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Thorntons issues profit warning, hopes to break even for 2012 Wednesday, 21st December 2011
Thorntons has issued a profit warning, blaming weak consumer confidence and high levels of promotional activity. The much-loved chocolate maker is now predicting it will break even in the 53 weeks to 30 June 2012. But that forecast excludes exceptional items and “onerous leasing charges” made on closed stores, which was one of the factors Thorntons blamed for its loss in the last financial year.
HMV loses £36m as sales slump Monday, 19th December 2011
HMV sales and profits have fallen yet again, as the retailer continued its store refit to focus on selling electronic goods. Like-for-like sales, which do not include the effect of store closures, were down 11.6 per cent for the 26 week to October. HMV made a loss before tax of £36.4 million, £9 million worse than the same period last year.
Liz Claiborne posts encouraging Q3 profit Wednesday, 9th November 2011
Liz Claiborne Inc posted an adjusted quarterly profit after the sale of its non-core brands. Recently the firm has been seen to streamline operations by selling, licensing or closing a number of its underperforming wholesale brands to focus its attention on its own brand and retail stores. The company, which owns Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and kate space earned USD 2 million in the third quarter or 2 cents a share from continuing operations, compared with a loss from continuing operations of USD 42 million, or 45 cents a share last year.
Inflation busting British businesses with £10.6bn yearly loss Monday, 26th September 2011
Research released this morning reveals sky high inflation is costing British businesses £10.6 billion a year. According to a report by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young, low interest rates and strong inflation are eroding companies’ bank deposits. “While many larger corporations may have treasury departments responsible for managing the company’s cash, most small businesses cannot afford this luxury,” said Derek Levy, a partner at UHY Hacker Young.
Gieves & Hawkes sells Saville Row flagship store for £8.5m Monday, 19th September 2011
The Saville Row menswear retailer has sold its freehold on 1 Saville Row for £8.5 million to a group controlled by parent company Wing Tai properties. The news comes after Gieves & Hawkes was forced to close eight of its concessions, seven on which were in House of Fraser. The retailer now operates just four concessions in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols as well as ten stores.
'Dowry’ sale would make Comet “worthless” Friday, 16th September 2011
Activist shareholder Knight Vinke is expected to block the sale of loss-making electricals retailer Comet if owner Kesa agrees to pay a buyer to take it off its hands.
Private equity bidders Hilco and OpCapita are said to be pushing for a dowry payment of up to £200 million if they are to purchase the retailer. The fund would cover Comet’s £40 million pension deficit and furnish working capital. But Knight Vinke has not taken kindly to the offer, and could object to the sale.
"What they are saying is Comet is more than worthless; some shareholders could find that hard to swallow," said David Jeary at Investec.
Sources close to the company say Knight Vinke could settle for a nominal £1 in the sale, but on principal will not agree to a dowry.
As Kesa’s largest shareholder with a 20 per cent stake in the company, Knight Vinke has also been campaigning for Comet to demerge with sister retailer Darty, its more successful French counterpart.
Paradise lost: Arcadia Group makes redundancies Monday, 12th September 2011
The British high street heavy weight will be forced to make a number of redundancies at its head office as tough trading continues.
Arcadia, which employs 45,000, is likely to cut around 90 jobs out of about 3,000 across its five head office locations, most of which are in London.
A spokesperson for Arcadia said staff at the retail giant were informed about the anticipated job losses last week, which will mostly affect support roles and not store staff.
According to the source Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green came to the decision with the company’s directors that creating greater efficiencies were essential in the light of some of the most difficult trading conditions in memory.
Even with the cuts, Arcadia will continue to expand with its new US flagship Topshop and Topman opening in Chicago this week.
DIY retailers band together to combat thieves Tuesday, 23rd August 2011
Some of the top retailers in the DIY and building trade have banded together to form the DIY and Loss Prevention Forum in an effort to quell theft and shrinkage levels from their stores and yards.
The retailers include B&Q, Homebase, Travis Perkins and SELCO – each will use the forum to share best practice and data. They will also work to influence relevant organizations at local and national level to reduce the risk of criminal activity and fraud.
Theft of copper piping is becoming increasingly commonplace, as is the risk of so-called “drive offs” - when thieves masquerading as tradesmen take advantage of the yards by loading up lorries and then drive away without paying.
The driving force of the Forum will be the protection of people and property. In the case of the former, this refers to both customers and staff members.
The new forum will be facilitated by Anne Davies of loss prevention specialists ORIS. Davis has said: “The size of the premises and the staff required to offer customer service, present a number of challenges in terms of security and compliance and, like with the other sector-specific Loss Prevention forums that we facilitate regularly, it is encouraging to see the sector working on those issues in a collaborative fashion.”
Price cuts hit Carpetright where it hurts Wednesday, 3rd August 2011
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="460" caption="Lord Harris of Peckham poses with his company's discounted products"][/caption]
Carpetright has suffered from the stagnant progress in the retail industry and sales, for the moment, mostly come from discounted carpets and floor tiles which ultimately serve to trim the company's profit forecasts.
Group sales fell by 1.5 per cent in the 12 weeks to 23 July, with UK sales falling 2.3 per cent. On a like-for-like (LFL) basis UK sales fell by 0.2 per cent, a significant improvement on a decline of 6.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
The company discounted the price of underlay and grippers which usually bring in the most money. This, coupled with the sale of barely profitable beds, have led to the company lowering its profit expectations by 2 percentage points this year. Seymour Pierce said it could shave up to £5 million off of its forecast of £16.5 million.
Lord Harris of Peckham, the chairman and chief executive of Carpetright, has warned that conditions will continue to be tough. "Looking forward, I see no respite from the challenging environment over the next year," he said.
HMV heads deeper underground with 61% drop in profit Thursday, 30th June 2011
The struggling British music and entertainment retailer said profit before tax came in at £28.9 million in the 53 weeks to 30 April.
After tax and non-cash impairment charges from the assets it has been selling to secure a future on the high street, HMV fell to a loss of £121.7 million.
The 90 year old group has already issued four profit warnings this year, as the chain struggles to deal with the rise of digital downloading and online price competition. As the full effects of a battered consumer confidence climate comes into play for 2011, HMV has become the poster-boy of recession woes. The high street staple admitted this week it expected trading conditions to remain tough with a 61 percent drop in annual profit.
A statement from HMV this morning noted: "We continue to operate in a challenging macro environment, and the core retail markets in which HMV trades also remain difficult, however, we have taken decisive action to restructure the group, and have a clear strategy for transforming HMV into a broad-based entertainment business."
Shares for HMV came down by 78 percent in the past year, closing at 10 pence on Wednesday and valuing the business at £48.5 million.