Forté has announced plans to hive off the management of its restaurant businesses, which include Little Chef and Happy Eater, and to sell its 68 per cent stake in the Savoy Group. (See page 8, George Pitcher, page 29.)
Barclays Financial Services’ managing director Ken Bignall is leaving when it ceases to operate as a separate business unit in January. The changes in structure within the group mean that Barclays Life now reports to UK Banking Services.
Habitat has promoted Cliff Burrows as md to replace Vittorio Radice, who is moving to Selfridges to become md. Burrows was new markets and franchises operations director of Habitat International. (See page 9)
Whitbread is to run two hotels from County Hall, former headquarters of the Greater London Council. It will open an American Marriott and a Travel Inn at the site in 1997.
Somerfield is throwing its weight behind Argos Premier Points with the national launch of the scheme in 100 of its stores. The chain has tested the Premier Points scheme in 8 of its stores over the past year. Under the scheme, shoppers collect points according to how much they spend. Points can also be collected at Mobil petrol stations and at Argos stores.
ITN is under threat of strike action by broadcast union BECTU following the collapse of pay negotiations.
Natwest Bank’s direct banking service Primeline is being rolled-out nationally from the new year, supported by below-the-line promotional activity.
Going Places has decided to rebrand its Northern Ireland shops, which currently trade under the McCalla name. The chain of 21 outlets was added to the Going Places chain in July, bringing the total to 707.
Harrods has severed a 50-year link with Thomas Cook after deciding to drop the travel shop from its Knightsbridge store in favour of bringing in British Airways as a more upmarket brand. It is believed that the decision to drop Thomas Cook was made because it was ‘too downmarket’ and the BA name better fitted into the store’s format. (See page 7.)
Oracle, the computer company, has appointed Steve Garnett as vice president of marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was previously vice president of alliances for Europe.
ISBA director general John Hooper has joined the board of HelpAd, the fundraising scheme launched by the International Red Cross to raise funds through encouraging brands to promote themselves on-pack through partnerships with complementary products.