The British Retail Consortium is likely to say that like-for-like sales on the high street rose by between 2% and 3% in September this year compared to a rise of 1.8% in August, according to The Sunday Telegraph. However store chiefs believe underlying conditions remain tough and are already preparing for a difficult Christmas trading period. "Over August and September we have seen widespread promotional activity and discounting. I don't think there has ever been quite so much activity. The BRC-KPMG monthly sales figures will not at all be an indication of how the next two months are going to be," Kevin Hawkins, director general of the BRC told the newspaper.
The Sunday Telegraph also reported that Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose had pushed through a major internal restructuring at the store group. Rose has cut the number of top regional executives at M&S from nine to five. He has also reorganised the international stores along geographic lines. The changes thought to be designed to simplify the lines of communication at the most senior level of M&S. The Sunday Telegraph has also learned that two of the nine divisional executives affected by the changes are leaving the retailer. Peter Brigden, who only joined M&S in February this year, is quitting to join Wyevale Garden Centres, while Allan Molloy, another divisional executive, will join Primark after a period of gardening leave.
The Observer said that private equity firm 3i is thought to be among the parties taking a peek at lingerie firm Agent Provocateur as its celebrity founders review its ownership. The prospect of a sale was raised when estranged husband and wife team Serena Rees and Vivienne Westwood’s son Joe Corre drafted in former Lambert Howarth chief executive Garry Hogarth as potential investor and consultant last year.
Littlewoods Shop Direct plans to slash a 10th of jobs from its head office at Speke Liverpool before Christmas. As many as 200 jobs will be lost as part of a merger of its Additions and Marshall Ward catalogues said the Mail on Sunday.