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“Serious concerns” over price of fuel in wake of Sainsbury’s-Asda merger

Senior Conservative MP Robert Halfron has written to the Competition and Markets Authority about the “serious concerns” he has over the price of petrol and diesel in the wake of a Sainsbury’s-Asda merger. According to The Times Halfron has teamed up with campaign group Fair Fuel UK to demand assurances that fuel prices will be monitored if the supermarket merger goes ahead. Halfron has said that an independent fuel price watchdog should be set up to combat a possible rise in the price of fuel if the £12 billion merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s goes ahead

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Big Interview: Molly Goddard, Co-founder, Desmond & Dempsey

Everyone, at some point in their life, has dreamed of running their own business. The prospect of triumphantly walking out of your day job to go it alone in the world of business is an alluring one, and every once in a while we have a epiphany on just how we make our million






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Hamleys owner pulls out of “inadvisable” HOF deal

House of Fraser has confirmed reports that Hamleys owner C Banner International Holdings (CBIH) has pulled out of its planned investment in the distressed retailer. In April it was revealed that House of Fraser’s Chinese owner Sanpower signed a memorandum of understanding signifying that it entered into talks with CBIH about a sale of its 89 per cent stake. This afternoon CBIH released a statement revealing that it had pulled out of the deal, stating that “the recent market prices of the Shares as quoted on the Stock Exchange have significantly dropped to a level which is far below the Placing Price range of HK$2.40 to HK$3.00 per Placing Share, the Company and the Placing Agent are of the opinion that the Placing has been rendered impracticable and inadvisable, and therefore no longer intend to proceed with the Placing.” READ MORE: Moody’s judges House of Fraser to be in “technical default” on loans Shortly afterwards House of Fraser released a statement confirming the news that CBIH would no longer continue with the placing, but added that it “is in discussions with alternative investors and is exploring options to obtain the required investment on the same timetable.” It added: “Discussions are ongoing and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.” This follows news that Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley could be considering a rescue bid for the iconic department store.






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Joules defies high street gloom with 18% rise in revenue

Premium lifestyle retailer Joules has managed to defy overlying concerns on the health of the high street by posting an 18.4 per cent rise in revenue for its full financial year. In the 52 weeks to May 27, revenue came in at £185.9 million, up 18.8 per cent in constant currency to £186 million. Underlying profit before tax rose 28.5 per cent to £13 million and underlying EBITDA was up by 24.4 per cent to £21.1 million.






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Hands On with Ikea’s Home Planner

WHAT IS IT? Virtual reality and augmented reality are gradually finding their way into retail, and companies like Ikea are beginning to realise just how much they can add to the retail experience. For retailers who can offer a huge range of options, but rely on massive display units, virtual tools offer a perfect solution






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The Grimsey Review: Would it work?

“There is no point clinging to a sentimental vision of the past.” Bill Grimsey’s second report titled “The Vanishing Highstreet” has received a fairly positive response from the retail sector considering its flagship strategy. The former Wickes and Iceland chief executive released his review earlier this month, proposing 25 changes that need to be made for our high streets to stave off the threat of online shopping and spark a resurgence.






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Embattled Perfect Home sold to Elliott Capital affiliate

Embattled rent-to-own retailer Perfect Home has been sold to Brixworth Investments, safeguarding nearly 300 jobs. Last month the retailer put itself up for sale, drafting in Deloitte to handle the sales process, and was understood to have been valued at around £30 million.






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Short sellers betting against NewRiver quadruple as confidence in retail remains low

Retail property giant NewRiver has seen short sellers ramp up their bets against it in recent months, suggesting a share price drop could be imminent. Major investment funds including Man GLG, Soros Fund Management, CZ Capital, Old Mutual Global Investors and Toscafund Asset Management have all taken significant short positions against the retail estate investment trust. Since last summer the percentage of NewRiver’s stock out on loan, which means it is being shorted by sellers, has more quadrupled from two per cent to eight per cent, according to data from IHS Markit






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Landlords vs CVAs: The battle of UK retail

House of Fraser, Poundworld, Carpetright, Mothercare, The Original Factory Shop, New Look, Select and now probably Homebase.






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Eve Sleep shares crash 60% amid profit warning and CEO departure

Eve Sleep has suffered a massive share price crash as its chief executive quits alongside a profit warning. The online mattress retailer saw share prices dive 60 per cent in morning trading after it announced that sales would come well below expectations, leading to further delays in profitability






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