Asda was mulling a bid for catalogue group N Brown, writes the Telegraph. It is understood that the Walmart-owned supermarket considered making a £1 billion takeover bid of the plus-size apparel specialist. The newspaper reports that executives from N Brown “held several conversations” and a meeting with Asda, “but since then N Brown and Asda's American owners have dropped the takeover plan”.
Although sales of consumer electronics improved in the period, Argos says it wasn’t enough to completely offset declines in the TV, audio and video gaming categories. The retailer recorded a like-for-like sales decline of 0.2 percent to £819 million in the first quarter. In the 13 weeks to 2nd June, sister company Homebase saw sales decline 8.1 percent to £421 million. It blamed the poor weather conditions for slow sales of seasonal merchandise.
Claire Harper, formerly marketing director at Mamas & Papas, and Lee Williams, who has held finance roles at Comet, Woolworths and Tesco, have launched an online store selling childrenswear. The new site, IndiaCoco, is named after the couple’s two daughters and stocks brands including Ilovegorgeous and Frugi. The founders say they have ambitious plans for growth, with both an online and offline presence planned for the business. Initially launching online, the first IndiaCoco store will open during 2013 and roll out across the UK in “community-based” locations.
Andy Hornby, the former chief executive of Alliance Boots, has joined online chemist Pharmacy2U as nonexecutive chairman, writes the Guardian.
Fun fact about Angus Thirlwell of Hotel Chocolat—he gets mistaken for Sting. The Financial Mail has more on his recipe for success.
The Telegraph interviews Steve Lewis, chief executive of Majestic Wines, which yesterday toasted a profits growth of 14.5 percent.
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