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The weekend newspaper round up: December 11 to 12, 2010

A round up of the best fashion business stories from the weekend’s newspapers.

  • A new report has claimed that high street retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Next, Monsoon, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins have used factories which exploit their workers, The Observer has reported. The report by anti-poverty campaigners War on Want and Labour Behind the Label found that some workers were paid less than £60 a month while in one factory were being forced to regularly forced to work until 2am to produce clothes for British shoppers.
  • Marks & Spencer is in talks to open a 1,000 sq metre, three-storey clothes store on the Champs-Elysées, Paris as part of its latest European strategy put in place by its new chief executive, the Independent on Sunday reported. It will will be smaller than previous European shops.
  • Ben Luscombe, the owner of young fashion chain Henleys Clothing is understood to have paid himself £10m for the year to March 31, up from £6.1m the previous year, according to The Sunday Times. During the period pre-tax profit slipped back from £4.8m to £2.2m while sales were up 22% to £41.5m.
  • Sports Direct shop-floor staff and bosses are on track to receive a bonus worth up to 75% of their salary in shares, the retailer is expected to say this Thursday, according to the Sunday Express. The sportswear retailer is expected to disclose first-half earnings of more than £100m, half the £205m target required for the reward to be activated.
  • SuperGroup, owner of young fashion brand Superdry, is poised to announce another rise in profit and further expansion when it posts half-year results on Thursday, the Independent reported. Last year the group trebled its profits to £22m and analysts expect more than £40m this year, on sales of more than £210m, the Observer reported. The retailer is planning more stores in America, and in the Middle and Far East.
  • JJB Sports’ largest shareholder is “ready, willing and able” to provide the ailing retailer with additional equity as the company faces the prospect of breaking its banking covenants early next year, the FT Weekend reported. David Herro, chief investment officer with the Harris Associates, said the US fund was willing to provide the funds JJB Sports needed to avoid problems with its lenders and overhaul its stores.
  • A record number of stores will open 24 hours a day in the run-up to Christmas, amid evidence that the big freeze has stopped shoppers making purchases, the Mail on Sunday reported. Some Marks & Spencer and Asda stores are expected to open 24 hours a day and Tesco and Sainsbury’s are extending their trading hours.

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