News roundup—17th February 2009

News roundup—17th February 2009

The fate of home furnishings catalogue The Cotswold
Company and toys catalogue Letterbox is uncertain,
according to an interim management statement from parent company
Findel: “Trading conditions continue to be very
difficult for The Cotswold Company and Letterbox… the ongoing
viability of these two brands is being reviewed”. Findel’s
total sales for the 44 weeks ended 6th February were down 3
per cent from the same period of the previous year, although its
Kitbag sports apparel brand was doing well, it added.

Laura Ashley has issued a profit warning for the year
ended 31st January. According to City A.M., the fashion and home goods
cataloguer/retailer expects to post profit before taxation and
exceptional items of £9 million, short of expectations. UK
store sales fell 6.2 per cent during the fiscal year, but online
sales climbed 65.4 per cent.

Mosaic Fashions, a division of holding company
Baugur, is considering multiple bids for its
Principles fashion retail chain, reports Mosaic has also put its
Shoe Studio brand up for sale. Baugur fell into
administration earlier this month.

The collapse of download supplier Trinity Street has
forced dance-music brand Ministry of Sound to temporarily
close its website, which sells concert tickets as well as music,
according to The Daily Mail.

Book publisher Orion Publishing will be launching a
consumer website targeting female readers in April, reports
The Bookseller. It already introduced a
print catalogue this month.

Although some of its resellers reported declining
year-on-year sales, Clogau Gold reports a 15 per cent rise
in fourth-quarter sales. The jeweller, which sells direct to
consumers via catalogue and the web as well as to retailers such
as Argos and Signet, told Retail Jeweller that “is surviving in
the downturn by keeping tight control on suppliers and
increasing marketing”.


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