News roundup—ASOS, Next, Screwfix and more

News roundup—ASOS, Next, Screwfix and more

So far fashion etailer ASOS remains immune to the economic downturn. Sales for the six months to 30th September were £65.7 million, up 17 per cent from the first half of last year. Pretax profit for the same period grew 71 per cent, to £4.1 million. What’s the secret to the company’s success? The Telegraph devotes a fair amount of space to trying to find out.

“Next is understood to be planning a round of job cuts in the new year as the fashion retailer prepares for what is expected to be a grim 12 months,” The Guardian reports.

Screwfix and B&Q parent company Kingfisher was ranked number two on The Observer’s Good Companies Guide, which rates companies based on their social and environmental actions, the quality of their corporate governance and how they address industry-specific issues. (Scottish & Southern Energy earned the top spot.) The only other multichannel retailer in the top 20 was Marks & Spencer. Two cataloguers made the bottom 20, however: Findel (because of “concerns over directors’ contracts, independence and remuneration”) and N Brown ( “It is not a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative and, with no information provided on supplier auditing, runs the risk that worker abuse could feature in its supply chain”).

The Times profiles Hotel Chocolat, and its socially responsible sourcing practices in particular. Upscale chocolate must be in the zeitgeist because The Guardian also featured Hotel Chocolat in a business roundup titled “Inspire and innovate”.

Microsoft has finally launched its own eCommerce site, where customers in the UK, Germany, Korea and the US can buy its software direct from the company, reports Stateside customers can buy Microsoft hardware from the site as well.

The Herald offers a paean to catalogue shopping: “…amid all the misery, there is one cause to cheer: Christmas catalogues, lots of them, arriving with the newspapers, offered in the shops, pouring through the letterbox”.


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