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: : Mar/Apr 2004

Body Shop plans £100m expansion. The Body Shop is launching a £100m global expansion following a strong increase in group profits last year. .... [more] 30 Apr, 2004
Londis shop owners to cash in as board agrees £60m takeover. Hundreds of shareholders in Londis are set to triple their windfall to £31,000 after their board struck a renewed agreement to sell the convenience store group to Ireland's Musgrave for £60m. .... [more] 28 Apr, 2004
Lawyer splits to set up franchising team. John Pratt, immediate past president of the Birmingham's chamber of commerce, is quitting law firm Pinsents to set up his own franchising practice. .... [more] 26 Apr, 2004
Subway sets out to torpedo McDonald's. The money-making possibilities of the British appetite for fast food looked so good to Deirdre Anderson that in 1999 she quit her influential post as Subway's global head of operations to become one of the company's franchisees. .... [more] 25 Apr, 2004
Laura Ashley moves back to profit. Strong demand for home furnishings at retail chain Laura Ashley has helped the firm return to the black. .... [more] 22 Apr, 2004
O'Briens serves up new outlets. The O'Briens sandwich bar chain is planning to open five new franchise outlets in Belfast this year. .... [more] 19 Apr, 2004
Specsavers eyes UK and Europe expansion. Specsavers, the high street opticians group, yesterday said it intended to create up to 700 jobs in the UK and the rest of Europe. .... [more] 19 Apr, 2004
M&S disaster areas: food, clothes and home. Marks & Spencer is back in crisis after announcing a grisly set of sales figures which proved that the group's recovery has come to a juddering halt. .... [more] 15 Apr, 2004
Scotland embraces concept of being your own boss. As the British Franchise Association’s Franchise Group for Scotland (FGFS) moves into its third year, it is a successful 12 months for both the group and Scotland to reflect back on. .... [more] 15 Apr, 2004
M&S chief Vandevelde urged to curb outside interests. Luc Vandevelde, the chairman of Marks & Spencer, is coming under pressure to devote more time to trying to turn around the high street retailer, which looks set to deliver another set of dire sales figures this week. .... [more] 12 Apr, 2004
Musgrave begins franchise search. Budgens owner Musgrave is looking for independent retailers to take on 172 grocery stores that it plans to turn into franchises. .... [more] 8 Apr, 2004
Thorntons appoints new chairman. Chocolate maker Thorntons has named Chris Burnett as its new chairman. .... [more] 8 Apr, 2004
Store detectives take M&S to employment tribunal. Marks & Spencer will next week face claims from 55 former store detectives at a London employment tribunal that it breached statutory guidelines for outsourcing staff. .... [more] 7 Apr, 2004
Growing success for lawn care company. Greensleeves Garden Care is preparing for major expansion through a series of franchise deals. .... [more] 6 Apr, 2004
Trouble in store for M&S chief. The chairman of Marks & Spencer, already widely criticised for spreading his time too thinly, was in hot water today as his private equity firm looked set to buy a European womenswear clone called 'M&S'. .... [more] 5 Apr, 2004
Former PizzaExpress chiefs move into curry with Bombay Bicycle acquisition. David Page, who helped to put PizzaExpress on the culinary map, is attempting to repeat his success with a south London-based Indian takeaway chain. .... [more] 3 Apr, 2004
M&S delivers jobs cut warning. Marks & Spencer, which suffered dismal Christmas sales, today said that it could cut up to 1,000 jobs over the next two years. .... [more] 2 Apr, 2004

Moss Bros back in fashion. The Moss Bros menswear chain - which also includes 39 Cecil Gee and Hugo Boss outlets - is back in profit after four years and forecasting good growth this year after a 9% leap in recent sales. .... [more] 1 Apr, 2004
Profits up - but it's hard work. This year's survey of the franchising market by NatWest and the British Franchise Association found that despite a competitive economic climate, 95% of franchisees claimed that their businesses were profitable. .... [more] 31 Mar, 2004
Mothercare may bring back divi. Mothercare is considering reintroducing its dividend after a two-year gap. .... [more] 31 Mar, 2004
