profit and 20% on the delivery of operational and strategic goals. By contrast, only 18% of Clarke’s yearly bonus was pegged to sales growth.

Musgrave Group agrees sale of Budgens and Londis to Booker

Chris Martin, CEO of Musgrave Group says the grocery market in Great Britain is experiencing fundamental and permanent structural change

Chris Martin, CEO of Musgrave Group says the grocery market in Great Britain is experiencing fundamental and permanent structural change


 Read More: Chris Martin Musgrave
21 May 2015 | 0
Musgrave has announced that it will sell its business in the UK which operates the Budgens and Londis brands to Booker for €57 million (£40 million) on a cash free-debt free basis. Completion of the transaction is subject to CMA approval. Budgens and Londis combined have almost 1,800 stores across the UK.
Chris Martin, CEO of Musgrave Group explained the move by outlining the fact that the grocery market in Great Britain is experiencing fundamental and permanent structural change, with intense competition and a deflationary environment. He said: “Given these challenging market dynamics, we carefully evaluated all of the possible options for our GB business. Having received a proposal from Booker, we concluded that a sale to Booker is the right thing for the group and would be the most advantageous outcome for our retailers, colleagues and suppliers in Great Britain. The agreement also includes the development of a strategic partnership with Booker.”
Booker already owns the Premier retail brand in Britain, which has more than 2,900 stores, and the budget Family Shopper brand.
“Booker will be a good fit for retailers and will continue to develop the Budgens and Londis brands utilising the supporting supply chain and head office. Retailers will benefit from Booker’s buying strength, an extensive operational footprint throughout Great Britain including a nationwide distribution and cash and carry infrastructure and a service culture that is proven to meet the needs of independent retailers.”
Martin explained how Musgrave GB has been a loss-making business so the sale will allow the group further develop the business in Ireland and Spain. “While the decision to sell Budgens and Londis is difficult, it will allow the group to drive forward with its growth strategy which is about developing our market-leading retail, convenience and cash and carry brands in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Spain.

  1. “We see the opportunity for growth in the improving Irish economy. To support our growth agenda, Musgrave is developing a strategic partnership with Booker. We will explore opportunities to collaborate on store formats, digital innovation, buying opportunities, sharing of best practice and to achieve cost savings and efficiencies for the business.”

New Look Chairman Mason Quits After £2bn Deal
New Look Chairman Mason Quits After £2bn Deal

Paul Mason, the retail veteran who chairs New Look, is to step down from his role at the fashion retailer following its £2bn takeover by a South African investment vehicle.
Sky News understands that Mr Mason, a former chief executive of Asda and the current chairman of Cath Kidston, the upmarket lifestyle brand, will leave New Look in the coming days.

His departure will follow the takeover of the UK’s second-biggest womenswear retailer by Brait, which is owned by Christo Wiese, a billionaire businessman.
The sale of New Look, confirmed last week after Sky News revealed details of the deal, saw Apax and Permira exiting the business after more than a decade as shareholders.
Brait is understood to have asked Mr Mason to stay on after the deal, but he is said by friends to be keen to pursue further hands-on chairmanship roles.
Mr Wiese’s takeover of New Look followed a deal for Brait to buy Virgin Active, the health and fitness chain, in a deal valued at around £700m.
New Look operates more than 800 stores in 21 countries around the world, and is the UK’s second-biggest women’s value clothing and accessories retailer, according to Kantar Worldpanel, a research firm.
In 2010, Apax and Permira were forced to abort a flotation amid challenging markets.
During the intervening period, New Look’s debt position had rendered a listing not viable.
Its founder, Tom Singh, also remains a shareholder and is expected to retain his interest once the Brait takeover completes.
According to third-quarter financial results released in February, New Look saw like-for-like sales in the UK decline by 1%, a dip that it attributed to unseasonably warm weather.
The company is continuing to expand internationally, as well as attempting to grow its menswear business.
It now has nearly 20 shops in China, although it retreated from Russia and Ukraine because of continuing instability in the two countries.
Mr Mason was unavailable for comment.

Amazon to begin paying corporation tax on UK retail sales

Amazon to begin paying corporation tax on UK retail sales
The Amazon Fulfilment Centre just outside Peterborough: for 11 years internet transactions involving UK online shoppers have been booked in Luxembourg. 

Amazon has become the first technology company to abandon controversial corporate structures that divert sales and profits away from UK in the face of a clampdown imposed by George Osborne.
From the start of this month the online retailer has started booking its sales through the UK, meaning resulting profits will be taxed by HMRC. The group made $8.3bn (£5.3bn) of worldwide sales from British online shoppers but for 11 years all these internet transactions have been booked in Luxembourg.
A spokesman said Amazon was “now recording retail sales made to customers in the UK through the UK branch. Previously, these sales were recorded in Luxembourg”.
The move will allow Amazon to avoid being caught by chancellor George Osborne’s new diverted profits tax, which came into law from April. It imposes a punitive 25% tax on groups deemed to be artificially routing profits overseas.
Amazon had for years denied that its UK corporate structures were artificial or tax-motivated. The move will be greeted as a victory for the chancellor who last September singled his determination to rein in technology firms going to extraordinary lengths to avoid UK tax. “You are welcome here in Britain with open arms,” he said.
“While we offer some of the lowest business taxes in the world, we expect those taxes to be paid.”
Hinting at the diverted profits tax – which has popularly become known as the Google Tax – he added: “If you abuse our tax system, you abuse the trust of the British people.” A number of other countries are considering copying Osborne’s diverted profits tax.
Latest moves by Amazon will put pressure on others to follow suit – particularly Google, which routes its sales through Ireland. Representatives from Amazon and Google suffered two bruising encounters with parliament’s public accounts committee over these arrangements.
Committee chair Margaret Hodge told Matt Brittin, Google’s northern Europe boss, that his company’s behaviour on tax was “devious, calculated and, in my view, unethical”.
She added: ”You are a company that says you ‘do no evil’. And I think that you do do evil.” Hodge was referring to Google’s long-standing corporate motto, “Don’t be evil,” which appeared in its $23bn US stock market flotation prospectus in 2004.
The dressing down from Hodge, who last week announced she was stepped down from the committee, is widely credited with stirring widespread public outcry, which, in turn, put pressure on the chancellor to act. Amazon confirmed the changes to its tax affairs after the Guardian reported on Friday that its top two executives in the UK had quietly quit as directors of the online retailer’s main British company in the face of Osborne’s clampdown.
Christopher North, Amazon’s managing director for the UK, and Rob McWilliam, who joined from Asda as finance director two years ago, resigned from the board of Ltd on 1 May.
North and McWilliam remain senior executives despite relinquishing their directorships, with the former continuing as country manager and head of Amazon in the UK, while McWilliam is the UK’s vice president of the consumables division.

The company said: “We regularly review our business structure to ensure that we are able to best serve our customers and provide additional product and services. More than two years ago we began the process of establishing local country branches of Amazon EU Sarl, our primary retail operating company in Europe.”
Sales are still being recorded by Amazon EU Sarl, a Luxembourg-registered company, but – crucially for tax purposes – will be booked in a UK branch of that company, for which a tax return must be filed with HMRC.
A year ago, North claimed in an interview with the Guardian that Amazon’s European corporate structure was not determined by tax avoidance strategies, insisting it would be impossible to route sales to UK customers through a British company paying tax to HMRC. “We just couldn’t do that,” he said. “And a single European business is going to need a single European headquarters.”
Latest accounts for Ltd show sales of just £449m for 2013 and a tax charge of £4.2m. Elsewhere in its corporate filings, however, Amazon attributed $7.29bn (£4.71bn) of worldwide net sales to the UK for the same year.
The UK business employs thousands of staff, many on low wages, in its network of warehouses, and also large number in sales, procurement and marketing activities. However, its revenue comes from services provided to Amazon EU Sarl, and it does not transact with British online customers.

Staffed stunned at closure of Gorey Dunnes Store

Staffed stunned at closure of Gorey Dunnes Store

Staff at Dunnes Stores in Gorey in Wexford are stunned at the decision to close the store, the union Mandate has said.
The union claims more than 100 workers were called to a meeting yesterday evening where it was announced the retailer would close with immediate affect.

Dunnes Stores has yet to comment.

General Secretary of Mandate John Douglas said workers were “clueless” as to their fate.

“It was a bolt out of the blue,” he said. “It’s a modern store in a modern shopping centre. There was no sense that this might happen. It’s deplorable that 100 staff could be sent home and told their jobs are on the line and given no explanation as to what lies for them in the future.” 


Whitbread announces new CEO


Costa coffee group Whitbread has hired Alison Brittain, former head of Lloyds Banking Group’s retail division, to replace outgoing chief executive Andy Harrison. Brittain, who is also a non-executive director at M&S, will join Whitbread next January.

“We ran an extensive search and selection process and Alison was the standout candidate from a very strong field,” said Whitbread chairman Richard Baker.

“She has vast experience in successfully managing multi-site operations with leading brands and a natural ability to inspire and motivate large customer-facing teams.”

Harrison, who came on board in 2010 from EasyJet, announced his retirement last month. At the time the group said that it’s looking to achieve global sales of £2.5bn for the Costa Coffee chain by 2020. It currently employs 45,000 people in the UK.

Brittain has a strong focus for customer service and experience in digital, marketing and managing significant property portfolios, Whitbread Chairman Richard Baker said. Lloyds cited that she had “revitalised” its retail business since joining in 2011.

