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: : Sep/Oct 2003

Wake up and smell the coffee. For years, traditional methods served a Blackburn coffee roasting firm well. But to expand, its MD decided to use the internet to deliver new caffeine hits abroad. .... [more] 30 Oct, 2003
Thorntons reveals assortment of new bids. Thorntons, the family-owned chocolate maker, yesterday revealed it had a melting pot of potential bidders for the 100m-plus company. .... [more] 30 Oct, 2003
Bidders are sweet on Thorntons. Chocolate maker Thorntons has turned into a tasty little morsel, according to chairman John Thornton, with moves by management to take the confectioner private whetting the appetite of more bidders. .... [more] 30 Oct, 2003
Fast food firms face screen test. A Labour MP is to introduce a bill that would ban fast food companies from advertising to pre-school children amid calls for the government to tackle obesity among British youths, writes Claire Cozens. .... [more] 28 Oct, 2003
First YO! Sushi franchise gets vote of confidence. YO! Sushi, the latest hip swift food concept to hit Arabia, has been given a vote of confidence by its founder Simon Woodroffe. .... [more] 26 Oct, 2003
Unusual opportunity that's on the right track. The reasons for taking on a franchise are as varied as the franchises themselves. .... [more] 21 Oct, 2003
Allied Domecq toasts profits rise. Allied Domecq, the world's second-largest drinks company, today reported a 3% rise in profits following a difficult start to the year. .... [more] 21 Oct, 2003
Trust jibs at Thorntons sale. One of the largest shareholders in Thorntons will oppose attempts by the struggling chocolate retailer to find a buyer for the business. .... [more] 16 Oct, 2003
Thorntons admits buyout talks after rise in shares. Shares in Thorntons surged almost 15 per cent after the confectioner revealed it had held preliminary talks about a management buyout. .... [more] 16 Oct, 2003
Thorntons seeks a sweeter bid offer. Struggling chocolate retailer Thorntons has turned down a bid approach but is trying to flush out a higher offer by allowing its senior executives to discuss potential deals with private equity houses. .... [more] 16 Oct, 2003
Body Shop fightback continues. The cosmetics retailer Body Shop has continued its climb back into profit - despite tough trading conditions in the UK. .... [more] 15 Oct, 2003
M&S card is breach of credit law, says OFT. Marks & Spencer has been forced to rethink the high profile launch of its new credit card after the Office of Fair Trading yesterday ruled it had been breaching credit laws. .... [more] 9 Oct, 2003
M&S sales wilt in summer heat. Marks & Spencer today reported weak sales growth for the second quarter, as the summer heatwave hit clothing purchases. .... [more] 7 Oct, 2003
Build-A-Bear Workshop signs franchisee in U.K. Build-A-Bear Workshop has given franchise rights to U.K.-based Amsbra Ltd. to develop Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. .... [more] 6 Oct, 2003
Beauty salons to smash £1bn barrier. Spending on beauty treatments such as facials, Botox injections and leg waxing is set to smash through the £1bn barrier next year, making the British pampering industry bigger than coal-mining. .... [more] 6 Oct, 2003
Laura Ashley to overhaul its UK fashion section. Laura Ashley, the fashion and home furnishing retailer, tried yesterday to draw a line under its failure to take off in Europe, promising to overhaul its fashion lines in the UK. .... [more] 1 Oct, 2003
Monsoon founder in 11th-hour plea for support. Peter Simon, the founder and chairman of Monsoon, made an 11th-hour appeal last night to shareholders to back his controversial attempt to increase his family's stake in the retailer to 92.5 per cent ahead of Friday's deadline. .... [more] 1 Oct, 2003

Green faces uphill struggle to add food retailing to High Street empire. If Philip Green, the retail entrepreneur who became a household name after he turned around Bhs, plans on launching a takeover offer for Safeway, then he will have to run the country's number four supermarket chain as a food retailer. .... [more] 27 Sep, 2003
The start-up business with a proven record. Franchise activity in Scotland is at an all-time high. More people than ever before have identified franchising as their route into business. .... [more] 24 Sep, 2003
Franchisees become toast of the town. An Edinburgh couple have won a top national business award backed by HSBC bank for their success in running a Kall Kwik printing franchise. .... [more] 24 Sep, 2003
Green denies quitting bid race. Retail entrepreneur Philip Green yesterday rubbished suggestions that he has pulled out of the tussle for Safeway as the supermarket operator urged the government to put an end to its agony and publish the official ruling on who can bid for the company. .... [more] 22 Sep, 2003
M&S card 'within the rules'. Marks & Spencer has denied that its new credit card is in breach of banking regulations. .... [more] 22 Sep, 2003
Losing its Bottle. PizzaExpress will never be the same as SABMiller drops the Italian brand name, says 'only Peroni' and targets British pubs. .... [more] 21 Sep, 2003
Getting the blend right for the sweet smell of success. Gordon Richardson, founder of the Beanscene coffee shop and music venue chain is counting the days until the opening of the new Scottish Parliament building. .... [more] 17 Sep, 2003
French Connection sees slower second half. Fashion chain French Connection Group, which owns the provocative FCUK label, has reported a sharp jump in half-year profit, at the top of market forecasts, but says sales growth is slowing. .... [more] 16 Sep, 2003
Shoe-mounted address locators to be tested by Domino’s UK. Domino’s Pizza UK & Ireland is set to test a high-tech delivery address locator system it hopes will reduce times, increase accuracy and pay for itself through reduced mistakes. .... [more] 15 Sep, 2003
Thorntons suffers in summer but sales hold up. The summer heatwave reduced full year profits at Thorntons but failed to bite into underlying sales, the confectioner said yesterday. .... [more] 10 Sep, 2003
M&S boss loses out in salary gamble. Marks & Spencer chairman Luc Vandevelde's decision to bet his salary package on the retail company's performance backfired yesterday. .... [more] 10 Sep, 2003
M&S earmarks £150m to lift share of food market. Marks & Spencer is to launch a new food format as part of the retailer's £150m push to increase its share of the multibillion-pound grocery market. .... [more] 10 Sep, 2003
Franchise benefits. The statistics for failure rates in new businesses often make gloomy reading but with franchising it is a different story. .... [more] 9 Sep, 2003
Fast food and plenty more outpace the economy. Service firms are the fastest growing in a sector that now generates £9bn turnover per year. .... [more] 8 Sep, 2003
Rocky cafe trading hits Rank. Leisure group Rank has blamed weak trading at its Hard Rock Cafe restaurants and its film and video business for flagging first half profits. .... [more] 5 Sep, 2003
M&S plans 125m HQ development. Marks & Spencer has unveiled plans for a major redevelopment of Michael House, its Baker Street headquarters in London, ahead of the retail group's relocation to Paddington next year. .... [more] 5 Sep, 2003
Laura Ashley sells off Benelux stores for 2. Laura Ashley has sold another batch of stores from its loss-making European operations - for 2 - as the struggling fashion retailer finalises its retreat from the mainland. .... [more] 2 Sep, 2003
M&S credits shoppers for their loyalty. Marks & Spencer is to launch a new credit card and loyalty scheme as part of the rebranding of its financial arm. .... [more] 2 Sep, 2003
Topping news as Domino's to create 180 jobs. Domino's Pizza is to create around 180 new jobs, including 20 in Edinburgh, after securing nine new retail sites as part of its ambitious expansion programme. .... [more] 1 Sep, 2003
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