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Daily Round Up: JD in the running for Blacks; Christian Louboutin red sole dispute rumbles on; Theo Paphitis to expand Boux Avenue; Louis Vuitton sues Warner Bros

From around the web and the nationals

JD SPORTS FASHION is understood to be among the four parties preparing to make their final bids for outdoor retailer Blacks. Bids are due to be submitted to KPMG tomorrow, according to the Financial Times. The bid will put JD head-to-head against rival sports retailer Sports Direct, also understood to be in the final four. Any deal to save the retailer, which operates the Blacks and Millets chains, is likely to be via a pre-pack administration.

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN, the luxury footwear designer, has faced a further blow to its fight against Yves Saint Laurent producing red-soled shoes after a group of law academics backed YSL’s case. In October, Christian Louboutin launched an appeal against a decision by the court not to grant an injunction stopping Yves Saint Laurent making shoes with red soles. Now the group of 11 law professors has filed a brief with the Federal Court of Appeals in Manhattan, in which, they recommend the court should not allow the designer to “monopolise” the colour red. They said the designer’s wish to trademark a particular colour “should be rejected in order to preserve freedom of innovation and competition.”

THEO PAPHITIS, founder of lingerie chain Boux Avenue, has outlined plans to have 30 branches of the chain by 2013 after strong festive trading. According to reports in the Mirror, Paphitis said La Senza staff would be first in line for jobs at new stores as many stores in La Senza’s portfolio face closure. Boux Avenue currently has eight stores.

LOUIS VUITTON, the French luxury label, is suing entertainment company Warner Bros for using fake copies of its bags in the film The Hangover Part II. According to reports in Vogue, Louis Vuitton asked Warner Bros not to feature counterfeit bags made by handbag company Diophy, which is also being sued, as it is a misrepresentation of the product. The company wants all copies of the film removed from sale and also wants a share of profits from the film.

SEARS, the US retail group, has drafted in Ron Boire as merchandising chief as the chain attempts to revive sales, according to reports. Boire, who was previously president and chief executive officer of electronics chain Brookstone, will lead merchandising for the company in a move to revamp its retail experience. In December, the company announced it would close up to 120 stores as like-for-like sales fell 5.2% in the eight weeks to December 25.

SPARTOO, the branded footwear etailer, has reported that its Sale period has so far seen a 500% increase in sales. The etailer is expecting more than 4 million unique visitors on the first day of its Sales for France, on January 11. The company said turnover generated during its Sale period would generate 30% of profits for the year.

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