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Jan 21, 2015

Bikes, batteries and bulbs boost Halfords Christmas sales

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – British retailer Halfords
, whose boss Matt Davies will leave to take charge of
Tesco’s UK business in June, posted a rise in Christmas
sales thanks to strong demand for car parts, batteries and
children’s bicycles.

Retail sales at stores open for more than a year rose 6.8
percent in the 15 weeks to Jan. 9, the bikes-to-car-parts
retailer said on Wednesday, ahead of an average forecast of 5.9
percent growth according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Jan 18, 2015

UK supermarkets braced for battle as Tesco comes out fighting

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Four months into the job, Tesco
boss Dave Lewis has wasted no time imposing a range of
price cuts and customer service improvements designed to regain
the initiative in a tough market. There are already signs
customers are noticing.

Despite the series of shocks Tesco suffered in the past
year, famously prompting billionaire investor Warren Buffett to
admit buying into the stock was a huge mistake, it remains clear
leader in its home market, lending it the clout to squeeze its
“big four” rivals as well as upstart discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Jan 14, 2015

SuperGroup upbeat after Christmas sales surge

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – SuperGroup, the owner of
clothing brand Superdry, said a bout of cold weather following
an unseasonably warm Autumn had boosted demand for coats and
jumpers, helping its underlying sales to rebound over the
Christmas period.

Shares in the firm, which have almost halved in the last
year, were up 10 percent in early trading.

Jan 13, 2015

Christmas comes too late to save Debenhams from sales fall

LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Debenhams, Britain’s No.2
department stores chain, posted an unexpected fall in
first-quarter sales as a strong Christmas failed to undo the
damage from mild autumn weather.

The firm said on Tuesday UK like-for-like sales for the 19
weeks to Jan. 10 fell 0.8 percent, below analyst expectations
for a 1 percent rise, as demand for winter clothing suffered
from the unseasonal weather that hurt much of the industry.

Jan 8, 2015

Tesco kicks off fightback with cost cuts and asset sales

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco will slash costs and sell assets to fund lower prices and mend its finances, Britain’s biggest retailer said on Thursday, as its new boss set out his plan to fight back from years of market share losses and an accounting scandal.

Dave Lewis, poached from Unilever to rescue Tesco from the biggest crisis in its 96-year history, said on Thursday he would halve capital spending, scrap the dividend, consider the sale of the Dunnhumby data gathering business, consolidate head office locations and shut the final salary pension scheme to save cash.

Jan 8, 2015

Halfords man Davies rides to Tesco’s rescue

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday turned to Halfords (HFD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) CEO Matt Davies as the surprise choice to fix its UK supermarket business, won over by his ability to improve customer service and employee morale.

News of his appointment sent shares in Halfords, where the 43-year-old revitalized a tired car parts to bicycle firm in just over two years, tumbling 8 percent.

Jan 8, 2015

Tesco begins fight back with cost cuts and asset sales

LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest supermarket
group Tesco plans to cut hundreds of millions of pounds
of costs and sell assets to fund lower prices in response to the
biggest crisis in its 95-year-history.

Seeking to recover from four profit warnings and an
accounting scandal, new Tesco boss Dave Lewis unveiled his
strategy in a statement which also showed a marked improvement
in trading over the key Christmas period.

Jan 7, 2015

Profit warning hammers shares in UK retailer

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Shares in British online fashion
retailer plunged by almost half on Wednesday
after fierce discounts across the industry hit sales and forced
it to slash full-year profit forecasts.

The company, which listed on the stock market in March,
blamed price cuts by high street rivals looking to shift jumpers
and coats following a warm autumn season for slowing demand in
the run-up to Christmas.

Dec 22, 2014

Tesco masterplan? New boss keeps investors and staff guessing

LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) – When Phil Clarke was sacked as
Tesco’s CEO, senior executives hoped his 0700 strategy
meetings would go with him. They did – new boss Dave Lewis
starts his at 0630.

Parachuted in from Unilever in September, Lewis
soon faced the task of making the shock announcement that a 250
million pound ($391 million) hole had been found in Tesco’s
profits, in an accounting scandal that led to the departure of
several senior executives.

Dec 19, 2014

Europe beware! Ashley’s Sports Direct is spoiling for a fight

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – “If you don’t want to play, we’ll
come to your country and smash you to bits,” Mike Ashley, the
billionaire founder of British retailer Sports Direct
said earlier this year.

That’s not the language you’d expect from a business leader
laying out plans to expand across Europe.

    • About Neil

      "I'm a company news reporter covering the retail and leisure sectors. Based in London I write on everything from the big retailers to fashion chains, hotels, drinks firms, pubs and coffee shops. I've previously covered the outsourcing sector and before that worked on Reuters sport for three years. You can follow me on Twitter @ReutersMaidment"
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