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: : Jan/Feb 2003

Hamleys beats US in 'teddy war'. Hamleys is claiming victory in the battle of the bears after settling a copyright agreement with its US rival Build-A-Bear. .... [more] 28 Feb, 2003
McDonald's to sell fruit at British outlets. Stung by criticism that its food is laden with fat and salt, McDonald's said Friday its British restaurants will be the first in the world to sell fresh fruit. .... [more] 28 Feb, 2003
Nando's looks to trump bid from Luke Johnson for PizzaExpress. PizzaExpress yesterday spiced up its menu with the prospect of a bid battle after an agreed £263m takeover offer from Luke Johnson, its former owner, was challenged by a potential rival bidder. .... [more] 28 Feb, 2003
Domino's sees profits heat up. Domino's believes its expansion drive is paying off with a 48% jump in pre-tax profits for 2002. .... [more] 25 Feb, 2003
Greenpeace shuts Esso stations. Environmentalists, some dressed as tigers, have forced the closure of Esso's British headquarters and more than 100 petrol stations to protest at what they call the oil firm's "fuelling of the Iraq crisis". .... [more] 24 Feb, 2003
INTEREST - Internet steals march on High Street. Fears over consumer spending may dominate the High Street but internet shopping is enjoying robust health, official figures show. .... [more] 21 Feb, 2003
Diageo loses £208m after Burger King sale. Diageo underlined its intention to develop its existing range of "ready-to-drink" products, such as Smirnoff Ice, rather than risk expensive flops as it unveiled a pre-tax loss for the first half of its financial year. .... [more] 21 Feb, 2003
FASTSIGNS Enhances Expansion Plans in United Kingdom. FASTSIGNS International Inc. has joined the British Franchise Association as they begin further expansion into the UK. .... [more] 18 Feb, 2003
£500m sales coming into view for Specsavers. Selling a pair of glasses every six seconds has helped opticians chain Specsavers foresee a bumper turnover for this year, boosted by ambitious expansion plans. .... [more] 17 Feb, 2003
Esprit steps up its London assault. Fashion retailer Esprit is planning an assault on London this year, in a drive to help offset faltering sales in its Asian home market. .... [more] 12 Feb, 2003
Three bidders compete to swallow PizzaExpress. PizzaExpress signalled that it was inching towards being taken over yesterday, as it posted a sharp fall in profits and sales across its estate. .... [more] 12 Feb, 2003
Green submits Safeway bid. Stores tycoon Philip Green has formally submitted his takeover plan for supermarket group Safeway to the office of fair trading. .... [more] 12 Feb, 2003
Retail sales frenzy fizzles out. Retailers hoping that strong sales in early January could foretell a less stressful 2003 are set to be disappointed, a survey has warned. .... [more] 10 Feb, 2003
Claws out for Esso in war of the Tiger Tokens. A group of 104 petrol station managers will this week take on the might of Esso in a bitter court battle over Tiger Tokens. .... [more] 9 Feb, 2003
INTEREST - Brown dismisses euro reports. Chancellor Gordon Brown has dismissed reports that he has ruled out UK entry to the euro and said a study into the effects of joining the single currency has yet to start. .... [more] 9 Feb, 2003
M&S takeaway meals in the City. The first Square Mile-based Marks & Spencer Simply Food shop will open in Paternoster Square in August. .... [more] 6 Feb, 2003
Claims Direct in liquidation. Insurer Claims Direct has gone into liquidation. .... [more] 3 Feb, 2003
Harry Ramsden's aims to add more branches. Fish-and-chip shop chain Harry Ramsden's is to launch an initiative in a bid to add up to 30 franchise outlets during 2003. .... [more] 30 Jan, 2003

Net cafe to appeal against ruling. The Easyinternet cafe chain has been found guilty of copyright infringement for allowing customers to download music from the internet and copy it onto to CDs. .... [more] 28 Jan, 2003
Safeway setback for Green as OFT steps in. Any hope of a swift conclusion to the battle for Safeway was scuppered yesterday when it emerged that retail tycoon Philip Green had been ordered to make a formal application to the office of fair trading. .... [more] 28 Jan, 2003
