Debenhams Shares up 40% after Mike Ashley Proposals

Debenhams shares have leaped by 40% after Sports Direct tycoon, Mike Ashley proposed he be installed as boss of the high street department store. Ashley, who recently took over struggling House of Fraser, has a 27.9% stake in Debenhams. He called for a shareholder vote this week to determine whether or not he should take an executive role on the board of directors. His proposals include removing all but the finance chief from the board in a total clean sweep.

Debenhams says it is ‘disappointed’ by the proposals following discussions with Sports Direct and other shareholders to help it restructure following a difficult few months.

If successful, Ashley would be replaced at Sports Direct by deputy finance chief, Chris Wootton.

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Womenswear Retailer LK Bennett Enters Administration

The British womenswear retailer, LK Bennett is the latest victim of the retail crisis after filing for administration on Thursday. Around 500 jobs are said to be at risk. The chain is looking for a buyer for the business but, has halted online orders. Most of the label’s high street stores continue to be open and trade as usual although a total of five will be closed immediately, with 55 people to be made redundant.

Tough trading conditions on the high street, rent increases and business rate increases are to blame for the collapse, according to a statement from the administrators.

LK Bennett has 39 stores in the UK and 37 concessions. Its overseas stores are not affected by the UK administration.

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Half of UK shoppers make at least one Amazon purchase by month

Research carried out by GlobalData has revealed that half of UK shoppers make at least one purchase from Amazon each month. The report says that at current levels, it predicts that the retailer will account for 8% of UK spend by 2023.

While 51.4% buy once per month, 84.3% say they have used Amazon in the last 12 months and a quarter order more than they did previously.

Amazon revenue meanwhile has grown 23.3% in the UK.

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High Street Baker Greggs Reports Sales of £1billion

The high street baker Greggs has become an unlikely success story in the midst of a difficult retail environment as it confirms sales have topped £1 billion for the first time – and one of the stars of its success is a vegan sausage roll.

The chain reported its sales had increased by 7.2% year-on-year, sending its figures soaring from £960 million to £1.03 billion.  Like for like sales were up 9.6% at the start of this year on the back of the runaway success of its vegan sausage roll.

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