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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Retailers in Bangladesh safety pact

Category : World News

Retailers in Europe, including Hennes & Maurtiz and Inditex which owns Zara, say they will sign an accord to improve safety conditions in factories in Bangladesh.

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UK retailers suffered sales drop in April, BRC report shows

Category : Business

British Retail Consortium’s three-month average, which irons out distorting effect of Easter, shows growth slowed to 2.6%

Retailers suffered a 2.2% drop in sales last month compared with a year ago, thanks to the timing of Easter and wintry weather, according to industry figures.

The British Retail Consortium’s three-month total growth average, which irons out the distorting effect of Easter falling in April last year and March this year, was 2.6%. That was a slower pace of growth than in the three months to February and March and the BRC said a recovery in consumer spending remained elusive.

“There’s a sense that people are more prepared to spend than they were but chief executives are telling me that’s volatile. A convincing trend towards revival is hard to spot and competitive pricing is still critical to generating sales,” said the BRC’s director general Helen Dickinson.

But April was not all bad, she stressed, noting that for non-food sales it was better than March once the Easter distortion was taken away.

“Wintry weather, followed by the arrival of sun, had a big influence on some retailers,” she said. “Fashion sales were weak early in the month but that was almost entirely made up later when signs of spring arrived. While health and beauty gained both ways with strong sales of cold and flu remedies and then of bronzing and skin care products.”

Firms count cost of cold weather

Category : World News

Both retailers and small businesses say the exceptionally cold weather in March damaged business activity.

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Springwear, anyone? Clothes shops feel the chill

Category : Business

March fashion sales down 3.4% on same month last year, as some stores ask for deliveries of summer stock to be delayed

Retail grandee Sir Stuart Rose famously said “weather is for wimps”, but even the most hardened shopkeeper would have struggled to sell the current crop of springwear, which has sat motionless on clothes rails across the country as Britain endured a chilly early 2013.

High street fashion retailers have resorted to one-off sales and suppliers say some stores have asked for deliveries of new summer stock to be delayed while so many spring dresses, skirts and tops remain unsold.

In March fashion sales slumped 3.4% compared with the same month last year, according to accountancy firm BDO’s monthly high street sales tracker. Analysts believe Marks & Spencer, Rose’s former company, has suffered a larger drop. Visa’s UK expenditure survey suggests the clothing and footwear sector saw a 2.6% year on year fall in March.

Don Williams, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “The weather can have a significant impact on fashion retail, and has undoubtedly had an impact on sales in the last month.”

Williams said the cold weather has had its perks – it helped retailers to shift any remaining winter stock, helping to offset poor demand for spring clothing.

On Thursday, Marks & Spencer will be the first of a handful of retailers updating the City in the next few weeks. Marc Bolland, Rose’s successor, is expected to say clothes sales were down by up to 5% in the past three months.

However, some analysts have suggested the poor weather could help Bolland, already under pressure to improve M&S’s fortunes, because the freezing temperatures have also affected rivals.

The company is already processing its summer offerings, with lead times of around six weeks, meaning current stocks need to be sold to make room. M&S has held flash sales online in an attempt to boost demand. The danger is that consumers could skip spring, and wait to update their wardrobe with summer clothing.

Williams explained: “Retailers fear shoppers will now hold out for summer lines, forcing them to clear spring stock by discounting, hitting even those stores that have continued to maintain tight stock levels and introduce greater flexibility into the supply chain.”

It appears suppliers are starting to suffer, with anecdotal evidence that some retailers are asking them to hold off on deliveries. John Miln, chief executive of the UK Fashion & Textile Association, which represents about 2,000 suppliers, said some of his members had been approached, but there was only so much space to store unsold clothes.

He warned: “The danger is all this extra stock could clog the system and the retailers are clearly planning for that blockage to not be terminal, because if there’s too much stock then it simply becomes worthless, and that’s no good to anyone in the chain.”

However, while the high street has suffered, the internet appears to have captured shoppers who would have been outdoors but for the weather.

The website BrandAlley, which sells discount designer label clothes, has snapped up last season’s leftover winter stock at a discount. Chief executive Rob Feldmann said: “As an online business we are able to move fast to react to the changing, and unpredictable weather conditions. This time last year we had very strong sales across swimwear and sandals.

“By contrast the last two weeks have seen sales of outerwear soar. We are up 63% on sales of coats and jackets in the last two weeks alone. Sales of sweatshirts and hooded tops have soared over 300%.”

Full Circle International Ready for Take Off

Category : Stocks

ATLANTA, GA–(Marketwire – Mar 29, 2013) – For Full Circle International (, the end of 2012 was very efficient and prosperous with four brand new expansions in a matter of three months. Acquiring a new retail partnership with one of the largest and most recognized warehouse retailers in America, FCI expanded two more offices in the metro area to help germinate the future growth not only in Atlanta but nationwide.