“I am impressed by Whitbread’s success and its strong, well loved brands,” Brittain said.

“Its belief in focusing on customers and team members is something that is very close to my heart and I am committed to supporting and developing this even further in the future.”

Nordstrom rolls out text shopping initiative


As m-commerce booms, retailers have been honing in on ways to engage with consumers through smart devices, for example via photo sharing app Snapchat.

Now Nordstrom, the American retailer, has  launched ‘TextStyle’ across all of of its 116 US store, a way for customers to make curated purchases from sales advisors and personal stylists using text messaging. With the launch of TextStyle, Nordstrom is now the only retail company in the US that offers customers who opt in, the ability to shop and buy with a text message.

In 2014, the upmarket retailer launched NEXT, an opt-in, secure one-to-one service that lets Nordstrom customers who prefer texting to communicate with their salesperson using their smartphone. TextStyle leverages the security, privacy and capabilities built into the Nordstrom NEXT texting service.

“TextStyle is an important step forward in our continued efforts to develop ways to serve customers on their terms,” said Jamie Nordstrom, President of Stores. “For customers who prefer text messaging, TextStyle is a way for our salespeople to provide a personalised styling experience and for customers to view and buy seamlessly with the convenience and simplicity of a text message, wherever and whenever they like.”

Sky customer sends company bill for all time spent trying to cancel his contract – and receives £1,500 payout

Sky customer sends company bill for all time spent trying to cancel his contract – and receives £1,500 payout
SWNS Pete Swift 

 Tables turned: Pete Swift, with the correspondence he received

A Sky customer has landed a £1,500 pay-out after sending them a bill for the time he spent trying to close his account.
Pete Swift, 30, faced several frustrated months with debt collectors after the company failed to cancel his TV and broadband when he moved house.
After nearly 18 months of being threatened, Pete decided to take legal action, first contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau and then the Ombudsman.
Once Sky finally admitted their failings, he counted up the hours he had spent speaking to those involved via phone and email, as well as meetings with lawyers.
Producing an itemised list of his hours at a rate of £25 per hour, Pete billed Sky for £1,395, plus court costs of around £72.
The company eventually offered Pete payment of £1,500 — two years and a half after the dispute began.
Pete, who works as a research consultant, said: “It was exceptionally frustrating being contacted again and again by debt collectors.
“I grew increasingly infuriated with Sky’s inability to correct their error or act upon the information I’d provided.
“The customer service I experienced was abysmal, there was just a complete disregard for the situation they had put me in and a continued failure to take ownership and fix the problem.”
Pete moved house to Leith, Edinburgh in October 2012 and as a result tried to cancel his broadband and TV package with Sky.
But a few months later he was contacted by a debt collection service.
SWNS Pete Swift

In control: Pete Swift turned the tables on Sky

He showed them proof he had paid his final bill to Sky and told them to pass the information over.
Two months later, Pete was contacted by another debt collector and he went through the same process again.
He also made a complaint to Sky.
But in April 2014 he was contacted by a third debt collection agency who told him he had outstanding debts with Sky.
Since the saga began, Pete had been failing credit checks and he was worried his credit had been damaged.
For two months he was passed from one person to another at Sky customer services with no solution in sight, until he decided to contact the Ombudsman.
Pete said: “I had started failing credit checks, despite previously having a good credit history and started stressing out about my ability to obtain credit.
“I felt very powerless as a consumer to fix the situation – and I couldn’t even ascertain what damage had been done to my credit file.”
After mediation through the Ombudsman, Pete rejected the offer given to him by Sky.
He said: “The main reason was that I was concerned about damage to my credit file.
“They said they would ask Sky to correct any negative impact they had made.
“But when I asked about rectifying any damage caused by the third party debt collectors Sky had employed, they said they could not enforce corrections from them as they were not under their jurisdiction.
“The money was also an issue though, they would only request for Sky to pay me £60 as a gesture of goodwill.
“I told them that this sum was not proportionate to the hassle and frustrations I had experienced as a result of their error and was therefore not appropriate compensation.”
SWNS Pete Swift

Battle: Sky have apologised to Pete Swift and given him the goodwill payment

Pete then took Sky to court and last month they finally came to an agreement, two days before his court date.
He said: “I did send the full itemised bill with timings to Sky along with a formal invoice – charged at £25 per hour.
“When Sky finally agreed to cover the full settlement I had mixed emotions.
“On one hand I was really pleased to have the £1,500 and some form of resolution, but I was still very resentful of the lengths I’d had to go to and the way Sky had dealt with the situation.
“Sky had contacted me the week before to try and talk me down to a lower sum of £500.
“The whole time I was dealing with them it just felt like I was being fobbed off with the bare minimum they could get away with.
“There was never really an acknowledgement that something was wrong procedurally that needed to be addressed, it just felt like a case of lets pay off the complaining customer so he shuts up.
“As a single customer you often feel like there’s nothing you can do, especially when you are engaged in a dispute with a large transnational company.
“That’s why I would encourage people that had suffered a similar problem to follow it through until they receive a proportionate resolution.
“Everyone I have spoken with was really supportive and seemed delighted with the outcome, I guess a lot of people have been subject to really poor service at some point or other.
“So I was glad I pursued the matter.”
Pete’s bill included 31 hours and 25 minutes speaking to Sky either on phone or by email, with a further six hours dealing with Mackenzie Hall debt collectors.
Sky said the issue was due to a technical fault with their systems, meaning his cancellation was not recorded on his file.
A spokeswoman said: “Our staff work hard to deliver great service. However, in Mr Swift’s case we got it wrong, and didn’t resolve things quickly enough.
“We are really sorry and have apologised, offering a gesture of goodwill in recognition of the frustration he has experienced.”
Pete’s bill and the time he spent dealing with it:
Wescot (debt collection agency) — 3 hours
Mackenzie Hall (debt collection agency) — 6 hours
Sky – 31 hours 25 mins
Equifax (credit reporting agency) — 5 hours 20 mins
Experian (credit reporting agency) — 1 hour 30 mins
Noddle (credit reporting agency) — 30 mins
Citizens Advice Bureau — 4 hours 50 mins
Ombudsman Services — 3 hours 15 mins
Total time spent — 55 hours 50 mins
Consultancy services priced at £25 p/h
Total £1,395.83

Tesco Paid New Boss £4m In First Six Months

Tesco Paid New Boss £4m In First Six Months
Tesco (Xetra: 852647 – news) has paid new chief executive Dave Lewis £4.1m in the six months since luring him from consumer goods group Unilever (NYSE: UL – news) and tasking him with turning around the firm.
Mr Lewis received salary of £570,000, benefits of £97,000, pension of £143,000 and £3.32m in lieu of incentive awards he forfeited on leaving Unilever, according to Tesco’s annual report for the year to 28 February.
He replaced Philip Clarke on 1 September.
Last year, Tesco became embroiled in an accounting scandal after a £263m profit overstatement in the first half of its financial year. Its shares hit a 14-year low.
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is investigating the accounting issue which relates to Tesco’s booking of commercial income from suppliers. The Financial Reporting Council and industry watchdog, the Groceries Code Adjudicator, are also holding inquiries.
Last month, Tesco posted an annual loss of £6.4bn , one of the biggest in British corporate history, and warned investors there could be more pain to come.
Mr Lewis is pursuing efficiency measures, cutting costs and selling assets to mend the group’s finances and fight back from years of declining market share and debt-rating downgrades.
Mr Clarke was sacked last July after 40 years at Tesco, including three and a half as CEO.
In February, Tesco made a termination payment of £1.2m to Mr Clarke, but said that, should it be determined in the future that there was gross misconduct, it would seek recovery of the payment.
The annual report revealed Clarke (Toronto: CKI.TO – news) ‘s remuneration for the 2014-15 year was £764,000.  


Mothercare planning to close South Africa stores

Mothercare halves losses as chief executive Newton-Jones’s turnaround plan takes effect

Mothercare said it halved its losses for the full year as a result of new chief executive Mark Newton-Jones’s turnaround plan.
The pregnancy and children’s product retailer reported a loss of £13.1m ($20.54m, €18.44m), less than half of last year’s £26.3m.
Newton-Jones joined the company permanently in July 2014 after working as interim chief executive. He was hired to change the company’s structure after it had undergone severe losses.
In its report on the year ending 28 March 2015, Mothercare reported a 2% rise in UK and a 5.6% rise in international like-for-like sales.
“This has been an eventful year for Mothercare, but one in which we have started to make significant progress towards putting our UK business on a firmer footing and further developing our international business for continued long-term growth,” Newton-Jones said.
After Newton-Jones’s appointment as interim CEO in March 2014, the company received two takeover proposals from Destination Maternity, a US-based rival retailer, but the companies failed to reach an agreement on a potential deal.
The retail has closed 31 loss-making Mothercare stores in the UK, 13.5% of its UK total.
In an effort to branch out internationally, the company opened four stores in South Korea and is planning on closing stores in South Africa, while branching out in other countries, such as Russia.
“We are continually looking for ways to maximise the potential and quality of our international business, which includes entering new markets, opening new stores, extending existing stores and closing underperforming stores where appropriate,” the company said. 


