The best of the fashion business headlines from the weekend newspapers…
The Financial Times said that John Lewis would match discounts at rival retailers. The newspaper reported that the department store group’s managing director Andy Street promised to match price cuts even if it cut into margins. He said that John Lewis would not discount but would match other retailers’ price cuts on the same items, and that the retailer would follow if other stores go on Sale early in the run up to Christmas.
The Mail on Sunday said that Littlewoods Shop Direct was in consultation with up to 400 of its staff over proposed redundancies. Littlewoods told the newspaper the job cuts were part of an ongoing restructuring plan to shift the business away from catalogues towards the internet.
The Sunday Telegraph said that key lenders to the struggling Woolworths chain had called in restructuring firm Deloitte to represent them in negotiations with the retailer ahead of its December deadline to finalise its new business plan. The newspaper reported that Burdale Financial, a division of Bank of Ireland and GMAC Commercial Finance had appointed Deloitte. Burdale and GMAC agreed a £385 million loan to Woolworths last January which is secured against a range of assets including stock.
The Observer said that UK business failures would rise by 50% this year. Fabrice Desnos, the chief executive of the world’s biggest credit insurer Euler Hermes UK, told the newspaper that insolvencies would increase by a third again in 2009. Euler Hermes has already axed cover on Woolworths and Baugur-linked retail chains