Reports have emerged that Maplin is in “crunch talks” with potential buyers as it races to secure a new owner to guarantee the future of its 2500 employees. The parent company of the electricals chain, Rutland Partners, appointed PwC in January to review Maplin’s options after it identified cost savings and contacted landlords for better rent terms. The retailer is reportedly confident in being able to secure a sale, although no deal has been agreed as of yet.
Dunelm has posted a “creditable performance” in its interim results as its chief financial officer quits and it dumps its Achica business.
Sunglasses brand Ray-Ban has chosen London as the location of its first standalone flagship store in Europe.
Card payments are expected to overtake cash payments in the UK for the first time this year, as shoppers begin to favour digital for increasingly smaller purchases. According to new data gathered by the Guardian from UK Finance, 2016 saw the lowest number of withdrawals from cash machines since 2010, with the total volume dropping £6 billion from 2015.
Online retail sales experienced the lowest month-on-month decrease between December and January in five years, as above-average rainfall in the new year prompted consumers to shop online.
Furniture giant Ikea has partnered with the “Big Clean Switch” campaign in a move which promises to save households up to £300 a year. Ikea is urging UK households to sign up to the campaign, which aims to use a “collective switch” to save them money and switch to an energy tariff that is 100 per cent renewable.
Fashion retailer J Crew has poached Starbucks’ chief digital officer Adam Brotman amid wider senior changes aimed at turning its fortunes around. According to Drapers, Brotman – who spent over eight years at the coffee giant – will join J Crew mid-next month. He has been credited with building Starbucks’ reputation as a digital frontrunner, overseeing the launch of projects like the Starbucks cards, Starbucks Digital Network and mobile orders, which accounted for around 11 per cent of transactions in the US last year.
Asda has reported a slowdown in sales amid its fourth quarter results despite enjoying a surprise boost over the Christmas period. The retailer reported a 0.5 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the quarter to December 31, marking a sharp slowdown from the 1.1 per cent rise seen in the prior quarter. According to Brett Briggs, chief financial officer of Asda’s owner Walmart, the grocer also saw a two per cent rise in net sales over the period
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Sir Philip Green and the board members of his Arcadia Group retail empire have denied reports that they were plotting to sell the company to a Chinese firm. The Sunday Times reported on February 18 that Green was looking to sell off parts of his retail conglomerate – which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Dorothy Perkins – to Shandong Ruyi, a Chinese textile firm that is rapidly expanding into Europe.