Following a successful trial apparel and homewares retailer Next is branching out into garden centres. According to the Independent, Next has been planning applications for five new home and garden centres after its first, in Shoreham, West Sussex, proved a hit. The article goes on to say that since opening a year ago, Next's home and garden centre store in West Sussex has delivered higher sales on a Sunday than any of Next's other 500-plus stores in the UK and Ireland.
Red Letter Days, the experience days marketer launched by Rachel Elnaugh and bought out of administration in 2005 by her fellow Dragons’ Den judges Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis, has recorded its second year in profit. The Daily Mail writes that Red Letter Days made a profit of £404,700 in the year ending December 2011, compared with £372,300 the previous year on a turnover of £13 million.
Private equity firm Better Capital has spoken to JJB’s main lender, Lloyds Banking Group, about buying the retailer’s outstanding debt, writes the Telegraph. Earlier this month, American-based Dick’s Sporting Goods was associated with a potential deal.
An analyst at Panmure Gordon has warned that online grocer Ocado is in danger of breaching its banking covenants, reports the Guardian. According to the analyst it is the "beginning of the endgame" for the retailer, which has a "pile of debt and falling market share". In response, Ocado told the newspaper its “existing facilities provide sufficient funding”.
Consumers in Scotland are demanding better parcel delivery options. A survey by Consumer Focus Scotland found that many Scots felt “penalised by high charges and poor service when it comes to parcel delivery”. The findings highlighted a need for more varied collection points, nominated delivery times and the use of smartphone technology to track parcels, reports the BBC.
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