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Consumer Advisory – Certain Nut Butters, Peanuts, Sugar and Tahini From Vicrossano Inc. May Contain Salmonella or Other Harmful Bacteria

Category : Stocks

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – March 23, 2013) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume and retailers, restaurants and institutions not to sell or use the nut butters, peanuts, sugar or tahini described below because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella or other harmful bacteria.

Go here to read the rest: Consumer Advisory – Certain Nut Butters, Peanuts, Sugar and Tahini From Vicrossano Inc. May Contain Salmonella or Other Harmful Bacteria

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Report: Only 50% of UK Top 100 Online Retailers Websites Have Optimized for Mobile vs 100% of US

Category : Stocks, World News

UK Retailers Lagging Behind American Counterparts in Mobile Commerce, Despite Demand From European Consumers; Skava Sets Up a London, UK Office to Address This Need

Excerpt from: Report: Only 50% of UK Top 100 Online Retailers Websites Have Optimized for Mobile vs 100% of US

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VIDEO: PayPal to expand presence in the Gulf

Category : World News

PayPal is expanding its presence in the Gulf. Jonathan Frewin investigates whether this move will be a turning point for online retailers in the region

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India-Based Trend Research and Retail Marketing Consultancy Joins Brickstream Partner Network

Category : Stocks

Insight Instore to Incorporate Brickstream’s Behavior Intelligence Into Solutions That Help Retailers Deploy More Effective Marketing Strategies

Follow this link: India-Based Trend Research and Retail Marketing Consultancy Joins Brickstream Partner Network

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Letters: The real beef about horsemeat

Category : Business

British farmers must be shocked that the official line on the contamination of beef products with horsemeat is that there is no threat to health (The horsemeat scandal, 9 February). Of course, human beings can eat horse: that is not the issue. The problem is the unknown provenance of the meat. Farm animals in Britain are subject to strict controls: every move made by every animal from auction to farm, farm to auction, farm to farm, is recorded and controlled. There are laws regarding medication received by every animal, all recorded and banned from use for a period of time before slaughter. Veterinary inspections are mandatory at sales and abattoirs, and the latter have to reach high standards of hygiene and humane treatment.

Fallen stock has to be removed from farms by licensed firms, and recorded so that the meat does not enter the human food chain. Herds are regularly checked to eliminate TB and other diseases.

Thus everything possible is done to ensure that British farming can deliver safe meat to the public. When this has failed, it was because the rules were broken by criminals. There has been no control and no knowledge of the origins of this contamination. There is a saying “I’m so hungry, I could eat a scabby horse”. Perhaps some of us have done just that.
Brenda Procter
Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway

• Three food and health-related stories in less than three weeks is not a coincidence but an indicator of how much is wrong with our industrial-scale food supply systems.

Horse burgers, halal meat contaminated by pork (Contaminated halal meat supplier named, 4 February) and a “silent epidemic” of food poisoning from uncooked chicken meat (Face the Facts, BBC Radio 4, 16 January) are indicative of a system under pressure and operating at a scale that makes many feel uncomfortable.

It is clear that local producers should play a much more significant role in the nation’s food supply chain. However, more supportive and clearer signals are required from both politicians and the “big beasts” of the food world. Buying local is good for the economy, good for the environment and good for you.
Edwyn Martin
Manager, Produced in Kent

• Apart from their revulsion at the thought of unwittingly eating horse, if the labelling on the packaging, the point-of-sale material etc, said products contained beef, consumers are not eating what they thought they bought. Legislation relating to trading standards, product description and sale of goods already exists and the retailers are, to some extent, as at fault as the manufacturers/producers. Retailers should compensate consumers accordingly.

Consumers might consider getting together to mount claims against what they have been sold under a wrong description. Any individual can temporarily waive his or her rights to confidentiality of data held by retailers/loyalty scheme operators for the purpose of mounting legal challenges. Such actions might galvanise retailers to operate in a better way than they do at present.
Alan Jarmain
Egerton, Bolton

• Essentially, what the current arguments boil down to is that British consumers have the right and expectation to an assurance when they eat these products that the awful pink slurry they contain has been blasted from the bones of old cows and not old horses. Perhaps I’m missing something.
Terry McGinn
Barrowford, Lancashire

• The Tories are opposed to both Europol and the European arrest warrant. Therefore, as a matter of principle they should not use these instruments when seeking to detain and prosecute the “criminal element” who are involved with the horsemeat fiasco. And do pork and lamb also have other meats mixed with them?
Duncan Anderson
Immingham, Lincolnshire

• I demand to see a government minister’s child eating a horse burger immediately, in order to allay my fears about eating processed food!
Howard Yardy
Tregaron, Ceredigion

• Could I have reassurance that no burgers contain traces of Soylent Green?
Dr Martin Thomas
Faversham, Kent