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Daily Round Up: Inditex profits rise; Sports Direct rescuers emerge; Lord Sugar calls on Government to fund incubator factories

From around the web and the nationals

INDITEX, the Spanish clothing retail group, has reported a 10% rise in profits for the first nine months of this year, helped by expansion in Asia and online sales, reports the BBC. Net income was €1.3bn (£1.09bn) up from €1.17bn (£0.98bn) last year. Net sales rose by 10% to £8.16bn. The company said it was not raising prices and its plan for opening more stores was “on track”. Inditex said it had launched Zara in Taiwan, South Africa and Azerbaijan. It also began online sales in Japan in the last financial quarter. Other Inditex brands include Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti and Bershka.

SPORTS DIRECT, the sportswear retail, has emerged as a front runner to rescue outdoor retailer Blacks Leisure, with sports and outdoor specialists Go Outdoors and Mountain Warehouse also in the running. Blacks Leisure, which put itself on the market last week after it failed to gain support for its latest fundraising from shareholders and new investors, has confirmed that Sports Direct, “amongst a number of others”, have expressed an interest in buying it.

LORD ALAN SUGAR, the celebrity businessman, has called on the Government to apportion some of its £125m Advance Manufacturing Supply Chain Fund to finance incubator factories in industrial units so that start up business can manufacture products in the UK, according to reports.

SCOTTISH RETAIL sales in November fell at their steepest rate since 1999, with total sales down 1.3% year-on-year as consumers put off their Christmas shopping. Like-for-like sales dropped 2.1% against a year ago, which is the worst fall since August, data from the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and KPMG showed.

GLOBAL COTTON DEMAND has dropped due to ongoing economic uncertainty and shift to man-made alternatives, according to revised data by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Demand dropped by another 2.6% to 111.3m bales in the 2011/12 season, which began on 1 August, down from the previous projection of 114.3m bales.

VIVOBAREFOOT – a footwear range dubbed the “barefoot lifestyle brand ” – will open a pop-up store on London’s Great Marlborough Street. The shop will sell the brand’s performance, lifestyle and kids products with patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant soles. The thinking behind the brand is that because 70% of your brain’s information for movement comes from the nerves on the soles of your feet, the more you can feel the ground, the greater your body’s understanding of its surroundings and natural movement. The pop-up shop will offer consumers a ‘barefoot consultation’ as part of the retail experience.

FOOTFALL figures dipped 2.7% year on year for the week commencing December 4, although figures were 2.4% stronger than the previous week, according to data from market research firm Synovate. Due to harsh weather in the North of the UK footfall figures dropped 15.4% year on year in Scotland and Northern Ireland but shopper numbers in London and South East England grew by 9%.




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