Handbags in court as action starts over fcuk logo. One of Britain's biggest fashion firms, French Connection, has taken on a small Manchester company in a battle over its notorious fcuk logo. .... [more] 29 Mar, 2004
Benjys takes a step closer to stock market. Benjys, the fast expanding sandwich shop chain, yesterday signalled its intention to pursue a possible float or sale of the business by beginning the search for a finance director. .... [more] 26 Mar, 2004
Peacock Expands In Middle East Through Franchising. Discount apparel retailer Peacock Group Plc has signed a franchise agreement with Kuwait-based group MH Alshaya Co to roll out up to 40 stores in Turkey and the Arabian Gulf over the next five years. .... [more] 25 Mar, 2004
Show ordinary cyber cafés That's the way to do it. That Café was established in 2001 to provide an alternative approach to the expanding world of cyber cafés. .... [more] 24 Mar, 2004
MFI disappoints the City with its poor bedroom furniture sales. MFI yesterday blamed a dire end to its key winter sale for plunging like-for-like sales at its core UK retail business. .... [more] 24 Mar, 2004
Find out bottom line before you sign. The decision is made and the background research on the franchise selected has been completed. All that is left is to sign on the dotted line. .... [more] 24 Mar, 2004
Become a high roller with new car wash technology. Established by entrepreneur Jim Allison, Bathgate-based Autoshine Express has four outlets in central Scotland which utilise a revolutionary new brushless car wash system, based on the technology used to clean abattoirs. .... [more] 24 Mar, 2004
M&S probes £100,000 staff theft. High Street stores group Marks & Spencer has effectively accused staff at one of its biggest outlets of having their hands in the till. .... [more] 21 Mar, 2004
Dunkin' Donuts in US bidding battle. British food and drinks group Allied Domecq's Dunkin' Donuts subsidiary is poised to join the bidding for a US doughnut chain. .... [more] 21 Mar, 2004
Somerfield adds new store chain to basket. Somerfield, the supermarket group, confirmed its plans to expand into the convenenience store market yesterday with the purchase of Aberness, a Scottish chain. .... [more] 19 Mar, 2004
M&S moves into youth sector. Marks & Spencer is to tackle the young fashion market - dominated by the likes of Top Shop and New Look - with a range of clothing put together by veteran high street fashion expert George Davies. .... [more] 18 Mar, 2004
Franchises could be a safer bet, claim advisers. Franchises could be the best bet for budding entrepreneurs because they are less likely to run into cash problems than other start-ups, according to research. .... [more] 15 Mar, 2004
French Connection suits US tastes. Fashion chain French Connection has reported a 28% rise in annual profits and said its outlook remains strong. .... [more] 9 Mar, 2004
Motivation and Experience are Top Characteristics for Franchisees. The ability to self motivate (68%) and experience of sales and marketing (24%) are the most important characteristics that franchisors seek in potential franchisees, according to the 2004 NatWest/British Franchise Association survey. .... [more] 8 Mar, 2004
Burger King opts for Office politics. This time last year few in the US had heard of David Brent. But just weeks after scooping two gongs at the prestigious Golden Globe Awards The Office is, it seems, inspiring attention from the unlikeliest of quarters - Burger King. .... [more] 5 Mar, 2004
Radice takes on M&S's clothing. Just last week he was sorting things out in Gateshead. Now former Selfridges boss has control of everything at Marks. .... [more] 5 Mar, 2004
M&S appoints new head of clothing. Fashion retailer Marks & Spencer has promoted Vittorio Radice to head its main clothing and merchandise business. .... [more] 4 Mar, 2004
Fox negotiating partnership with UK fashion chain. Sources inform "Globes" that Fox-Wiezel is negotiating a partnership with a UK fashion chain. .... [more] 2 Mar, 2004
M&S tackles its pension shortfall. Marks & Spencer is to inject 400m into its final salary pension scheme to cover most of the current fund deficit, the company has announced. .... [more] 1 Mar, 2004
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