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Poundland owners eye £600m sale Tuesday, 7th May 2013
Photo credit: Poundland
Poundland owners Warburg Pincus are reportedly considering a sale for the budget retailer, in a deal that could be worth £600 million.
The Daily Express on Tuesday reported Warburg Pincus, a private equity group which bought Poundland for £200 million back in 2010, is now looking to sell the retailer on the back of a boom in business for value household goods.
Poundland has 450 stores in the UK, and is expected to open another 60 during the current financial year, with the view to have 1,000 in operation in the next five to 10 years.
Primark “fully aware of responsibility”, to pay victims of Bangladesh factory tragedy Tuesday, 30th April 2013
Photo credit: My Retail Media
Primark has announced it will provide compensation to victims of the factory collapse in Bangladesh last week that has since claimed the lives of almost 400 people.
The fast-fashion retailer urged other businesses that have been linked to the factory in Savar to do the same, as questions are raised over the responsibility of brands to ensure the ethical treatment of workers at every stage of their supply chains.
In a statement on Monday, Primark said its team in Bangladesh had been working on both immediate and long-term aim for victims of the disaster, adding: “We have partnered with a local NGO to address the immediate needs of victims, including the provision of emergency food aid to families. This initiative began in Bangladesh immediately the extent of the disaster became clear.
“Primark will also pay compensation to the victims of this disaster who worked for its supplier. This will include the provision of long-term aid for children who have lost parents, financial aid for those injured and payments to the families of the deceased.”
The announcement comes as police arrested Mohammed Sohel Rana, one of the owners of the eight story Rana Plaza factory, as he tried to flee into India. According to reports, Rana is alleged to have insisted workers return to the factory after cracks in the structure were first noticed early last week.
Protests were held outside Primark’s flagship Oxford Street store on Saturday as two other owners of the factory, Mahbubur Rahman Tapas and Balzul Samad Adnan turned themselves in to police before being charged with causing "death due to negligence”.
Speaking on its role as one of the companies the factory supplied to, Primark went on to state: “We shall be reviewing our commitments constantly to ensure that they meet the needs of the victims as the tragedy continues to unfold.
“Primark notes the fact that its supplier shared the building with those of other retailers. We are fully aware of our responsibility. We urge these other retailers to come forward and offer assistance.”
Wal-Mart to begin Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving Thursday, 8th November 2012
A Wal-Mart customer purchases a new television during 2011's Black Friday event. Photo credit: Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The equivalent of Britain’s Boxing Day sales, America’s Black Friday deals have in recent years become something of a festive tradition with shoppers on the hunt for a bargain in the run up to Christmas.
But this year, Wal-Mart is set to take the holiday ritual even further, as it announced on Thursday it would begin the sale at 8pm on Thanksgiving, two hours earlier than the year before.
With scenes of shoppers queuing round the block and mayhem in stores going viral after 2011’s Black Friday, it seems Wal-Mart is keen to begin the offers even earlier, so shoppers can get back to their Thanksgiving celebrations and preparation for the Christmas holiday.
Duncan MacNaughton, Wal-Mart's chief merchandising officer, said the decision was based on customer feedback. "Our customers told us they wanted to shop earlier this year, and go to bed earlier," he said.
As the world’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart’s move is likely to set a precedent with other retailers in the run-up to peak trading.
99p stores to add 100 new stores and 3,000 new jobs Tuesday, 17th July 2012
With business booming and 100 new stores in the pipe line, fixed-price retailer 99p stores has announced it will create 3,000 new jobs over the next two years.
The two year expansion plan will see total outlets reach around 300 stores, and mean taking on about 3,000 new members of staff.
BRC figures show discount backlash Wednesday, 6th June 2012
Photo credit: My Retail Media
The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen found shop price inflation rose to 1.5 per cent in May from 1.3 per cent in April, as retailers looked to protect their businesses from “margin-sapping discounts”.
In line with industry expectations, the BRC said the growth in inflation reflects an increasing reluctance among non-food retailers to engage in aggressive discounts. Annual food inflation remained steady at 4.3 per cent, although Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, warned “future supply shocks” for the sector were still a possibility.
"For the fourth month in a row non-food goods are cheaper than they were a year ago, chiefly thanks to price cutting on clothing, footwear and electricals. But some prices are moving upwards as retailers struggle to maintain the margin-sapping discounts which reached unsustainable levels in the face of weak consumer spending. That's seen overall shop price inflation edge up slightly.” Robertson said.
Mike Watkins, senior manager of retailer services at Nielsen added: “The stabilisation of food prices is providing a welcome respite. There are also some other savings for shoppers with many supermarkets continuing to offer fuel discounts or cash savings on future shopping at the checkout."