Mr Price eyes earnings rise

MR PRICE Group is likely to buck the retail sector gloom when the group’s full-year results are released on Friday.
The firm is expecting headline earnings per share of between 902.8c and 933.4c from 765.1c last year.
Rising living costs and household indebtedness are weighing on spending with constrained consumers increasingly searching for value.
Mr Price, thanks to its core apparel brand has consistently gained market share from Truworths, The Foschini Group and Edgars as their budget-conscious offerings continue to appeal to shoppers.
For the 52 weeks to March 28, Durban-based Mr Price is eyeing diluted headline earning per share of between 843.8c and 872.4c, from last year’s 715.1c.

Sasfin Securities senior retail analyst Alec Abraham said: “I’m expecting around 850.8c. Their guidance speaks for itself an increase of around 20% is a good kind of number to be getting in this kind of environment.”
“Mr Price is a very good discount operator, I think they will certainly be better than the rest (peers). Also, they continue to benefit from consumers buying down,” he said.
Over the past few years the company has geared itself towards a younger fashion oriented market through social media initiatives and tie-ups with local designers, much like Swedish brand H&M. Mr Price’s online offering, launched in 2012, now ships to more than 130 countries.
An online presence is key to entering new markets, especially where space is a constraint or rentals are high — this is especially the case in many African countries.
Performance from the group’s other chains such as Sheet Street, Mr Price Home and Miladys has proved a mixed bag over the last year.
Sheet Street’s LSM (living standards measure) 5-8 target customer has been more affected by the economic environment, which has seen shoppers shying away from buying bigger ticket items such as furniture.
At Miladys, incorrect merchandise calls and moves towards quick response fashion are affecting sales in the more traditional category. 


Clothing chain Next tried to avoid paying £32m tax bill

  A branch of Next

Next was revealed as the latest tax-avoiding multinational yesterday when a tribunal dismissed its “ill-founded” attempt to circumvent more than £32 million in UK tax.
The clothing retailer took advantage of complex laws offering tax relief on dividend payments to help it to shelter £106 million in overseas profits, the tax tribunal found.
Through a series of pre-planned transactions, Next’s accountants created large dividend payments between its subsidiaries without transferring significant profits.
The lawyer for Revenue & Customs argued that the transactions were designed to “inflate” the tax relief to which Next was entitled through “artificial” and “implausible” means. The

The Cotton On Group looks set to expand to Namibia
19 May 2015 08:47Marketing News                


Australian retailer The Cotton On Group, continues to be one of the fastest growing fashion retailers globally, expanding its African footprint by opening its first store in Namibia on Friday, 29 May in Windhoek’s The Grove Mall.

   News Article Image for ‘The Cotton On Group looks set to expand to Namibia’

Born to deliver on-trend, effortlessly cool and affordable fashion, Cotton On provides men and women the styles they want now, at the best price. At 1000m², the new Cotton On store at The Grove Mall is the first other African country to house the retailer, outside of South Africa. The new store will house a numberof brands under the Cotton On Group stable, including Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids and RUBI Shoes.
With many global fashion retailers making the move from South Africa into the Namibian market and seeing great success, it was an obvious move from the Australian retailer as its first move into Sub-Saharan Africa. 
“We have been very fortunate to have seen consistent growth and success in South Africa, with 120 stores and plan to continue to expand our South African fleet. We constantly look at potential new regions where we will expand the Cotton On brand, and as Namibia borders South Africa, the Namibian retail market shares many similarities to that of its neighbour,” explains Cotton On Global general manager, Felicty McGahan.
“After seeing some of our competitors experience strong performance in the Namibian market, we felt it was the right decision for the Group to move into its second African country,” says McGahan.
The Grove was only recently developed, offering a superior shopping experience for the customers that did not previously exist in the market, which made it the perfect location for Cotton On to launch into the region.
“With the introduction of The Grove Mall in Windhoek, it provided us an opportunity to introduce Cotton On to a new community and export our laidback, quintessential Australian lifestyle to Namibians,” says McGahan.
Since opening their first store in 1991 in Australia, The Cotton On Group has seen rapid growth and now has over 1300 stores across 17 countries, with a commitment to reach more people across the globe.
The new Cotton On store will open its doors on Friday, 29 May at 09:00 and to celebrate the launch, fun activity is planned instore over the opening weekend. On Saturday, 30 May, Radiowave will be broadcasting live in the morning, fashion stylists will be on-hand, a pamper station, coffees, kids activity, giveaways and more. Plus, the first 100 shoppers will receive a free gift with any purchase.
Cotton On, The Grove Mall Namibia, will trade Mondays to Saturdays from 09:00 to 19:00 and on Sundays from 09:00 to 17:00. It is located at Shop 524 on the corner of Chasie and Frankie Fredericks Road, Klein Kuppe, Windhoek, Namibia.

Ikea to open 29,000 square metre Brisbane store

Ikea to open 29,000 square metre North Lakes store

The regular trips south to Springwood will be a thing of the past for many Ikea customers from next year, with a new store to open north of Brisbane.

The Swedish retail giant has announced it will build a new 29,000 square metre Ikea store at North Lakes, in the Moreton Bay region, which would be open in the second half of next year.

A spokeswoman for the company said the North Lakes Ikea would be “very similar” to the existing Springwood store in Logan.


 Ikea North Lakes will stretch out over 29,000 square metres. Photo: Supplied

Ikea Australia country manager David Hood said the development would create about 250 jobs in the Moreton Bay area.


“Recruitment for North Lakes will begin across all areas of the store, including furniture showroom, check-outs, sales, Ikea restaurant, children’s play areas, the warehouse, as well as positions in interior design, visual merchandising and management,” he said.

Mr Hood said 1500 solar panels would provide about a quarter of the energy needed to supply the store, which would also have 10,000 LED lights that consumed about 85 per cent less energy than other electricity-based light sources.

“We  are committed to creating a better everyday life, and take the lead in developing and promoting solutions that help customers save energy, reduce or store waste and use less water,” he said.

“This store will allow Ikea to promote this sustainability message to the wider Queensland community to improve not only their lives but the lives of future generations.”

The North Lakes store, which will have a 1000-space car park, will be Ikea’s eighth on Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland said the development was “what we’ve all been waiting for”, particularly with the promise of more local jobs.

“It just adds to the North Lakes experience,” he said.

“North Lakes is so central to the Moreton Bay region that there’s real opportunities there for people who live in the region to access places together.”

Cr Sutherland said Ikea had a ready-made market in the “battlers’ backyard” of Moreton Bay, where people wanted to buy and assemble flat-packs to save money.

“I know I used to make the journey on a Saturday or Sunday morning from Scarborough to the south side to pick up the flat-packs, a computer desk or whatever, and come back and spend the afternoon ignoring the instructions and putting it together,” he said.

As of next year, Cr Sutherland said he expected a similar weekend influx into North Lakes.

“People from the Sunshine Coast and the north side of Brisbane will come to the Ikea at North Lakes, I’ve got no doubt about that,” he said. 

More luxury brands enter South Africa

”Diamond Walk”, the new development within the Sandton City complex in Johannesburg has attracted new luxury store openings by major international brands. Prada, Dolce&Gabbana, Burberry, Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton have already opened their stores on the Diamond Walk at Sandton. Future store openings include: Ermenegildo Zegna, Billionaire Italian Couture, Jimmy Choo and Tod’s.

Sandton City’s Diamond Walk can be found in a spectacular new mall where Sandton City’s upper level links with the Sandton Sun and InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers hotels. 


Krispy Kreme Opening 31 Shops in South Africa 

Krispy Kreme to Expand its Presence to Africa By Opening 31 Shops in South Africa Over the Next Five Years


Krispy Kreme (KKD) today announced it has signed a development agreement with KK Doughnuts SA (Pty) Ltd., to open 31 Krispy Kreme shops in South Africa over the next five years. This marks the company’s first venture into Africa.

“From Asia to the Middle East to now Africa, the global demand for Krispy Kreme and its signature sweet treats continues to grow,” said Dan Beem, Krispy Kreme’s Senior Vice President and President – International. “We’ve partnered with outstanding operators who have vast experience in foodservice throughout South Africa. We’re confident Krispy Kreme will establish itself as the country’s premiere sweet treats provider under their leadership.”

Fournews Developments (Pty) Ltd., and John & Gerry’s Brands (Pty) Ltd., are the principal owners of KK Doughnuts SA. Majority owner, Fournews Developments, currently operates six other brands throughout South Africa such as Café Fino, Newscafe and Smooch frozen yogurt.

“Krispy Kreme is an iconic global brand that fits very well within our portfolio of brands,” said Nick Eleftheriadis, Executive Director, Marketing. “The South African consumer is looking for quality and value, which is exactly what Krispy Kreme delivers. We’re confident Krispy Kreme will quickly become a favorite of South Africans.”

Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed® doughnuts, great tasting coffee, and other assorted sweet treats can be found in more than 1,000 shops in 24 countries.

About Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme is a global retailer of premium-quality sweet treats, including its signature Original Glazed® doughnut. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company has offered the highest-quality doughnuts and great-tasting coffee since it was founded in 1937. Krispy Kreme is proud of its Fundraising program, which for decades has helped non-profit organizations raise millions of dollars in needed funds. Krispy Kreme has more than 1,000 retail shops in 24 countries. Krispy Kreme is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (KKD). For more information about Krispy Kreme visit Also visit us on Facebook at, on Twitter at, and on Instagram at

Forward-Looking Statements

Information contained in this press release, other than historical information, should be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future economic performance, considering the information currently available to management. These statements are not statements of historical fact.

