News roundup—4th June 2008

News roundup—4th June 2008

It’s “good news, bad news” from
Kingfisher. The parent company of DIY brands B&Q,
Screwfix and Trade Depot “beat forecasts with an
8.9 per cent increase in first-quarter pretax profit,” notes

The Times.
But chief executive Ian Cheshire “said
that he had been already been planning for a ‘pretty poor year’
of trading in the UK but that he had become even more cautious
in recent months”.

Multibrand marketer Webb Ivory is looking for a larger
facility in Burton, Staffordshire, now that it is relocating its
Choices UK music and DVD business, which it acquired last year, from Peterborough,
reports the Burton Mail. Webb Ivory plans to add staff
to its Burton workforce as well as to the team at its Bradford

“UK consumers defied the credit crunch to spend a
record amount online with retailers last year,” The Independent reports. According to
Verdict Research, online sales rose 35 per cent last year,
nearly 10 times as great as the year-on-year rise in overall
retail sales.

Persistent suitor Staples has increased its hostile
bid for rival office supplies conglomerate Corporate
Express from €8 a share to €9.15 a share. Will
the third bid be the charm? A securities analyst interviewed by
Associated Press, “put the chances of
Corporate Express accepting the Staples bid as high as 85
per cent”.

Remember that big announcement from DSG International
hailing its incoming chief operating officer, former John Menzies
chief executive Patrick Macdonald? Well, forget it: Macdonald
changed his mind and has now joined the parent company of PC
World and Currys as a consultant only, on a six-month
contract, says The Telegraph.

Microsoft has launched eCommerce sites in the UK and
Germany selling its software products. According to, “the UK site will not
load in Firefox but does work in Internet Explorer”.


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