News roundup—22nd October 2008

News roundup—22nd October 2008

Argos and Homebase parent company Home Retail
Group posted a £450 million operating loss after
exceptional charges for the first half of fiscal 2008.
Benchmark operating profile was down 22 per cent from the first
half of 2007, to £106 million. At cataloguer/retailer
Argos the decline was 14 per cent, compared with a 37 per cent
plunge for DIY retailer Homebase. Total half-year sales were
all but flat at nearly £2.74 billion, but like-for-like
sales fell 3 per cent at Argos and 10.3 per cent at Homebase.

Third-quarter sales at Flying Brands fell more than 19
per cent, to £7.5 million for the three months ended 26th
September. But excluding its Greetings Direct business,
which it is winding down, sales were down less than 14 per cent,
inline with expectations. In its trading statement, the
company-whose other brands include Flying Flowers, Garden Bird
Supplies and Listen2–said it is “seeing
improved response rates from our revamped promotional

Multibrand, multinational mailer La Redoute, a
division of retail and luxury brands giant PPR plans to
eliminate 13 per cent of its French workforce, or 670 jobs, over
the next four years reports Reuters. The cutbacks reflect a move away
from traditional mail order and toward greater reliance on

The Book People has made the shortlist for the Business
of the Year Award, part of the Daily Post’s Achievement Wales 2008
Business Awards.


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