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or financial condition to differ materially from the expectations of future results, performance or financial condition we express or imply in any forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “forecast,” “could,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “objective,” “seek,” “strive” or similar words, or the negative of these words, identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to: the quality of Company and franchise store operations; our ability, and our dependence on the ability of our franchisees, to execute on our and their business plans; our relationships with our franchisees; our ability to implement our international growth strategy; our ability to implement our domestic small shop operating model; political, economic, currency and other risks associated with our international operations; the price and availability of raw materials needed to produce doughnut mixes and other ingredients, and the price of motor fuel; our relationships with wholesale customers; our ability to protect our trademarks and trade secrets; changes in customer preferences and perceptions; risks associated with competition; risks related to the food service industry, including food safety and protection of personal information; compliance with government regulations relating to food products and franchising; increased costs or other effects of new government regulations relating to healthcare benefits; and risks associated with implementation of new technology platforms.

These and other risks and uncertainties, which are described in more detail in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports and statements filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, are difficult to predict, involve uncertainties that may materially affect actual results and may be beyond the Company’s control, and could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any of these forward-looking statements. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors or to assess the impact of each such factor on the Company. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made. 


Thorntons’ boss quits after supermarket sales fall

The chief executive of Thorntonshas resigned after a difficult few months in which the chocolate maker issued a pre-Christmas profit warning and suffered a fall in orders from supermarkets.

Jonathan Hart will leave the company at the end of its financial year on 27 June. Barry Bloomer, Thorntons’ chief operating officer, will run the company while it looks for a replacement.

Hart joined Thorntons in January 2011 from Caffe Nero, the coffee chain, where he was managing director. He set about reviving the 104-year-old company by revamping its range, seeking more orders from both the supermarkets and online and by closing about 120 high street stores to cut costs. Hart had the main points of the plan printed on his mouse mat.

There were signs the strategy was working in September when Thorntons announced a 60% rise in annual profit but the improved performance was based on cost cutting while sales barely increased. The day before Christmas Eve, Thorntons warned that annual profit would fallbecause of lower than expected orders from supermarkets and problems at its new warehouse.

In March, the Derbyshire-based company announced full-year profit down almost 10% to £6.5m and revenues down 8%, saying its performance was disappointing. Hart said he did not expect supermarket sales to improve in the following six months though revenues on its website and at its remaining stores were up.

Paul Wilkinson, Thorntons’ chairman, said: “Over the past four years Jonathan has turned around our retail business, as well as creating and delivering the vision and strategy that will serve as the platform for the continued transformation of Thorntons into an international consumer goods business. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Jonathan for his significant contribution and wish him well for the future.”

On the day of the December profit warning, Thorntons’ shares crashed from 118p to 95p. They slumped to 63p in February but have since staged a partial recovery back to 95p before Hart’s resignation was announced. In early trading on Monday, company shares fell almost 3% to 92.5p. 


Prada Opens Store In Johannesburg

The Prada fashion house has opened its first store in South Africa. The brand now occupies an 8,611-square-foot retail space in the new luxury wing of the Sandton City mall in Johannesburg, which is called the Diamond Walk.

“The new opening in Johannesburg, one of the most interesting cities in Africa from a cultural and commercial point of view, is part of a strategic plan which aims to strengthen the retail channel in the African market,” a representative for Prada told WWD.

“With this opening, the Prada Group is increasing its presence in Africa, where it is already present with stores in Morocco,” the brand rep continued. “We are confident that the Prada store in Johannesburg will be a reference point both for the South African clientele and for the many international visitors of the city.” 

The store will sell Prada’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories and footwear. The location was designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, and features green fabric-lined walls, fine crystal tables, velvet sofas, a black marble chest of drawers and Prada’s trademark black-and-white floors. 

“We harnessed the allure of luxury and sophistication, and approached the luxury and superluxury brands that best complement the center’s existing range of brands,” Alex Phakathi, a fund manager at the Liberty Property Portfolio — which owns the Sandton City mall — told WWD.   

Prada also hosted a party to celebrate the South African store opening. DJ Misty Rabbit aka Mimi Xu had guests — which included Pabi Moloi, Lalla Hirayama, Miss Africa 2015 Liesl Laurie and rapper Da L.E.S. — dancing at the event.

New Look Changes Hands In Brait Buyout


 A South African billionaire has become one of the biggest players on the British high street by taking control of New Look in a deal valuing the fashion retailer at £1.9bn.

As Sky News exclusively revealed on Thursday night, Brait, the private equity vehicle of Christo Wiese, said it had reached an agreement with New Look’s shareholders.

Brait said it was buying a 90% stake for £780m, marking New Look’s first change of ownership in more than a decade.

The deal meant Apax and Permira, which bought the chain in 2004, abandoning exploratory plans for a flotation of the business.

Mr Wiese has been linked with a string of UK retail takeovers in recent years, including a bid for BhS, formerly owned by Sir Philip Green.

He is in the process of launching Pep & Co, a new chain, with Andy Bond, the previous boss of Asda.

His takeover of New Look follows a deal for Brait to buy Virgin Active, the health and fitness chain, in a deal valued at around £700m.

It will underline the continuing attractiveness of the British high street to foreign investors, even as consumers increasingly shift their spending online.

New Look operates more than 800 stores in 21 countries around the world, and is the UK’s second-biggest women’s value clothing and accessories retailer, according to Kantar Worldpanel, a research firm.

Other bidders for the company had included a joint offer between CDH, a Chinese buyout firm, and Clayton Dubilier & Rice, the group where ex-Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy is an adviser.

Apax and Permira had recruited JP Morgan, the Wall Street bank, to work on a stock market listing that could value it at as much as £2bn.

Goldman Sachs acted for New Look’s shareholders on the sale discussions.

In 2010, Apax and Permira were forced to abort a flotation amid challenging markets.

During the intervening period, New Look’s debt position had rendered a listing not viable.

Its founder, Tom Singh, also remains a shareholder and is expected to retain his interest once the Brait takeover completes.

According to third-quarter financial results released in February, New Look saw like-for-like sales in the UK decline by 1%, a dip that it attributed to unseasonably warm weather.

The company is continuing to expand internationally, as well as attempting to grow its menswear business.

It now has nearly 20 shops in China although it retreated from Russia and Ukraine because of continuing instability in the two countries.

Anders Kristiansen, its chief executive, described New Look’s trading performance as “robust… against a challenging backdrop”.

“It was a record online sales performance over the Christmas period with all channels well-prepared for peaks in demand around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day, whilst our high street presence came into its own as we handled a surge in demand for our Click & Collect and Order in Store offerings,” he said.

Beauty retailer Sephora launches 1st online flagship store in China on

Beauty retailer Sephora launches 1st online flagship store in China on


Retail in Asia 

French beauty retailer Sephora on Wednesday launched its first and only Chinese online flagship store on, China’s largest online direct sales company.

Sephora’s online store will be the largest cosmetics store on’s platform, featuring over 1,200 items from more than 70 leading international cosmetic brands, including Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy, Benefit and Kenzoki, among dozens of others.

“Sephora is dedicated to providing the best, most trusted beauty solutions for our customers, while making shopping more efficient, intelligent and fun,” said Anne Veronique Bruel, president of Sephora Asia. “That’s why we are delighted to be partnering with Chinese e-commerce pioneer, which is known for its superior customer service, fast nationwide delivery and longstanding reputation as the online source for guaranteed product authenticity. Sephora is renowned for its beauty solutions from the world’s best brands. I am confident that together we will be able to provide Chinese consumers with a truly world-class online shopping experience, without the worry of counterfeits.”

The cosmetics giant was acquired by fashion conglomerate LVMH group in 1997 and now it has over 2,000 locations in 32 countries. Sephora China stores offer more than 200 world-class brands, featuring more than 10,000 unique products across makeup, skincare, perfume, body care, and more.

“’s Beauty Channel is focused on providing the highest-quality products and services to our customers and we are very excited to offer Chinese consumers convenient access to leading beauty solutions from Sephora, one of the world’s top retailers,” said Haoyu Shen, CEO of JD Mall. “As China’s largest e-tailer, we are able to offer Sephora an end-to-end e-commerce solution that ensures Chinese consumers have the best possible brand experience when purchasing their beauty products online. Our direct cooperation with Sephora further strengthens the confidence of cosmetics shoppers in China that is the go-to site for the most sought after authentic name-brand products.”’s marketplace is increasingly becoming the platform of choice for both domestic and internationally renowned brands and manufacturers seeking to reach the company’s massive base of active Chinese shoppers. Fashion brand Uniqlo opened a flagship store on its marketplace platform last month, joining Gap, Levi’s, Lacoste, and Marks & Spencer to reach China’s online shoppers.  

Original Sofa Co opens Harrods concession 

Original Sofa Co opens Harrods concession following £110,000 investment

David Thomas of NEL Fund Managers with David Robinson of the Original Sofa Co

Furniture makers the Original Sofa Co have opened a new concession in luxury department store Harrods thanks to a £110,000 investment.

The Team Valley-based firm was approached by Harrods on the back of success at its newly opened Sloane Square showroom in London.

A second investment from the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund helped the 14-year-old firm to open the concession, which is expected to create jobs back home in the North East.

Three new staff, including two upholsterers, have been taken on in the last month as the firm is hopeful Harrods presence will generate sales.

The £110,000 investment, led by NEL Fund Managers, follows a £100,000 Growth Fund injection at the beginning of 2014.

Bespoke OSC creations are visible across a number of locations, including Google’s London offices, Harvard University, Cambridge University Union, Red Bull’s headquarters, the St Pancras Hotel in London and several Dunhill venues around the globe.

