News roundup—22nd June 2009

News roundup—22nd June 2009

Fashion cataloguer/retailer White Stuff reported
record underlying profits of £13.3 million for the year
ended 29th April. That’s up 42 per cent from the previous year.
Sales rose 34 per cent, to £58.4 million. According to
The Times, White Stuff plans to open
another 30 stores over the next three years.

Online grocer Ocado is testing a website that relies
on predictive software to notify the consumer when he is likely
be running low on products and to generate an order accordingly,
reports The Times.

Outdoor clothing manufacturer/marketer Regatta Group,
which owns cataloguer/retailers Craghoppers and
Hawkshead, has bought a fourth warehouse to accommodate
its continued growth, according to Crain’s Manchester Business. The company’s
annual sales for the year ended 31st January were £110
million, up 28 per cent from the previous year.

Ondrives, a cataloguer of mechanical drive and
manufacturing components, and competitor Rino Industries
have merged. The combined business is now operating under the
Ondrives brand.

Barbara Laithwaite, co-owner of Direct Wines, is the
subject of a lengthy profile in the Financial Times. Key quote, from CEO Simon
McMurtrie: “Everyone in Direct Wines knows there would
not be a company without Barbara. She is able to combine
long-term vision with the short-term need to balance the books
etc. Left on his own, Tony [Laithwaite, Barbara’s husband and
the company’s co-owner] would have run out of money long

Mothercare chief executive Ben Gordon and Home Retail
Group head Terry Duddy are rumoured to be front runners to
replace Sir Stuart Rose as chief executive of Marks &
Spencer next year, The Times reports.

Nick Alderton, owner of menswear catalogue Peter
Christian, offers a dissenting view in a Financial Times article on the popularity
of cricket-inspired apparel for men.


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