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Daily Round Up: JD in advanced talks over Blacks; Crombie sales half, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams sales drop expected; Kate Middleton opts for Alice Temperley

From around the web and the nationals:

JD SPORTS FASHION, the sportswear and young fashion giant, is in advanced talks with outdoors retailer Blacks over a deal for its assets. JD issued a statement, which said: “it is in advanced discussions with Blacks in relation to an offer for certain of its assets”. It was reported last week that JD had offered around £20m for the ailing retailer.

CROMBIE, the menswear retailer, made a profit over the last year despite sales halving as the company closed its loss making stores. Sales at the company halved to £2.1m, according to the Telegraph, as it focussed on stockists including Harrods and Liberty while closing its loss making stores. Hartley Investment Trust, Crombie’s parent, made a £118,000 profit last year after reporting a £1.7m loss the year before.

MARKS & SPENCER is expected to report a drop in sales tomorrow when it announces figures for the fourth quarter. According to the Independent on Sunday, it has been forecast that general merchandise sales covering fashion and homewear will drop by 1.5% over the 13 weeks to December 31. Analysts believe than non-food sales could have dropped 2.5% year on year.

DEBENHAMS, the department store chain, is forecast to unveil a 1% drop in sales when it releases its trading update tomorrow. According to the Independent, Debenhams may be aided by its decision to be among the first on the high street to begin its Sale.

KATE MIDDLETON, the Duchess of Cambridge, once again showed her support for British designers when she stepped out in an Alice Temperley dress last night. Middleton opted for a floor length black and nude lace gown for the premier of War Horse.

A SUIT THAT FITS, the tailoring etailer, is to sell the designs of three unknown designers on its website for a year after a competition to find new talent. In May, ten designers were shortlisted to design their own suits to be sold on the A Suit That Fits website for a year, with the designers also receiving 10% of the profits. Over 2,000 people voted. The winners were Tom Evans from Plymouth University, Diana Oancea from Coventry University and Trung Le from the London College of Fashion. Their designs will be sold online from today.

RETAIL SPENDING rose 1.7% in December, according to a study by Mastercard SpendingPulse, equating to a 0.7% decline after allowing for inflation. According to reports in the Times, December’s growth rate was better than November’s 0.8% rise. Director of economic research for SpendingPulse, Kamalesh Rao, said department stores and clothing shops showed the strongest growth. Department store sales rose by 6% in December compared to 2010 and clothing spending grew by 6.3%.

RETAILERS falling into administrations rose in 2011 by 11% according to research by Deloitte. Reports in the Telegraph state that 183 retailers in England and Wales went into administration in 2011, up from 165 in 2010. In the last quarter of last year, 42 stores fell into administration, up more than 25% on the same period last year. Click here for the full story.

 

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