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: : Jan/Feb 2004

New generation M&S store opens. The first of a "revolutionary" new generation of Marks & Spencer shops is due to open in Gateshead. .... [more] 25 Feb, 2004
Concrete floors and funky music - can this really be the M&S furniture department? Troubled retailer gambles on cutting-edge megastores. .... [more] 25 Feb, 2004
Stelios switches EasyCar on to franchising route. Greek entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou this week kicks off a new strategy for his EasyCar rental business by striking a franchising deal to open four sites aimed at holidaymakers in Cyprus. .... [more] 23 Feb, 2004
M&S signals change of image. Marks & Spencer yesterday signalled a radical redesign of its stores headed by Vittorio Radice, the man who transformed Selfridges from a stuffy department store to the one of the most fashionable retailers on the high street. .... [more] 20 Feb, 2004
Franchising, first business stop. Franchising is fast becoming the definitive formula for small business success - an industry currently worth £9.2 billion in the UK and providing over 324,000 jobs. .... [more] 19 Feb, 2004
Offer for Londis owners. Shopkeepers at the centre of the battle for retail group Londis have been offered a £30,000 incentive to switch ranks, it emerged yesterday. .... [more] 17 Feb, 2004
PizzaExpress backer grabs ASK. A battle for control of Britain's pizza parlours reached its climax yesterday as the venture capitalists behind PizzaExpress made a £213m grab for the ASK chain, trumping rival bidder the Restaurant Group. .... [more] 14 Feb, 2004
EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou wants to flex his branding muscle. EasyJet, easyCar, easyPretty-much-anything, at least it might be if Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of the orange easy brand, has his way as he expands into new industries and across borders. .... [more] 8 Feb, 2004
Mothercare dispute over sales figures. Mothercare is in discussions with Taylor Nelson Sofres, the market researcher, in a dispute over sales figures. The retailer claims data showing a sharp slump in childrenswear sales do not reflect the chain's 'true performance'. .... [more] 8 Feb, 2004
Allied Domecq launches coffee war. Drinks giant Allied Domecq, better known for Teachers whisky than coffee, has declared latte war on Starbucks in the Seattle company's own backyard. .... [more] 5 Feb, 2004
Thorntons reveals it rejected several bids. John Thornton, chairman of the chocolate maker and retailer that carries his family name, yesterday said its independent directors had thrown out several indicative takeover bids, some involving the firm's management team. .... [more] 5 Feb, 2004
M&S work experience for homeless. High Street stores group Marks & Spencer has a new tactic in its bid to boost sales - pull on shoppers' heartstrings. .... [more] 4 Feb, 2004
Trouble at the top for Marks & Spencer. Marks & Spencer is believed to have appointed headhunters to find a possible replacement for Vittorio Radice. .... [more] 1 Feb, 2004
Mothercare sales slump. Mothercare has suffered a dramatic slump in sales of children's clothing, prompting questions over its much-vaunted recovery story. .... [more] 1 Feb, 2004
M&S considers new fashion stores. Marks & Spencer is looking to roll out new stand-alone subsidiary clothing stores for its fashion brand Per Una. .... [more] 30 Jan, 2004
Making a splash with soap. A Mid Wales company which makes natural soaps is hoping to clean up in the European market. .... [more] 29 Jan, 2004

Hard sell. Next month Marks and Spencer will throw open the doors to a designer superstore that dwarfs Ikea and urges shoppers to adopt a pick'n'mix approach to domestic bliss. .... [more] 27 Jan, 2004
INTEREST - Teenagers 'want own businesses'. Almost half of all young people would like to run their own businesses, a survey suggests. .... [more] 26 Jan, 2004
Super honour for city printers. Printing franchisee Prontaprint is celebrating the company being formally recognised as a Business Superbrand for the second year running. .... [more] 26 Jan, 2004
Second bidder enters pizza chain race. Ask Central, the pizza and pasta chain, today was at the centre of a bidding war, after it received a £223m takeover offer from the owners of PizzaExpress. .... [more] 23 Jan, 2004
Monsoon goes shopping. Monsoon, the fashion retailer, yesterday said it is in talks to make international acquisitions as it disclosed a slowdown in sales growth over Christmas. .... [more] 20 Jan, 2004
Pret plans restaurant chain. The Pret A Manger sandwich chain plans to open a string of 'lounge style' restaurants. .... [more] 16 Jan, 2004
Body Shop sales hit by fewer discounts. Body Shop International says a decision to offer fewer discounts over the Christmas period hit sales figures. .... [more] 15 Jan, 2004
Laura Ashley homes in on furniture. Strong sales of home furnishing products helped offset a drop in clothing sales at retailer Laura Ashley, the group reported today. .... [more] 14 Jan, 2004
M&S director quits as sales dip. Marks & Spencer's director of clothing is to quit after the retailer announced a bigger-than-expected fall in sales during the Christmas trading period. .... [more] 14 Jan, 2004
Mothercare to beat profits targets. Mothercare joined fashion group Next as one of the few retailers that expects to top City profit forecasts this year, after improved Christmas trading. .... [more] 14 Jan, 2004
Sales cast shadow over M&S recovery. grim set of Christmas sales figures will this week refuel debate over whether the recovery at Marks & Spencer has come to a halt. .... [more] 12 Jan, 2004
Pizza Express owners put counterbid for Ask Central on the menu. A battle to become the capo di capi of the country's pizza chains erupted yesterday between City Centre Restaurants and TDR Capital, the private equity fund that controls Pizza Express. .... [more] 8 Jan, 2004
Domino's Gets A Slice of Festive Action. Pizza delivery firm Domino's tasted its busiest ever week during the run-up to Christmas, trading figures from the group showed today. .... [more] 8 Jan, 2004
Surf as you slurp at McDonald's. Laptop-owning burger fans will soon be able to surf the net while eating their Big Mac and large fries. .... [more] 8 Jan, 2004
McDonald's puts internet on the menu. McDonald's is to serve up the internet alongside its normal fare of burgers and chips after signing a deal with BT Group to bring the world wide web into its fast food restaurants. .... [more] 8 Jan, 2004
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