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Daily Round Up: M&S extends opening hours; Li & Fung makes bid for Hong Kong apparel firm; Sewn teams up with Varg

From around the web and the nationals

MARKS & SPENCER is to extend its opening hours in the run up to Christmas, with 242 of its stores across the UK and Ireland open until 10pm or later from today. Twenty-three will stay open until midnight. The retailer has also said that 135 of its stores at BP Connect petrol stations will be open on Christmas Day and 98 full-line stores will be open on Boxing Day.

LI & FUNG RETAILING, part of the Li & Fung global sourcing group, has made a bid to acquire Hong Kong based apparel firm Hang Ten for around HK$2.7bn (£0.22bn), Bloomberg reports. Li & Fung is said to see the deal helping it enter the casual fashion apparel market “with mass appeal” and to increase presence across Taiwan, South Korea, mainland China and South East Asia. Hang Ten operates around 790 stores around Asia under the Hang Ten, H&T, and Arnold Parker brands, as well as distributing the brand in other countries. Li & Fung Group is also the biggest shareholder in luxury menswear merchant Trinity Ltd. and Convenience Retail Asia, the operator of Circle K stores in Hong Kong.

SEWN, the fashion sales agency, and Varg, the fashion PR and sales agency, have announced they will go into partnership from January 2012. Varg will consult across the majority of Sewn’s clients, while Sewn will support Varg’s existing sales division for the autumn 12 season. The two agencies will also launch a joint PR division focusing exclusively on menswear, with clients such as contemporary European menswear label Libertine-Libertine and menswear label Sixpack France.

ROCKET DOG BRANDS, the beach footwear company originating from California, has appointed former Wolverine Worldwide Northern Europe sales director, Derek Bowen, as its European managing director. He will assist with the firm’s overall global business, brand strategy and planning and will lead the company’s sales and marketing efforts in the UK and Europe. Rocket Dog launched in 1997 with its roots in beach footwear but has since introduced casual, dress, sport, sandals, flats, slippers and boots lines, sold in chains, boutiques, independent shops and etailers, priced £15 to £100. Rocket Dog Brands International in Elstree is the international headquarters of parent company Rocket Dog Brands, California.

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