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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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TOPSHOP to Open First Greater China Flagship in June

Category : Stocks

HONG KONG–(Marketwired – May 15, 2013) –  Iconic British high street fashion brand TOPSHOP will open its first store in Greater China on June 6th, 2013.

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New Anti-Aging Products From Exuviance Skincare

Category : Stocks

Beauty Bridge Recently Announced the Arrival of the New Anti-Aging Products From Exuviance Brand to Their Online Store; Exuviance Skincare Products Can Revolutionize Your Skincare Routine

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Debenhams profits hit by bad weather

Category : Business

Department store chain Debenhams reports a dip in half-year profits after trading was hit by the snow in late January.

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LVMH-backed fund buys stake in Australian bushwear firm RM Williams

Category : Business

L Capital Asia, a private equity fund sponsored by French luxury group, buys 49.9% stake in 81-year-old Australian company

A private equity fund sponsored by French luxury brand LVMH Group has snapped up just under half of Australia’s RM Williams in a deal aimed at helping the bushwear firm expand further overseas.

The sale of the 49.9% holding was valued at around A$52m (£35.4m), said a source close to the deal who was not authorised to speak on the record.

Singapore-based L Capital Asia, which is also backed by Groupe Arnault, the holding company of LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault, and Malaysia’s YTL Corp, specialises in developing distinctive but affordable brands in the Asia-Pacific region.

Last year, it took a 50% stake in upmarket Australian food store Jones the Grocer.

Ken Cowley, chairman and owner of RM Williams, which is known for its elastic-sided boots, will retain the majority holding. He said L Capital had committed to retaining Australian manufacturing for the firm’s products.

The 81-year-old Australian company has more than 50 stores around the world. The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-May and new board members will be announced then.

Yum Brands still struggling in China amid bird flu fears

Category : Business

Yum Brands said Wednesday that its same-store sales in China had dropped amid a continuing food-safety scare.

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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%.”

KFC expansion to create 1,600 jobs

Category : Business

Fried-chicken chain plans to open more than 40 restaurants across UK and Ireland, and refurbish 160 existing eateries

Fried-chicken restaurant chain KFC will create 1,600 jobs this year by opening more than 40 restaurants across the UK and Ireland.

The US-owned firm plans to spend £40m on the expansion drive. It will also spend a further £40m on a makeover of 160 existing eateries to “create a more modern, welcoming environment for customers”. The expansion drive will be co-funded by franchisees.

This year’s openings will boost its total number of UK and Ireland restaurants to nearly 900. The group says it could eventually have a total of 1,200 in the two countries.

KFC, which employs about 24,000 people, has been adding at least 30 new restaurants in the UK a year and says it has seen seven years of same-store sales growth in a row.

Low-cost fast food restaurants have been prospering, despite the economic slowdown. McDonalds has reported improving sales in the UK and Domino’s pizza delivery service recently reported a 10% improvement in annual profits despite sales growth slowing due to January store closures caused by bad weather.

KFC UK, which is a subsidiary of Pizza Hut parent company Yum! Brands, came to Britain in 1965. The first store opened in Preston, Lancashire.

The brand was founded in the US by Colonel Harland Sanders in the 1950s.

Next Opens Redesigned Mansfield Store

Category : World News

LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwire – March 26, 2013) - Next are excited to announce the reopening of their Mansfield store on St Peters Retail Park after a huge redesign which has seen the store grow dramatically.

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Pure LatexBLISS(TM) Makes Asian Market Debut in Hong Kong

Category : World News

Company Marks First Store Opening With Celebratory Event

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Clothes retailer Ted Baker posts double-digit leap in profits

Category : Business

Brand defies gloom on UK high street, selling more womenswear than menswear for first time in firm’s history

Ted Baker has defied the gloom elsewhere in the high street by posting a double-digit leap in profits.

Once known for selling garish shirts for young men, the brand has transformed into a high-end retailer for the fashion-conscious, with womenswear overtaking menswear sales for the first time in the company’s 24-year history.

Sales in the year to 26 January were up 18% to £254.5m, driving a 19.2% increase in pre-tax profits to £28.9m.

Ted Baker’s aggressive international expansion strategy has seen the retailer open its first New York store on fashionable Fifth Avenue. Stores have also been opened in China and Canada, with concessions in Germany and the Netherlands.

Sales in UK and European stores rose 11.1% to £165.1m, with retail space increasing by 5.7%.

Analysts said the results were in line with expectations. Freddie George, analyst at Cantor, said: “The strategy of accelerating development overseas through new stores and concessions appears to be working and is set to boost earnings growth over the medium term.”