Cath Kidston stake bought asian private equity firm

Baring Private Equity Asia acquires ‘substantial’ part of £250m brand, with Kidston and chief executive retaining minority share

Cath Kidston, the high street queen of florals, has banked a second fortune from her eponymous homewares empire.

The London-based designer and her business partners TA Associates are in line for multimillion-pound payouts after selling a “substantial” number of shares to an Asian private equity house. It is the second time the entrepreneur, famous for her chintzy fabrics and retro kitchenware, has sold down her stake in the company.

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Ronny Gottschlich: Lidl’s boss hopes to go a long way in the British market

Champagne, fancy cheese and even lower prices are on the menu as the discounter takes on the big four grocers

The rise of the discount grocers is starting to make a serious impact on the way we shop and the price we pay to put food on the table.

Last week market analysts Kantar Worldpanel – regarded as the gold standard in measuring changes in the grocery business – revealed new data showing recent sales at Aldi and Lidl up 35% and 22% respectively compared with the same time last year, while Tesco was down 1.9%. The discounters’ growing impact, said the analysts, had also pushed down food price inflation to its lowest level in eight years.

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River Island takes ‘anti-nag gag’ off sale after sexism complaints

High street retailer withdraws football-shaped item pictured in woman’s mouth after it prompted a backlash on Twitter

River Island has withdrawn an “anti-nag” novelty item from sale after hundreds of women expressed outrage at the high street retailer.

The item, a £4 miniature football on a string, was pictured stuck in a woman’s open mouth with a caption from a male figure plugging his ears, with a speech bubble: ‘Will you put a sock in it!!!’.

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Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigns in wake of customer data breach

• Chief executive out after 35 years at retail company
• Data breach affected 110 million customers

Target data breach: what you need to know

Target’s chairman and chief executive resigned on Monday, in the wake of a massive data breach that compromised personal details of some 110 million shoppers.

Gregg Steinhafel, who had been with the retailer for 35 years, had been chief executive since 2008. He will be replaced by John Mulligan, chief financial officer. In February, Mulligan apologised to Congress for the breach.

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Co-op set to rattle and roll over shake-up proposals

Lord Myners is already set to resign after the Co-op board meets to vote on his proposals. Given Sir Christopher Kelly’s report last week as well, who can blame him?

Any business appointing Paul Flowers to head its bank when he had limited financial experience – although apparently he ran a good meeting – is crying out for a shakeup of its management structure.

And this week the Co-op Group will find out just what changes Lord Myners proposes in his long-awaited report. Myners, who will also appear before a Treasury Select committee, was brought in to reform the group and became the only independent director on a board of 20 members. Effectively he recommended tearing up the existing structure and replacing it with a plc-style model.

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John Lewis chairman’s pay goes above £1.5m for first time in 2013

Charlie Mayfield finds 9.6% rise in basic pay made up for lower bonus and is one of four directors to earn more than £1m

John Lewis Partnership chairman Charlie Mayfield saw his total pay step above £1.5m for the first time last year as a 9.6% rise in basic pay made up for a lower bonus and other benefits.

Mayfield, who has led the staff-owned department store operator which also owns Waitrose since 2007, earned a total of £1.52m, up from £1.48m a year before. He was one of four directors at the group to earn more than £1m, one more than last year even as the annual partnership bonus that is handed to all staff slid to 15% of pay from 17% a year before.

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Sports Direct chief can sulk all he likes but shareholders have spoken | Nils Pratley

Dave Forsey is behaving as if denying Mike Ashley a £73m bonus was an act of great treachery. Pull the other one

Dave Forsey, the chief executive of Sports Direct, has got a sulk on. He and his fellow directors were “extremely disappointed” to withdraw the resolution that would have handed Mike Ashley, the company’s real boss, a £73m incentive share award.

“The most disappointing aspect was where large shareholders gave their support only to vote differently,” bleats Forsey, as if an act of great treachery had been visited upon Ashley and Sports Direct.

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