The best of the fashion-business related headlines from the weekend newspapers…
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer will start the search for a new chief executive in September, making it likely that executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose will leave the company early next year, according to The Sunday Times. The newspaper reported that M&S had been inundated with calls from headhunters looking to win the search contract to find Rose’s replacement. It added that M&S planned to start the search after the summer which was likely to mean Rose was almost certain to leave a year earlier than the previously agreed to 2011.
M&S shareholders will vote on a resolution to force Rose to split his combined role of chairman and chief executive, which is seen as a breach of good corporate governance practice, at its annual meeting next month.
Supergroup, the owner of young fashion brand Superdry said it would consider floating the company next year after the crucial Christmas trading period. According to The Sunday Times the group tried to sell a minority stake last year but failed to agree a deal. It has received five preliminary approaches in the last two months and could still consider a part sale of the business instead of a float.
Underlying profits at lifestyle retailer White Stuff rose 42% to £13.3 million for the year to April 26, The Sunday Times reported. Total sales at the 60-strong chain were up 34% to £58.4m for the period. Home shopping sales were up 70%. Margins increased by 1.3%.
White Stuff will open 30 more stores over the next three years. Chief executive Sally Bailey said that the business would not revisit plans to sell off a stake in the business, which were put on hold last year because of the economic downturn.
The Independent reported that Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey and finance director Bob Mellors have recently been appointed as directors of 40 newly-formed companies called Project J Newco, with numbers one through to 40 at the end of each. All of the companies are registered at the same address as Sports Direct. The retailer declined to tell the newspaper the purpose of the new companies.
The Daily Mail reported that New Look is charging an extra £2 for jeans in size 18 and above. It says that New Look’s Hula bootcut jeans cost £10, but that the same jeans as part of its Inspire plus size ranges, for sizes from 18-26, are £12.
A New Look spokesman said that the retailer occasionally had to pass on the extra cost of making larger clothes to customers.
Burberry chairman John Peace and deputy chairman of Thomson Reuters Niall Fitzgerald have been short listed to take on the chairman role at supermarket giant Sainsbury’s when Sir Philip Hampton stands down from the role. According to The Sunday Times, the preferred candidate is expected to be chosen by the retailer’s annual meeting on July 15.
Mamas & Papas
Maternity retailer Mamas & Papas plans to accelerate its store opening plans after strong fashion sales growth at the company, according to The Times.
The 36-store retailer will open at least four stores in the autumn in as yet unnamed locations. Mamas & Papas said that like-for-like sales of maternity fashion rose 28% from the beginning of February to the end of June.