David Robinson, founder and managing director of The Original Sofa Company, said: “We’ve made a great deal more progress over the last year than even we expected, and opening the Harrods concession really is the cherry on top of the cake.

“Our London showroom has really taken off, and there’s been a huge appetite for the high quality, traditionally manufactured products that we’re creating in both domestic and overseas markets.

“Much of the interest we’ve had so far in Harrods has come from international customers, and it’s great to know that North East manufacturing expertise is in such high demand around the world.

“The North East will remain as our manufacturing base as the company continues to develop, and it’s a real hive of activity. Adding two new upholsterers to the team is a real indication of the confidence we have for the future, and we’ll be looking to create further new jobs on the back of the new opportunities we’re now seeing.

“Making everything happen over the last year has meant we’ve needed to put a lot of new infrastructure in place, which obviously requires capital to achieve. We’ve had a great relationship with the NEL team over the last year, and going back to them for a second round of funding was very much the natural thing to do.”

David Thomas, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: “The Original Sofa Co has made fantastic progress in a relatively short time, and they’re all set to do even more through their expanding London presence.

“The availability of a ‘funding escalator,’ where vibrant North East companies can gain ongoing access to capital investment as they grow and their needs change, is crucial to both their individual success and the wider regional economy.”

The Growth Fund is part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund, managed by North East Finance.

High street chain Poundworld sells majority stake to US investors

TPG’s investment in Poundworld will be used to fuel store expansion and investment infinance new distribution facilities.

A former market stall trader and his family will bank more than £75m after selling a majority stake in their Poundworld store chain to US private equity firm TPG.

The business, which Chris Edwards founded at a Wakefield market in 1974, is valued at £150m under the deal which comes as investors battle for a slice of the fast-growing “value” market. The family opened their first high street store in 2004.

Until Thursday, Edwards co-owned Poundworld together with his son Chris Junior and brother Laurence. Together they built the chain into the UK’s second-largest single price retailer behind Poundland. The group, which also owns the Bargain Buys chain, made a profit of £6m in the year to the end of March 2014, nearly double that of a year before. Sales rose 18% to £345m according to accounts filed at Companies House. 

“I began this business as a market trader and we now have millions of customers from all corners of the nation and all walks of life. Still, there is so much more for us to achieve,” Edwards said.

Poundworld has benefited from shoppers’ love of a bargain,a trend which gained momentum during the economic downturn. Low-price chains including Poundland and Poundstretcher have been growing rapidly alongside grocery discounters Aldi and Lidl and low-price household goods chains including B&M and Home Bargains.

Traditional supermarkets, such as Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, have suffered as people visit more stores to purchase cheaper toiletries, snacks and even gardening goods.

TPG’s investment will be used to fuel store expansion and finance new distribution facilities. The operational centre of Poundworld, which employs more than 6,000 people and serves 2 million customers a week, will remain in Normanton, West Yorkshire.

Abel Halpern, a partner at TPG, said: “We see the continuing rise and evolution of the value retailer as an exciting change in the UK retail landscape.”

The consumer trend for bargain buys has kicked off a frenzy of activity in the City.

Poundworld’s deal with TPG, which previously co-owned Debenhams, follows Poundland’s £55m bid for rival 99p stores, which is currently facing an investigation by the UK’s competition watchdog. 

Poundland itself launched on the stock market last spring at a value of £750m just a few months before B&M joined the market at a heady valuation of £2.7bn.

Halpern said: “Poundworld has succeeded in building one of the leading positions in the market with a focus on consumer preference, convenience and value. With our financial backing and retail experience, combined with Poundworld’s entrepreneurial dynamism and strong brand, the business is now well positioned for continued growth.”

Revealed: World’s biggest hotel to open in Saudi Arabia

Abraj Kudai is to become the world’s largest hotel located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia and upon completion, will offer 10,000 rooms in 12 separate towers.

Designed by Dar Al Handasah, the project has a total built area of 1.4 million metre square and will be set in the Manafia area in Makkah’s central zone.

The $3.5 billion hospitality project is already on site and comprises of 12 towers with  a total of 10,000 rooms, 70 restaurants, rooftop helipads, royal floors and a full size convention centre, all roofed under what will become one of the largest domes in the world.

The architecture is set to create an iconic landmark that will reflect a contemporary interpretation of a traditional desert fortress.

London-based design practice Areen Hospitality has been appointed to design the interior spaces, which will be complete with palatial luxury typical of the region.

Ten of the towers are intended to provide four-star accommodation while the remaining two will offer luxurious five-star amenities.

“We are honoured to be trusted with such a challenge. Designing hotel interiors on such a massive scale, with no operators yet in place, requires complex programming and design resourcing. At Areen Hospitality we allow for this and have the experience to respond to such a challenge, without ever losing the creative essence needed to welcome and surprise the guests expected at Abraj Kudai,” said Andrew Lindwood, head of design at Areen Hospitality.

Abraj Kudai is expected to be completed in 2017.



H&M Beauty: the new superbrand with over 700 products

H&M Beauty: the new superbrand with over 700 products


High-street fashion store H&M is breaking into beauty with a bang by announcing new skincare, bodycare and haircare ranges, and a 700-piece make-up line

BY Katy Young | 13 May 2015

H&M Beauty: the new superbrand with over 700 products

H&M Beauty: the new superbrand with over 700 products

H&M Beauty, we’ve been expecting you. For years you’ve teased us with those limited-edition make-up collections (remember the Lanvin lipsticks?) and a smattering of own label cosmetics.

So lo and behold a beauty collection has been announced this morning.

The new collection will hit H&M counters this autumn in 900 stores around the world, with over 700 make-up products alone. This is a mass production if ever we saw one.

IN PICTURES – 10 Best: coloured lip glosses and balms for summer

H&M Beauty: the nail colours

The Swedish fashion brand has gone all out by launching with a complete skincare, bodycare, hair styling and make-up range. On its beauty brief, H&M reveals that fashion is at the heart of H&M Beauty; just as its clothes are inspired by seasonal trends and colours, so too will the make-up, ‘with seasonal drops of new and limited edition colour palettes throughout the year,’ says the brand.

Replacing the existing beauty products (nice, but not great), H&M Beauty will also include two subsidiary collections: a premium beauty line and a conscious range of Ecocert-approved sustainable products.

IN PICTURES – H&M Conscious Exclusive collection Lookbook

Taking it back to the good old fashioned touchy-feely beauty school too, H&M has decided to stock its new beauty collection in dedicated in-store areas, as well as online at H&, ‘for customers to experiment with the latest make-up trends and develop a personal and unique look,’ it says. We hear that a natural, dramatic and classic looks will all be catered for, too.

“We are very excited to launch H&M Beauty. It’s an opportunity to be inventive, creative and to have fun with colour that inspires us,” says Sara Wallander, concept designer, H&M Beauty.

If its designer collaborations are anything to go by, this venture is sure to be a success and we look forward to making our personal beauty and fashion statements in one fell high-street swoop.

Monsoon to close stores and cut costs as profits slip

Monsoon is to close stores, cut costs and revamp its online operations after profits fell 19% last year.

The fashion retailer, which is privately owned by founder Peter Simon and his family, said profits slid to just over £50m in the year to 30 August 2014 after sales slid nearly 8% to £509m.

Simon said the group, which also owns the Accessorize chain, had endured a “challenging year” with weaker performance in both the UK and overseas. 

“The performance of the Monsoon ladies brand was particularly disappointing, and although much of this was due to the unseasonal weather conditions, we have work to do here to improve the range,” he said.

Simon ousted chief executive John Browett in February after just two years in the job. The former Dixons boss, who was also hired and then dropped by Apple after six months, has yet to be replaced. Paul Allen, the former chief executive of fashion label Jacques Vert, has stepped in to run Monsoon in the interim.

Browett’s exit from Monsoon came after a difficult few months at the fashion chain which suffered along with other clothing retailers after last year’s warm autumn which depressed sales of winter knitwear and coats.

Allen said he was undertaking a “strategic transformation programme” that would aim to strengthen the Monsoon brand and clothing ranges, reduce costs and tackle underperformance overseas. 

Simon warned that profits would fall again this financial year, which includes 2014’s tough winter season, as Allen’s programme take two years to deliver benefits. 


Dubai Festival City takes on a Dh1.2b transformation

First phase will see unveiling of new-look Festival Square with 25 new outlets

Dubai: The Dubai Festival City Mall is undergoing a Dh1.2 billion transformation that will make further use of its prime Dubai Creek side location and raise the mall’s retail and entertainment offerings. The multiphase expansion, expected to be complete by the second quarter of next year, will raise the gross leasable area to 2.4 million square feet (from 2.1 million square feet), add another ‘full-line department store operator as an anchor tenant, and also open a second ‘family entertainment centre’.

The mall management is aiming the additions to come in handy in raising the footfall from the low 20 million a year into the mid-20 million or thereabouts.

It will also involve some nifty engineering work — earlier, there was a canal separating the mall from the marina side pavilion. The new look will see the canal make way for closer integration into a single — fully enclosed — facility. “It was always part of the expansion plan to have the property enclosed for a seamless circulation zone for shoppers,” said Brad Merchant, General Manager. “Earlier, they had to exit one building, go over the water element to the other.

“Adding a full enclosure is expensive from a construction perspective, but it will be worth it. It was about doing what’s right in today’s retail environment. And one of the key drivers of the expansion was to have a better activation of the Creek side location.”

