Newspaper retail round-up

A roundup of stories from the newspapers this week… JJB, Morrisons, HMV, Primark, Waterstone’s, Boots.

The Financial Times:

JJB seeks rent cuts in restructuring

Troubled sports retailer proposes that landlords at a third of its estate dramatically reduce rents under a restructuring plan that has been formally submitted to lenders.

Morrisons poised for £1bn share buy-back

The retailer is preparing to announce next week that it is returning about £1bn to shareholders. The plan will be unveiled in the retailer’s full-year results that are also expected to outline a pick-up in trading at the group over the past month.

HMV lenders set to appoint Deloitte over debt talks

Lenders to the embattled music and entertainment retailer, including state-backed banks RBS and Lloyds, are about to appoint Deloitte to advise them in talks over the group’s debts.

Alliance Boots strikes deal with Carrefour

The pharmacy chain will produce beauty products for the world’s second biggest supermarket group, while the parties seek to explore healthcare partnerships in emerging markets.

Waterstone’s in title fight on high street

The book trade has had a tumultuous couple of weeks since Russian investor Alexander Mamut, who holds a 6% share in HMV, instructed Credit Suisse to advise him on a potential acquisition of Waterstone’s.

Primark slowdown bodes ill for high street

Primark has suffered its first slowdown in UK sales growth for five years, raising investor concerns about the stark deterioration in overall consumer spending since the start of the year.

The Guardian:

Supermarket food prices face investigation

Britain’s supermarkets could face a government inquiry for raising food prices above the rate of inflation, city experts have warned.

HMV shares plunge on new profits warning

HMV shares dropped by 5p to 15.75p as it warned the City that earnings for the current year would be below expectations, raising fresh doubts over the company’s prospects.

Fairtrade’s annual sales defy recession to pass £1bn

Sales of Fairtrade goods have broken the £1bn barrier despite fears that recessionary pressures would persuade British consumers to put price before ethics.

Tobacco firms accused of funding campaign to keep cigarettes on display

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents’ campaign against the tobacco display ban is being influenced by the tobacco industry, says trade body’s ex-leader.

The Telegraph:

Swannell quits as chair of HMV

Robert Swannell, the Marks & Spencer chairman, has stepped down as the chairman of HMV Group, the troubled entertainment retailer, saying that the role was taking up too much time.

Tesco joint venture to build three malls in China

Tesco, the world’s third-biggest retailer, has signed a joint venture to build three more shopping malls in China as part of its plans to rapidly expand in the world’s most populous country.

The Daily Mail:

High street fashions cost more in UK

Global fashion chains such as Zara, Ralph Lauren and Forever 21 are allegedly ripping off British shoppers with huge price mark-ups.

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