News roundup—5th November 2008

News roundup—5th November 2008

It’s only a 1 per cent increase, but it’s an increase
nonetheless: Half-year sales at multititle mailer Findel
inched upward just that much, and within the healthcare division
increased 14 per cent. But within the home shopping division,
which includes the Ace, Cotswold Company, Letterbox and
Studio brands, year-on-year sales for the six months to
30th September fell 1 per cent. So did sales in its educational
group, which includes A to Z Supplies and NES

Also reporting a 1 per cent rise in sales-okay, 0.9
per cent–is Next, for the 14 weeks to 1st November.
Catalogue and web sales were up 2.1 per cent from the comparable
period of last year, and retail sales rose 0.3 per cent.
Like-for-like retail sales were down 4.4 per cent, however.

Grolier, which sells children’s books and study aids via
mail order, will close at the end of this year unless it is
sold, according to the Eastern Daily
A division of US-based publisher Scholastic,
Grolier employs about 100 workers in the UK.

Apparel manufacturer/marketer Marchpole Holdings,
whose brands include cataloguers Home Body and Home
Mummy, has asked the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to
suspend its trading and listing on the London Stock Exchange
while it works to strengthen its finances. Earlier this month the
company warned of “extremely difficult” financial
conditions. In a statement, Marchpole said it “is taking
all appropriate measures to deal with the current challenging
economic environment and is maintaining a regular dialogue with
the company’s bankers, in common with most other businesses
exposed to the retail sector”.

Ideal Shopping warns that it will likely post a
“small trading loss” for the year ending 28th
December. “Cumulative net revenues for the first four
months of the second half have fallen to 3 per cent below the
previous corresponding period, significantly short of
management expectations,” the TV and online shopping
company stated.

If staying in is indeed the new going out, The Times recommends doing so in Sweaty
Betty yoga pants or Pajama Room knitwear.


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