For the new retail space, the aim is to tap mid to ‘bridge’ fashion brands. “Even though our primary trade area is relatively affluent, adding luxury offerings is not a priority on the leasing side,” said Merchant. “I don’t think rushing to build a luxury cluster would necessarily prompt more visits now. If there is a potential for such offerings, it has to be in the future.”

The first phase — to be unveiled on May 14 — comes in the form of a revamped Festival Square, the main atrium space. Twenty-five new stores will take up position in this one. Another phase is due to open in the fourth quarter with 60 outlets. (Merchant declined to identify the department store operator. “The exact date of when they will open is still up in the air,” he added.)

By the second quarter of next year, the rest of the components will fall into place. Post the expansion, there will be 420 outlets.

It’s on the food and beverage side that the ongoing expansion is giving particular attention to. The two food courts that it has now will be consolidated into a single, 3,500 square metre, 2,000-seat plus facility.

“We decided to go in stages to ensure there’s minimum disruption to the existing mall-wide operations,” said Merchant. “We have already secured 85 per cent commitment for the new space.”

On whether the new entrants are coming in on higher lease terms, Merchant said: “The overall rents in the mall are going to be more reflective of today’s market rates. Plus, there’s the fact that we are creating something — through new attractions — that will improve the visitor circulation numbers.” 


Marks & Spencer returns to Belgium


It was a “memorable day” for Marks & Spencer, according to chief executive officer Marc Bolland. After a fifteen year absence, the department store group has return to Belgium with the opening of its newest store on the Guldenvlieslaan street in Brussels. The 5,000 square meter store is part of the previously presented ‘Bricks & Clicks’ strategy Marks & Spencer has launch to enable its successful expansion.

“There is no specific reason as to why we left Belgium,” explains Costas Antimissaris, Director for International Business Development at M&S. “Our focus back then included our home market in the UK. Marks & Spencer launched a local website for Belgium in November 2012 and afterwards we decided to start looking for a city to open a flagship store. It rapidly became clear that Brussels was the most suitable place for us.” Antimissaris believes that the capital is a focal point for Western Europe. “A vibrant international community lived in the city. Many tourists come here as well and they can all take a look in our store now.”

Marks & Spencer returns to Belgium

Marks & Spencer opens flagship store in Brussels 

The department store is keeping quiet for now on plans regarding additional store openings in Belgium, although the group previously announced plans to open 250 new stores by 2017 last April. Marks & Spencer aims to increase its store presence in all existing markets, but is currently focusing on expansion in key markets like India, China, Russia, the Middle East and Western Europe. “We do not want to open too many stores,” points out Antimissaris. “That does not fit within our Bricks & Clicks strategy. Our main goal within Western Europe is to have a number of prominent flagship stores, like the ones in the Netherlands and France, to ensure we can continue playing in the ‘Champions League of Retail.'”

The goal of M&S ‘Bricks & Clicks’ strategy is to seamlessly combine its online platform with its physical stores. The new flagship stores, such as the one in Brussels, incorporate this and offer the department store group’s full product range. “We have been investing heavily in our online business over the past few years. We worked together with Amazon, up until last year. We have launched our own online platform in the UK since then and we currently manage our International websites from the old and new platforms. The aim is to localize our overseas sites through language, currency and prompt delivery.” Both online and offline stores are equally important for M&S, according Antimissaris.

Despite the numerous investments and changes introduced during Marc Bolland’s reign, it has taken the department store group sometime for these changes to begin bearing fruit. Last year saw M&S report a drop in profit for the third consecutive year. In the thirteen weeks to last Christmas, sales for general merchandise which includes fashion and apparel, declined 5.3 percent. But M&S has managed to turn things around since then and figures for the latest quarter are said to look much rosier, according to Antimissaris.

Marks & Spencer returns to Belgium

“The sales have done well. The general merchandise category was affected last year by issues regarding design as well as the distribution center. But we have paid close attention to those areas since then and this paid off last quarter. Developments within our online arm led to a small dip, but we have seen figures increasing again. So things are going well, but not as well as we would like although I am sure good news is on the way.”

However, we will have to wait until May 21 to see if M&S really has been as successful during its last quarter as Antimissaris says, when the group publishes its quarterly results. In the meantime locals and visitors can pay a visit to M&S newest store and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.

H&M opening its largest store to date, 63,000-sq.-ft. flagship in Manhattan

New York — H&M will open its largest store in the world, in Manhattan’s Herald Center, on May 20. The 63,000-sq.-ft. store, located at the southwest corner of 34th Street where Broadway and Avenue of the Americas converge, will be the fast-fashion giant’s 13th location in Manhattan. To celebrate opening day, music superstar John Legend will perform and cut the ribbon and twenty lucky winners will be chosen at random for a meet and greet.

The new H&M, which boasts  a custom illuminated store front that wraps around 33rd Street, 34th Street and 6th Avenue, will showcase all of the retailer’s lines,  including its home collection and have a special shoe department for women and men.  Unique store details will include a custom-designed 35 ft. modern glass facade with LCD screen, mirror and terrazzo tile details, as well as an approximately 30-ft. high atrium on the second level. The store will also feature two main street entrances.

The U.S. continues to be one of H&M’s most important expansion markets since its first store opened on New York’s Fifth Avenue 13 years ago. The retailer currently operates 361 locations across the country.

The H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) Group has around 3,500 stores in 57 markets including franchise markets.


Next accused of telling staff to give up Sunday bonus or lose jobs

Next shop in Manchester

Next has been accused of bullying workers into giving up overtime pay for working on a Sunday.

The fashion and homewares retailer, which employs more than 52,000 people, wants about 800 shop workers to give up the premium they are currently entitled to, worth up to £20 a week or £1,000 a year.

The workers all joined the company before 2008, when Next stopped offering a Sunday premium to new staff. In March, they were involved in a consultation on changes to their contracts. The GMB union said the staff rejected these, but Next said 99% of them accepted. 

The company said that as a result, all employees are now being moved on to contracts under which they do not receive extra pay for Sundays. Staff members that do not accept are to be made redundant. 

Next said it had offered compensation equal to one-third of the Sunday premium that staff earned over the past year to those who make the change.

A spokesman for Next said: “Working on a Sunday, since it was introduced back in the 90s, has become a new normal – so Next feels it is no longer justifiable to pay some of its staff up to 50% more than colleagues doing the same work on the same day.”

Mick Rix, the national officer for retail workers at the GMB union, said: “Next claims that it considers Sunday to be a normal working day and uses this opinion to justify cutting pay on Sunday. There can hardly be a better example of a company that has a total disregard for family life.”

Next’s chief executive, Lord Wolfson, last month pledged to raise shopfloor wages by at least 5%. After months of pressure from workers’ rights groups over pay in its stores, Wolfson offered to share his bonus among staff if there was a shortfall in funding.

The Tory peer, who was paid £4.66m in cash and shares last year, including a £1.1m bonus, said the wage rate would rise from £6.70 an hour to £7.04 in October, or £7.58 including bonuses.

Wolfson recently provoked anger when he declared the living wage campaign irrelevant. He wrote to staff to say that he was mortified by the way in which some of his comments were misinterpreted. He said: “I certainly did not intend to belittle the difficulties some people have in making ends meet.”

He said a combination of increased wage rates and longer contracts meant that the average staff member earned 33% more than two years ago.

German Retailer Tchibo Introduces New Shopping Concept to Region With First Branch Opening in Dubai Mall

German Retailer Tchibo Introduces New Shopping Concept to Region With First Branch Opening in Dubai Mall

DUBAI, UAE, May 11, 2015/PRNewswire/ —

New Tchibo Shop mixes coffee and non-food items with new stock showcased on a weekly/periodic basis 

German Retailer Tchibo announced the grand opening of a first-of-its-kind Tchibo Shop & Tchibo Coffee in Dubai Mall. Following the well-known Tchibo business model in Germany and across Europe, the Tchibo Shop offers a fusion of coffee and non-food items to its customers, providing an unrivalled shopping concept that is unlike any other retailer the Middle East region has welcomed before.


From its humble beginnings as a coffee mail-order firm, Tchibo expanded from just coffee, to coffee machines, clothing, household items, electronics and electrical appliances, in just a few years. Today, it became synonymous with enjoyment and lifestyle, offering a myriad of products to all its customers.

Commenting on the grand opening, Toufic Kreidieh, CEO of BFLGROUP said: “This is the first Tchibo Coffee Shop to open in the region and we couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce it in Dubai. The Tchibo model has been instrumental in building buzz around the stores across Europe, successfully drawing in customers to its doors to enjoy their coffee and enjoy their shopping experience. We identified a need for our Tchibo Coffee Shop concept here and we are committed to expand further, with plans to open more stores across the GCC and the region.”

In a global market where it has become harder to impress the shopper, Tchibo manages to stand out from the rest with its exclusive business model by creating an air of anticipation. Each week boasts a new range of affordable, innovative, and high-quality German products, each exclusive to Tchibo, providing customers with choices and a shopping experience like no other.

Explaining the uniqueness of Tchibo’s Coffee, Yasser Beydoun, Managing Partner of BFLGROUP, said: “Tchibo was quick to recognise that lifestyle-oriented coffee lovers in Dubai want a modern coffee they can indulge on. With Piacetto Espresso, the Tchibo Coffee Service has a brand which precisely fulfils the product expectations of this modern, urbane target group present in global cities like Dubai by incorporating the highest in authentic Italian espresso taste. With the opening of the Tchibo Coffee Shop in Dubai Mall, we anticipate the same success we witnessed across Europe to echo here in the Middle East.”

