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Internaçionale cuts buying team

Value retailer Internaçionale has made a string of redundancies at its London buying office and appointed a new head of merchandising.

The retailer’s managing director Nigel Fisher confirmed that Internaçionale cut 10 to 12 jobs from its 60-strong buying team last week as part of an efficiency drive.

In an unrelated move, Internaçionale has appointed Anthony Talbot, head of merchandising at branded young fashion chain Republic, to the same role after the departure of temporary head of merchandising John Hannah. Talbot will join next month.

He added that the business remained “financially sound” and was “very bullish” and “hitting targets”. He said there were no supplier payment issues and that the redundancies were “not a reflection of trade”.

Internaçionale was bought out of administration in May 2008 by a firm with links to Indian retail and supply giant SKNL. It subsequently acquired 85 stores from value fashion chain MK One, giving it a 150-store portfolio.

Meanwhile, this week it emerged that fellow value retailer Ethel Austin was this week set to complete a refinancing deal with an unnamed investor.

Elaine McPherson, who bought the retailer out of administration in 2008, is believed to have put £5.5m into the Merseyside-based business. However, Ethel Austin said it was set to expand its 300-store portfolio and denied it was in trouble.

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