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Daily Round Up: Peacocks; Twitter redesign; West End sales and John Lewis weekly figures

From the nationals and around the web

PEACOCKS, the ailing fashion retailer, is considering closing up to 200 stores, as it seeks to reduce its debt burden, reports The Independent. The group, which has 611 Peacocks and 394 Bonmarché stores, has debts of £240m with a syndicate of banks. A Peacocks spokesman responded to the paper, “We continue our restructuring discussions and plans with no decisions taken at this point.”

TWITTER, the microblogging site used by fashion brands, retailers, bloggers and media, will revamp its site in the coming weeks, according to The Guardian. Fly Twitter, the new version of the site, is based on four areas: Home, Connect, Discover and MeTwitter and features a ‘Discover’ page that shows trending topics and popular discussions from around the web. The Connect tab is home to users’ mentions, retweets and new followers. Twitter has around 300m users.

WEST END SALES in November fell 2.6% year on year, according to the New West End Company, which represents 600 fashion retailers on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street. The wider UK market for non-food sales stands at -2.1% year on year. Unseasonably warm weather was blamed for slow sales in winter stock while poor consumer confidence and the Crossrail development works along Oxford Street were attributed for the dip in sales.  

JOHN LEWIS, the department store, saw sales increase 3.7% so far this week, helped by the biggest ever day of online demand on Monday. In the four days to December 7, party products and stocking-fillers were popular purchases as consumers prepared for Christmas, John Lewis selling operations director David Barford said. On Monday December 5, so-called ‘Mega Monday’, online orders climbed 30% compared to the same day last year and totalled £5.3m.

BURBERRY, Mulberry, Paul Smith and Nicole Farhi are among the 102 fashion labels to have received letters from HM Revenue & Customs warning them about the use of unpaid graduates. The Guardian reports that fashion houses using interns without payment risk prosecution. Enforcement action will begin in the new year.

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