Tchibo already owns and operates eight Tchibo shops around the UAE.

Over the past 66 years, many have come to know and love Tchibo, the one-stop-shop for every household item under the sun. Over the years Tchibo has established itself as a household name in Germany, with more than 2,000 stores and 66,000 retail points around the world. It is now making waves all over Europe, with a loyal following comprising millions of satisfied customers in GermanyAustriaSwitzerlandPolandCzech RepublicTurkeyand many others. Its debut in the UAE is a stepping-stone for more store openings to come across the region in the near future.

About Tchibo 

Tchibo Coffee International Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the German family company Tchibo GmbH, one of the largest coffee roasters in Europe, and the leading coffee brand in


In 1949, Max Herz, a merchant by training, and his business partner Carl Tchiling, laid out the foundations for today’s Tchibo Group. Their business idea of sending roasted coffee to customers by mail revolutionises the coffee market. In 1972 the Tchibo Coffee Service was founded in Germany to provide the out-of-home market with quality coffee and related products. It made the leap from a national to a successful internationally operating company in 1991, when in the United Kingdom, Tchibo Coffee International was established. Within a few years, Tchibo Coffee Service Group grew – through determined expansion in Central and Eastern European Countries – into one of Europe’s leading coffee provider.

Tchibo’s passion for coffee ensures pure coffee enjoyment in every cup. Trading in only the world’s finest coffees, Tchibo today provides the ultimate choice in coffee competence and quality, taking care of all aspects of coffee from bean through to the cup. This commitment is the guarantee of the highest quality, which ensures enjoyment. For all our coffees we use only the finest beans from high quality Arabica coffee plants. Our own coffee experts ensure up-to-date market knowledge through direct contact with producers in the major coffee-growing countries. We are committed to sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible coffee growing. This is how we secure our first-class quality in the long run. For different forms of coffee enjoyment, our experts develop our own diverse recipes.

Tchibo offers a diverse range of coffees for all contemporary forms of preparation, through which quality and freshness can be experienced. Our product range comprises coffees for individual taste preferences and different price categories and also includes specialities for the most refined requirements. A clearly structured coffee range and simple claims provide information to our customers. Continuous research and development of coffee machines and attractive accessories complete our coffee offer. 


India’s leading retailers -Future And Bharti-Join Force

In what is billed as one of the biggest retail unions, India’s two leading retailers – Future Group and Bharti Retail – announced a merger earlier this week.
Future, started by retail pioneer Kishore Biyani, runs hypermarkets under the Big Bazaar brand in addition to stores like Home Town and Foodhall. Privately-held Bharti, owned by billionaire Sunil Mittal and his family (who also run telecom major Bharti Airtel ) owns supermarkets under the name Easyday.
After the merger, the $2.4 billion (total revenues) Future-Bharti combine would have 571 retail stores across 243 cities and command 18.5 million square feet in retail space. It will operate 203 Big Bazaar and Easyday hypermarkets, 197 Food Bazaar and Easyday supermarkets, and 171 stores spanning Home Town,eZone, FBB and Foodhall stores.
The merger will create two new entities –Future Retail (focused on retail) and Future Infrastructure (focused on infrastructure, investments and assets of both companies). Future Group will have 46 to 47 percent stake in both the entities while Bharti will get between 9-10 percent stake in each. In addition, Bharti will have debentures which can be converted into shares of Future Retail after 18 months.
The deal is subject to approvals from shareholders, the competition commission and the stock exchanges.

Indian retail pioneer Kishore Biyani plans to scale up to  4,000 small-format stores from the current 500 stores over the next six years after the merger with Bharti Retail

“They will have a pan-India footprint and they can share the logistics, back-end operations and property acquisition know-how,” says Arvind Singhal, chairman and managing director of management consulting firm, Technopak. “There’s a lot of fragmentation in the retail segment with retailers struggling to achieve critical mass because they’ve been denied access to international capital and international know-how. A number of companies will now be looking to grow by consolidation.”
The overall retail market in India is expected to double to $1.14 trillion in the next five years, according to a recent report by UBS Securities. (Modern trade makes up about 10 percent of the market.)
But growth in India’s retail sector has been hobbled by high debt, soaring rentals and lack of international capital. Competition is also intense both from mom-and-pop stores as well as e-tailers like Flipkart and Snapdeal, who are flush with funds from private equity investors and venture capitalists. Grocery websites like BigBasket, LocalBanya, Zopnow, PepperTap, Grofers, Zoppers and Jiffstore are also contributing to the competitive intensity.
Meanwhile, with the combined power, Biyani now has ambitious plans to have 4,000 smaller-format stores over the next six years. These stores will be opened under the Easyday brand in North India and Nilgiris and KB brand in southern and western India.
It is interesting to note that the first choice for Indian retailers has been to tie up with foreign retailers. In fact, Bharti had a wholesaling joint venture with Wal-Mart. They parted ways in 2013. Future Group has also been in talks with many foreign retailers.
But since foreign retailers have not been able to make a dent in the market, the two Indian retailers have joined forces. The new combine would rival the $2.8 billion (revenues) Reliance Retail with 2,621 stores across 200 cities.


SA online shopping only 1% of retail sales

Online shopping in South Africa was birthed in 1996, but e-commerce is only forecast to reach 1% of total local retail sales in 2016.

This is according to the managing director of research company World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, who was speaking at an event hosted by digital marketing initiative Heavy Chef in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.

Goldstuck said that local e-commerce sales are set to top R9 billion in 2016.

This is expected to be 1.03% of total retail sales in the country in that year, a milestone for SA’s e-commerce space.

Goldstuck further said that online retail is expected to grow 26% year-on-year in 2015 to reach a market size of R7.5 billion. The country’s total retail market size is forecast to be R807bn this year.

“For now things look great from a point of view of growth rate, but at the same time in terms of what it represents of the overall retail space, you have to understand that online retail is still in baby’s shoes,” Goldstuck told the audience.

Goldstuck noted that overall retail growth in SA has average around 7% per year, close to the global figure of 6%. However, he said that inflation eats into total retail sales and that the traditional brick and mortar market still has a stronghold over the online sales space.

“And that’s the backdrop of the online retail scene, because online retail is always going to be a subset of traditional retail,” he said.

Nevertheless, growing local internet user numbers, which are forecast to surpass 18 million this year, along with smartphone usage topping 23.5 million in 2015 are among factors driving greater local e-commerce adoption.

Unpacking the country’s e-commerce figures further, Goldstuck said the total number of online shoppers in SA at the end of 2014 amounted to 3.225 million.

He added that 60.8% of those ready to e-shop are doing so. Meanwhile, online shoppers aged 25-34 make up the biggest percentage of e-buyers at 16.3% followed closely by those aged 35-44 (15.6%).

Goldstuck also said that males make up 14.5% of e-commerce purchases in SA and females 13.1%. Couples that are married or living together are 13.2% of the local online buying population while those who are divorced or separate are the biggest segment of e-buyers at 18.9%.

Among the biggest categories of online purchases by adults are music and videos (3.6%), business purchases (3.6%), gifts (2.8%), clothing (2.6%) and software (2.4%).

Concluding his talk, Goldstuck said there are three essential rules that e-tailers in SA and the rest of Africa need to consider.

“Number one, the segmentation is more important online than offline,” said Goldstuck.

“It’s more important online because every user has a different motive and different fear when they go online,” he said, highlighting that fears still exist regarding the security of shopping on the internet.

The other two key points are that conversion is key.

“So, you have 5.2 million people that are ready to shop but only 3.2 million are actually shopping.

“And the third one, finally, confidence is actually the currency of online retail. And if you don’t instill confidence in your shopper, you’re actually undermining a key value of your own currency,” said Goldstuck. 


General election uncertainty prompts retail jitters

7 May, 2015 | By Caroline Baldwin

Retailers are downbeat about their prospects for the next five years as a hung parliament looms.

General election uncertainty prompts retail jitters

Ahead of the too-close-to-call election, fewer than half (46%) of retailers thought business confidence would be better during the next parliament.

That was indicative of a wary mindset among 200 managers at retail head offices who were surveyed.

The study for Retail Week by FTI Consulting also found that only 40% of retailers expect staff numbers to increase over the next five years, while 60% expect employee numbers to remain the same or drop.

Dan Healy, managing director and head of research EMEA, FTI Consulting said election uncertainty had driven the pessimism. 

He believes policies on issues such as zero-hours contracts and the living wage, which have featured in campaign promises, have brought about uncertainty when it comes to employing more staff.

“The political parties are saying enough to get elected, but not enough to give confidence to the industry,” said Healy.

“There should be a lot more flesh on the bones once they’re in power, which will stop the communication void.”

Retailers are also concerned about access to capital with only 27% saying it will get better, despite the UK economy improving as the banking crisis recedes.

Perception of retail

Only a fifth of respondents expect the reputation of retail to improve over the next half decade. Retail’s image has been tarnished in recent months with Tesco’s accountancy scandal and controversy over Sports Direct’s use of zero-hours contracts taking their toll.

Healy said: “There has been a trickle of revelations in terms of business practices that is having a compounding impact” on the reputation of the industry.

The survey also revealed the extent to which retailers believe some form of Conservative-led government would be better for their businesses. Around half of those expecting a Tory administration believe the party would improve business confidence.

