The best of the fashion business-related headlines from the Bank Holiday weekend newspapers…
The Mail on Sundaysaid that Next would report better-than-expected sales when it reports its first quarter sales on Wednesday. City analysts said that April had been better than expected for clothing retailers and that the first quarter sales drop would be less severe than Next’s forecasts for a 6% decline over the first half. Pali International analyst Nick Bubb told the newspaper: “The question is whether Next will change its profit guidance. The market may get a bit excited too soon.”
The Mail on Sunday also reported that Sports Direct had been ordered to sell some of the 31 stores it had acquired from rival JJB Sports by the Office of Fair Trading. The newspaper said many of the stores, which were transferred to Sports Direct over two year, were in the London area, where Sports Direct dominates the market. The OFT said it had identified five regions where competition may have been lessened.
The Mail on Sunday said that thousands of Sainsbury’s staff were likely to be disappointed with their annual bonus and that some part-time store staff could receive as little at £50 even though the supermarket is expected to report record sales and profits in the next fortnight. The newspaper said that failure to hit targets other than sales - there are other targets around product availability and customer service - could mean some staff receive less than half of their possible windfall. However Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King could receive up to £4 million on top of his salary and benefits.
The Independent on Sunday said that luxury department store Harrods planned to join The Luxury Network, an elite group of businesses that swap marketing ideas and business links. Members include yacht firm Sunseekers and drinks group Moet Hennessy. Membership costs £50,000 annually and the UK network has 57 members.