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What the weekend newspapers said... (November 28-29)

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

The Sunday Times reported that retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis was among the parties considering a rescue deal for Woolworths. The newspaper said several of Woolworths' high street rivals were also circling to pick up stores from the chain, which went into administration last week.

According to the newspaper, members of existing management are working on a deal to save 400 of the 800 or so stores. Private equity companies and hedge funds are also interested but the newspaper said that plans by the retailer's biggest shareholder Ardeshir Naghshineh to turn the business into a John Lewis-style company owned by its employees were unrealistic according to the City.

It said that shopper numbers had increased since the appointment of administrators, with sales up 20% compared with the previous year. Administrators at Deloitte were "confident" a buyer would be found.

The Financial Times reported Leeds-based turnaround investor Endless was another potential buyer for collapse Woolworths, and intended to cherry pick the more profitable stores and or its wholesale arm. Other private equity businesses likely to be interested are Cerberus and Sun European Capital, according to the newspaper.

The Sunday Times also reported that Sara Simmonds, former head menswear denim buyer at Harvey Nichols and founder of denim brand Sharkah Chakra, is looking to raise £1 million to fund expansion of the ethical luxury brand. Simmonds will use the cash for marketing and the extend the brand's international presence, according to the newspaper.

The Financial Times also reported that shares in the investment vehicle of Shami Ahmed, the fashion entrepreneur and founder of the Joe Bloggs brand, were suspended on Friday. It said that shares in Ahmed's Legendary Investments were suspended on AIM, as the company said it may not be able to access most of its cash reserves for several years, following the collapse of its broker Echelon Wealth Management.

Tesco is this week set to reveal its worst sales performance since the early 1990s recession, according to The Observer. Tesco will report that third quarter like-for-like sales grew 1.9%, its worst financial performance since 1992. The figures, due tomorrow, will concern investors as shares have dropped sharply recently, as competition from Asda, Sainsbury's, as well as Aldi and Lidl has increased.

Newspapers including The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph reported that retailers were slashing prices by up to 60% to try a drum up sales. The Daily Telegraph and The Financial Times also said that West End retailers' attempts to boost sales by opening their stores early on Friday failed to encourage shoppers.

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