However, of those forecasting a Labour victory only a quarter expect Ed Miliband’s party to boost industry confidence.

Sixty-seven per cent of respondents expect a Tory government to be the most likely outcome. While 29% predict a Labour win.

Apple’s Angela Ahrendts paid nine times more than boss Tim Cook

Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail and online, was paid nearly $83m last year, around $10m more than previously thought. 

The total, reported by Bloomberg, means the former chief executive of UK fashion retailer Burberry takes home significantly more than her boss, Apple chief executive Tim Cook. He was awarded $9.2m last year. 

Ms Ahrendts’ $82.6m pay package included a signing-on bonus and a make-whole grant for awards left behind at Burberry. 

filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in January stated that she was handed $73.3m. 

Apple justified that by saying the 54-year-old had proved an “extraordinary addition to the company’s executive team with the experience and ability to lead both the retail and online businesses”. 

Ms Ahrendts is responsible for the operation and expansion of the Apple’s retail and online stores, and is believed to want to focus on the company’s growth within China.


Dubai’s Emirates Group reports 34% rise in profits to $1.5bn


Dubai’s Emirates Group, the parent company of the Dubai International Airport-based airline, today announced its latest financial results, recording a 34 percent rise in annual profit to $1.5 billion, its second most profitable year ever since it was founded 30 years ago.

Speaking at Arabian Travel Market this week, the carrier’s president Sir Tim Clark said the company benefited from new route launches, strong performance from European markets – despite the Eurozone turmoil – and refraining from its past practice of oil price hedging.

However, tapping into the Asian markets, where it performed less well than Europe and the Middle East, had been “a bit of a fight” last year, he added.

The group’s chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told a news conference lower oil prices had saved the airline around AED2 billion ($544 million) during the financial year.

Here is a summary of the results as they are emerging from Emirates HQ:

– Emirates Group revenue reaches $26.3 billion, an increase of 10 percent over last year.

– Emirates Group records second highest profit ever at $1.5 billion, up 34 percent from last year.

– Emirates Group declares $700 million dividend to Investment Corporation of Dubai.

– In 2014-15, Emirates Group invested over $5.5 billion in fleet, facilities, technology & people.

– Emirates Airline makes $1.2 billion in profit, as revenue increases 7 percent to a record $24.2 billion.

– Emirates received 24 new aircraft during the financial year, with fleet count at 231.

– Emirates carried a record 49.3 million passengers, up 11 percent from last year, with 79.6 percent seat factor.

– Emirates’ chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed attributes performance to strength of Emirates Group brands & dedicated staff.

“2014 Chanel’s best year to date”

“2014 is Chanel’s best year ever … We have grown well, I would say with a significant growth. We are very satisfied,” said Bruno Pavlovski, the number of Chanel’s fashion division. 

According to market sources, the French fashion house would have registered revenues of 5.6 billion euros for the past fiscal year, well ahead of 2013’s 4.98 billion euros (this represents an 8.5 percent increase year-on-year.) 

On a related note, Chanel’s President of Fashion said in an interview with the ‘South China Morning Post’ that the company’s new strategy of standardising its product prices worldwide will prepare it for the next two decades and help it to develop its share of the Chinese market. 

It is worth of remembering that a month ago, Chanel announced its plans to “harmonise” prices worldwide, starting with its iconic 2.55, 11.12 and the Boy bag models. 

“The reason we decided to do the price standardisation was to prepare ourselves for the next 20 years,” Pavlovsky said. “The brand is quite strong; the year before we had double digit growth in almost every market, so we can afford to make such a decision.” 

South Korea, US and the Middle East, key markets for growth

“We made a very important decision, to treat our customers the same way everywhere in the world. It was a big decision,” said Chanel’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, in an exclusive interview with the Chinese journal before Chanel’s Cruise show in Seoul. 

“I must say that there is not a single market on which we are betting. We say that every year, with two or three events, we try to reach all 40 markets in which we operate, cuddling our customers worldwide. Of course we are studying India, Africa and South America, high potential markets. But they are not our immediate priority. Let’s say you do not focus on new forgetting our historical territories,” said Pavlovsky to ‘MFF’. 

“We count on rather consolidating our presence in markets such as Australia, Thailand, Brazil and Dubai. And then we want to strengthen our position in established markets like the US, which in 2014 grew well and that even in these early months of 2015 are performing well,” added the head of Chanel’s fashion arm. 


Tesco loses two more directors

Tesco supermarket in Sunbury, west of London.

Tesco is to lose two more non-executive directors, including the head of the retailer’s audit committee, Ken Hanna, in the latest move in the board overhaul that began after last year’s £263m accounting scandal.

The long-anticipated exit of Hanna, who became chairman of Tesco’s audit committee in October 2012 and has sat on Tesco’s board since 2009, will come at the supermarket’s annual shareholder meeting on 26 June. Stuart Chambers, former chief executive of the glass maker Pilkington who has sat on Tesco’s board since 2010, will step down at the same time. 

Hanna, a former executive at Cadbury’s, has faced criticism since the accounting scandal, which related to the mis-statement of commercial income from suppliers. In Tesco’s annual report, published last May, months before the scandal came to light, Hanna said the audit committee had examined commercial income as an “area of focus” and concluded that “management operates an appropriate control environment which minimises risks in this area” and it was not a “significant issue”.

The £263m scandal, revealed by Tesco’s new chief executive Dave Lewis shortly after his arrival in September, is the subject of investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Reporting Council and the grocery market watchdog.

Hanna will be replaced as head of Tesco’s audit committee by Byron Grote, a former BP finance director who joined the retailer’s board this month.

The latest two departures follow the exit of Patrick CescauLiv Garfield and Jacqueline Tammenoms Bakker, who have all left the business since Tesco appointed John Allan as chairman in February.

Allan thanked Hanna and Chambers for their “loyal and valuable contributions to Tesco”.

A former chairman of electrical goods retailer Dixons, Allan has been revamping the board after his predecessor, Richard Broadbent, was heavily criticised for overseeing a period in which the former chief executive Philip Clarke was left as the only full-time executive director. At one point last year, Clarke was also the only person on the board with retail experience. 

The group has undergone a shakeup in the past year, with Clarke and his finance director being replaced. The company hired former Unilever executive Dave Lewis as chief executive and former M&S director Alan Stewart as finance director as it struggles to cope with a grocery market being radically altered by the rise of discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.

The company’s longest-serving non-executive is Deanna Oppenheimer, the only woman on Tesco’s board, who joined the company in September 2013.

Foot Locker to open big in Times Square with 36,000-sq.-ft. flagship

New York — Himmel + Meringoff and The Swig Company, co-owners of 1460 Broadway, announced that Foot Locker has signed a 15-year lease to occupy the building’s entire 36,000-sq.-ft., four-level retail space which has been designated as 8 Times Square.

This flagship location will feature a new three-story, 35-ft. high all glass storefront designed by MdeAS and will include 4,500 sq. ft. of newly constructed LED signage visible from the heart of Times Square and as far south as Macy’s. Foot Locker plans to open its new store in time for the 2016 holiday season.

“We are delighted that Foot Locker will occupy 100% of our multi-level property at 8 Times Square, where it will benefit from around the clock pedestrian traffic and incomparable brand signage,” said Leslie Himmel.


French underwear brand Le Slip Francais opens flagship store in HK

French underwear brand Le Slip Francais opened its flagship store in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Located at the Upper Station Street of Sheung Wan, the new boutique features a variety collection of men’s briefs, boxer shorts, socks, T-shirts, slippers, as well as water-proof bags.

“Le Slip Francais is more than a brand of underwear. We are a dynamic enterprise fuses French manufacturing tradition and expertise with a modern twist and a sense of humour,” said Guillaume Gibault, founder of Le Slip Francais.

The underwear brand has created a trend “Made in France 3.0” – an incorporation of traditional French manufacturing processes with today’s latest communication tools, according to Gibault.

Ever since its launch in 2011, Le Slip Francais has established partnerships with a number of brands, opened two pop-up stores, set up flagship stores in Paris and Hong Kong, and amassed a social media following of thousands of fans across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“We now have 10k Twitter followers, 7k Instagram fans and 50k followers in Facebook,” said Gibault.

The brand recently celebrated the sale of its 60,000th garment – one of over 120 different lines, created in one of 15 workshops across France.

The company has been expanding fast ever since it’s set up. It has tripled in size in 2013, and doubled in 2014. The young entrepreneur has an ambitious plan to expand the footprint of the brand across the world: “Le Slip Francais is setting out to conquer the world, starting with Asia and the US.”   


Michael Kors opens in London first Collection store in the U.K.

The first Michael Kors Collection Store in the UK covers a space of 1,800-square-feet at 29 Sloane Street. The new store carries ready-to-wear and accessories from Michael Kors Collection, as well as watches, jewellery, footwear and eyewear. The store will also carry a selection of the brand’s fragrances.

The brand’s in-house team designed the store experience to echo the label’s casual-chic aesthetic, using elements like sleek fixtures, mirrored surfaces and glossy, large-scale vintage photographs to evoke jet set glamour and timeless sophistication.

“London is one of my favourite cities,” says Michael Kors. “It’s fast-paced, glamorous and international with a truly unique style. I love the way women in London dress, and I’m delighted to be opening this Collection store on Sloane Street which is undeniably chic.”

Available at Michael Kors Sloan is the Bespoke Miranda, the first custom-made product initiative launched by the brand that allows customers to create a signature handbag with an entirely personalized feel.