Morrisons feels the heat in £1.5 bn round of Iceland bids Monday, 23rd January 2012
Morrisons will be feeling the pressure this week as it considers an offer for the second round of bidding for Iceland Foods, the up-for-sale frozen food specialist.
Five parties are said to be working through bids that could reach up to £1.5 billion, with Morrisons joining Bain Capital and BC Partners in the auction process.
With the 31 January deadline looming, a number of firms were said to be active in the “data room” at Iceland last week, examining the books ahead of round two.
UK now has more pound shops than bookstores Monday, 21st November 2011
Ellwood Books in Salisbury, which closed in 2009. Photograph by Sam Frost
British high street has swapped books for bargains in the past year, with figures from the Local Data Company reporting that for the first time the nation now has more pound shops than book shops.
It’s yet another sign of how dramatically the high streets in many UK towns have been forced to change and adapt to the economic slowdown. With retailers facing some of the toughest trading conditions for a generation many have been forced to shut up shop, as pound stores and other discount outlets step in to fill vacant sites on retail parks and high streets.
In the year to the end of October there was a 14.2 per cent increase in pound shops, taking its total to 3,005 according to research conducted for the Daily Telegraph by the Local Data Company, which tracks shop numbers in 487 town centres.
There are currently only 2,705 book shops in the same areas, having suffered from a decade of unrelenting competition from supermarkets and internet retailers such as Amazon.
Matthew Hopkinson at the Local Data Company said: “'Pound shops have taken advantage of the growth in value spend by consumers and the availability of space due to all time high vacancy rates which in return means much lower rents. Previously unaffordable locations in good pitches are now the home to many of these shops who compete head on with the supermarkets and other established retailers such as Boots and Superdrug.”
Last month Poundland posted a record turnover of £642 million, up 26 per cent on the year to the end of March. Underlying operating profit rose 34 per cent to £31.7 million.
Tougher than Oxbridge: Primark gets 8 candidates to every job Thursday, 10th November 2011
Even the UK’s most prestigious universities don’t have to deal with applications like Primark.
The business received nearly 4,500 applications for 557 retail and management positions at its new store in Edinburgh, on the city’s Princes Street.
All positions have now been filled and staff training has begun in time for the store opening on 10 December at 09:00.
The new store will be Primark’s 19th in Scotland.
"We have recruited a total of 557 management and staff in our Princes Street store and received almost 4,500 applications for these positions.
"The new store, which covers 75,000 sq ft of retail space over five floors, will bring strong economic benefits to the city and will also help revitalise the shopping experience in the city centre.
"We have also worked closely with the Edinburgh City Council towards its 'string of pearls' vision for Princes Street."
Tom Buchanan, Edinburgh City council's economic development committee convener, said: "The new Primark store is an exciting flagship development for the city which is eagerly anticipated by many shoppers in the area.
"Clearly, it's also very attractive to jobseekers and I'm pleased that there's been such a strong level of interest.
"Both the development of the store and the ongoing employment it will provide are of great economic benefit to Edinburgh."
The value retailer currently operates 226 shops in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium.
Primark profit drops 8% Tuesday, 8th November 2011
The value clothing retailer saw profits drop 8 per cent for the year to 17 September hit by high cotton prices and the 20 per cent VAT increase in January.
Primark said it “chose to forfeit increased profitability for the support of its loyal customer base” by absorbing the cost of rising raw material prices. This move pushed its adjusted profit from £335 million in 2010 down to £309 million for the year.
Revenue jumped 13 per cent to £3 billion as like-for-like sales increased 3 per cent.
The retailer opened 19 stores in the period, bringing its total to 223 with eleven new stores in the UK.
Owner Associated British Foods said it would continue to expand the Primark chain at a similar rate in 2012, adding a second store on Oxford Street as well as a new distribution centre in northern continental Europe.
Iceland Foods creates 200 new jobs with Irish store openings Thursday, 3rd November 2011
Iceland Foods has announced it will create 200 new jobs as it opened its fifth store in Ireland.
The frozen food specialist will spend EUR 3 million on expanding into Ireland, as it looks to open three more stores during November, along with further additions announced in the first quarter of next year.
The new Coolock shop in Dublin will provide 40 new jobs, and will later be joined by outlets in Clonmel, Ashbourne and Carlow.
''Today's announcement will see us commit to €3m in terms of store leases, fit outs and the creation of 200 jobs,'' commented Iceland's CEO Tom Keogh. ''These jobs have been created directly from the immediate area where each store is located,'' he added.
Iceland is also creating new jobs at its distribution centre and operation’s base in Rathcoole, in Co Dublin.