Green 'prepares £3.2bn Safeway bid'. BHS tycoon Philip Green is reportedly poised to make a £3.2bn cash bid for supermarket chain Safeway. .... [more] 26 Jan, 2003
EVENT - The British Franchise Exhibition. The Exhibition is taking place on 31st January & 1st February 2003 at G-MEX in Manchester, Friday 10am - 5pm and Saturday 10am - 4pm. .... [more] 24 Jan, 2003
Laura Ashley closes continental shops. British retail chain Laura Ashley, best known for its floral fabrics and designs, is to close 35 more stores on the continent as it attempts to cut losses. .... [more] 23 Jan, 2003
M&S seen as unlikely Safeway bidder. Retailer Marks and Spencer may be keen to pick up any stores sold in the battle for grocery chain Safeway, but banking sources have played down talk of it bidding for the whole group. .... [more] 23 Jan, 2003
Spar expands with 160 more stores. Spar today reinforced its position as the leading convenience stores retailer after expanding its portfolio with an additional 160 stores. .... [more] 22 Jan, 2003
Fur flies over Hamleys Bear Factory. Top toy store Hamleys will defend its build-your-own-bear operation next month when it answers a legal claim from a U.S. teddy bear giant in the High Court. .... [more] 22 Jan, 2003
Avis seals Budget deal. Avis Europe has tightened its grip on the continental car hire market by acquiring a chunk of rival Budget's global operations. .... [more] 21 Jan, 2003
Christmas sales disappoint Thorntons. Thorntons is sounding a cautious note about its prospects after sales growth stalled over the Christmas period. .... [more] 21 Jan, 2003
BHS boss steps into Safeway bid battle. Philip Green, the entrepreneur who owns the BHS and Arcadia retail groups, has joined the long list of those interested in taking over Safeway. .... [more] 20 Jan, 2003
INTEREST - Poll shows business turning on euro. The likelihood of a euro referendum this year receded today, with a shock poll of business leaders showing a majority against British entry. .... [more] 20 Jan, 2003
Body Shop rallies despite failing to share in seasonal sales joy. Shares in The Body Shop rallied 17 per cent yesterday after the beauty products retailer promised "significant" earnings growth this year, despite enduring tough trading over Christmas. .... [more] 17 Jan, 2003
Green deals cut Arcadia debt levels by £200m. Philip Green, the retail entrepreneur, is set to refinance Arcadia's flagship site at Oxford Circus in London in a move that will enable him to clear the first tranche of debt on the £850m deal to acquire the company, just three months after it was completed. .... [more] 17 Jan, 2003
Internet Consulting Franchiser Netspace Awards First International Master Franchise in the UK. As part of its plan to extend its international operations, Netspace®, the only U.S.-based Internet business consulting franchiser, has signed its first master franchise agreement with Oxford, England-based Shaun Thomson. .... [more] 16 Jan, 2003
M&S refuses to rule out Safeway bid as sales soar. Marks & Spencer refused to rule out participating in the bid battle for the Safeway supermarket group yesterday as it reported strong sales over Christmas. .... [more] 16 Jan, 2003
Traditional toys give Hamleys a happy Christmas. Hamleys believes a revival in demand for traditional wooden toys, teddy bears and dolls contributed to its strong Christmas trading performance. .... [more] 15 Jan, 2003
Fourth Mothercare profits alert makes shares squeal. Shares in Mothercare slumped 14 per cent after the struggling baby goods retailer issued its fourth profits warning in less than a year. .... [more] 15 Jan, 2003
Monsoon forecasts clouds on horizon. The fashion group Monsoon painted a mixed picture of trading on the high street yesterday, admitting that conditions would become "more challenging" as it posted record interim profits. .... [more] 14 Jan, 2003
Laura Ashley warns of low profits. High Street chain Laura Ashley has warned that its profits will miss their target because of disappointing Christmas sales. .... [more] 8 Jan, 2003
Pre-Christmas retail sales disappoint. UK retail sales in the run-up to Christmas were lower than a year ago for the first time in 10 years, the employers' organisation the CBI has found. .... [more] 2 Jan, 2003
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