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What the weekend newspapers said (November 15-16)

The best of the fashion business related headlines from the weekend newspapers...

The Observer said that Next was planning a round of job cuts in the new year to prepare for a grim 12 months of trading in 2009. The newspaper said that the number of positions under review was unclear but that it was expected to affect staff in support roles rather than store staff.

The Sunday Times reported that Whistles chief executive Jane Shepherdson was in talks with the chain's financial backers to secure more than £1 million of working capital to cope with the withdrawal of credit insurance for the business. The newspaper said that talks with investor Baugur and other minority investors in the business remained at a "delicate stage". Whistles was hit by the withdrawal of credit insurance after the collapse of Icelandic bank Glitnir, which held a stake in Whistles and which provided its loan facilities.

The Sunday Times also reported that Tesco had teamed up with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group to launch a kidswear collection called My Favourite Things. The collection is based on the Sound of Music musical and features long sleeved T-shirts with "Raindrops on Roses" slogans and a Whiskers on Kittens velour hooded dress.

The Sunday Times also forecasted that Burberry will report a small rise in operating profits this week. The newspaper said first-half earnings were likely to come in at the top end of the £91 million to £98m consensus range - ahead of the £95.1m operating profit achieved over the same period last year.

The Sunday Express said that Michael Gee, one of the family shareholders in Moss Bros, would welcome a bid for the menswear chain from Sir Philip Green at the right price. Gee told the newspaper, "He is a retail genius." Gee added that he would consider buying the Cecil Gee chain his father founded from Moss Bros if Green went ahead with a full bid for the menswear group.

The Independent on Saturday said that Ethel Austin had secured a new credit facility that would enable it to trade directly with overseas suppliers. Ethel Austin director David Thompson told the newspaper, "We have no debt, cash in the bank and we acquired the retailer with £35m of retail stock, which we used to generate working capital."

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