Photo credit: Apple Inc. Apple Inc could be working on a lower-end iPhone as it looks to compete with its aggressively-priced smartphone rivals. According to the Wall Street Journal, people briefed on the matter have said a plan to develop a cheaper device is progressing, with a less expensive version of its flagship iPhone possibly entering the market later this year.
Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5.
The knock-on effect of a slowdown in the global luxury sector is still claiming victims, as a sharp fall in Hugo Boss’ share price saw SVG Capital drop into reverse for its third quarter. Shares in Hugo Boss, SVG’s largest single holding, fell 12 per cent in the last three months, denting SVG’s net asset value with a 4.4 per cent drop to 361.8p a share.
Billabong was this week forced to issue a statement confirming talks are still underway with TPG, over a potential sale of the group. According to the Financial Times, the Australian sportswear retailer denied the deal had been called off, although it did admit TPG had raised concerns over a number of issues during its due diligence investigations of Billabong.
Poundland is set to hire an additional 2,000 seasonal workers over the peak Christmas period, with plans to open ten temporary stores in the run up to 25 December. “Christmas is a really busy time for Poundland and we’re thrilled, especially when employment figures are so low, that we can offer even more people a job over the festive period,” said chief executive Jim McCarthy in a report by the Grocer.
Strong trading in the UK and Europe saw total sales at Primark rise 15 per cent for the year to 15 September. Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) said like-for-like sales at the fast fashion chain had risen 3 per cent over the year. "June, July and August have been great for Primark in the UK.” ABF finance director John Bason said on Monday.
New leadership and a strenghtened growth strategy has given analysts and investors renewed confidence in the Debenhams, with Singer Capital Markets this morning raising its target price for the retailer. The upgrade comes after analysts and investors were invited to visit with management on Friday at Debenhams’ Milton Keynes store, where it was able to showcase a number of strategic changes made to the business during the down-turn.
Analysts see surprise jump in UK inflation as clothing retailers cut down on seasonal discounts. Consumer price inflation rose 2.6 per cent from 2.4 per cent in June, in an unexpected turn for economists who had forecast a fall. The Office for National Statistics attributed the jump to a rise in airfares (growing 21.7 per cent month-on-month), housing costs and less discounting by retailers in the wake of bad weather.
International visitors to the UK spent more than £450 million on Visa cards in the first week of the Olympic Games, up 8 per cent from levels a year before. Visa said tourists shelling out on restaurants, nightclubs, theatres and London’s key attractions had helped the boost in spending.
It’s bad news for Boden and Marks & Spencer after the retailers came in last and second last place respectively in a survey to determine the best ‘value for money’ clothing brand in the UK. As part of research conducted by GfK, shoppers were asked to choose the best ‘value for money’ and ‘design and quality’ from a range of seven fashion retailers.
Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s have all announced cuts to fuel prices as retailers look to “bring a smile back” to the nation’s shoppers. From Tuesday, Asda customers will pay no more than 127.7p for a litre of petrol and 132.7p for diesel. Sainsbury’s will also reduce its fuel prices “by up to 2p per litre”.
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