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: : May/Jun 2003

Hamleys views rival offers. The bidding war for the Hamleys toy shop chain has gathered pace following news that the store's directors have withdrawn their backing for an original takeover. .... [more] 30 Jun, 2003
Body Shop is bruised by tourism slump. Green cosmetics retailer The Body Shop yesterday revealed a big slump in underlying sales at its core UK business. .... [more] 27 Jun, 2003
Bidding war breaks out for Hamleys. The founder of Waterstone's bookstores, Tim Waterstone, has launched a bid for Hamleys, the world famous toy retailer. .... [more] 27 Jun, 2003
M&S staff face pay cuts. Staff at Marks and Spencer, once seen as one of the most generous employers, are furious to discover that their pay packets are likely to be getting smaller. .... [more] 25 Jun, 2003
Small firms 'at risk' from new law. Small firms are losing out to unfair competition from local authorities, according to a body representing small businesses in the UK. .... [more] 24 Jun, 2003
Hamleys keeps door open to Waterstone bid. The toy retailer Hamleys reiterated its support for a management buyout yesterday but held the door open to a higher offer from the bookselling entrepreneur Tim Waterstone. .... [more] 24 Jun, 2003
Fidelity may reject 278m offer for PizzaExpress. The biggest shareholder in PizzaExpress is considering not accepting the terms of the 278m takeover offer for the struggling restaurant group over concerns that the price does not reflect the long-term value of the business. .... [more] 24 Jun, 2003
The safe route to starting a business has its downside. Franchising allows individuals a potentially safer route to start a business but this is tempered by the reduced profitability. .... [more] 23 Jun, 2003
Toy story, part two: Tim Waterstone mulls counter-bid for Hamleys. Tim Waterstone, the entrepreneur behind the Waterstone's book chain and the children's retailer Daisy & Tom, said yesterday that he might submit a formal bid for Hamleys. .... [more] 21 Jun, 2003
Surprise fall in UK retail sales. The UK's High Street shops had a disappointing time last month, according to the latest set of official figures. .... [more] 19 Jun, 2003
Sex toys chain wins legal fight. Ann Summers, the sex toys and lingerie chain, has won its legal fight against a ban on advertising for workers in job centres. .... [more] 18 Jun, 2003
Hamleys agrees 47m takeover. World famous toy retailer Hamleys has been bought by its management team with the help of the Icelandic company Baugur. .... [more] 17 Jun, 2003
Doorstep mail deliveries help Express Dairies return to profit. Express Dairies, which was awarded a Postcomm mail delivery licence in April, yesterday said it is already delivering 100,000 items a week and has deals to deliver books, CDs, contact lenses and catalogues. .... [more] 17 Jun, 2003
Franchising: It's hard to find good staff these days. Growth in franchising is still being held back by the shortage of the right people to operate the outlets. It has been a problem for some years and it is getting no easier. .... [more] 16 Jun, 2003
Body Shop founder honoured. The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick has been made a dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. .... [more] 16 Jun, 2003
Asda's Kate snubs Marks & Spencer. Marks & Spencer has suffered a major rebuff in its attempts to find a new chief for its children's clothing division, eight months after the departure of Michele Jobling. .... [more] 15 Jun, 2003
7.2m bonanza for M&S chiefs. Marks & Spencer executives shared in 7.2m pay and perks last year. Most went to chairman Luc Vandevelde, chief executive Roger Holmes and the latest man charged with pepping up the brand, Vittorio Radice. .... [more] 13 Jun, 2003

Recognition Express named top UK franchise. Badge making franchise Recognition Express was unveiled as this year's Franchisor of the Year at a lavish awards ceremony in central London last week. .... [more] 11 Jun, 2003
INTEREST - UK 'not yet ready for the euro'. Key economic tests for ditching the pound and joining the euro have not yet been met, Chancellor Gordon Brown has told MPs. .... [more] 9 Jun, 2003
Icelanders back bid for Hamleys. A bid battle for the 200-year-old Hamleys toy business loomed last night after it emerged that the Icelandic retail investment group Baugur has agreed to finance a management buyout. .... [more] 5 Jun, 2003
Ready to take on the big boys. Jack Kyrris is sure he hasn't bitten off more than he can chew. The Notts entrepreneur is suing fast food chain Burger King for a "minimum" of 42 million. .... [more] 2 Jun, 2003
Pendragon drives up profits hopes. Pendragon, the UK's largest car dealership group, says strong trading means profits for the full year are likely to be ahead of market hopes. .... [more] 2 Jun, 2003
Blair ready to fight for euro. Prime Minister Tony Blair says it is important for Britain to join Europe's single currency and that he is ready to battle sceptical public opinion. .... [more] 1 Jun, 2003
Bhs chief makes offer to buy Harrods. Philip Green, the maverick retail entrepreneur who owns Top Shop and the Bhs department store chain, has offered to buy Harrods, the Knightsbridge store, from Mohamed Al Fayed. .... [more] 29 May, 2003
Mothercare falls into the red. The High Street retailer Mothercare has made bigger-than-expected losses, cancelled its dividend and warned that its recovery programme will take longer that first thought. .... [more] 22 May, 2003
M&S unveils expansion into home store market. Marks & Spencer yesterday unveiled details of its new chain of homeware outlets, promising stores focused on "concept worlds" rather than traditional furnishing departments. .... [more] 21 May, 2003
Thorntons' profits melt away. Hot, sunny weather and chocolate do not mix - as confectionery manufacturer and retailer Thorntons found to its cost in the run-up to Easter. .... [more] 21 May, 2003
Barter exchange system takes businesses back to the future. The newest idea in the world of franchising is one of the oldest forms of trade, predating even the invention of money itself. .... [more] 20 May, 2003
Knowledge that can be taken on trust. In buying a business format franchise, you are buying the right to run a system that somebody else has proved will work. .... [more] 20 May, 2003
Safeway to press Green over bid plans. Safeway, the supermarket retailer at the heart of a protracted 3bn five-way takeover battle, is to meet Philip Green on Thursday, to ascertain if the entrepreneur is serious about mounting a bid. .... [more] 20 May, 2003
M&S to unveil loyalty credit card. Marks & Spencer will join the ranks of the credit card giants this week when it unveils details of its nationwide loyalty scheme. .... [more] 18 May, 2003
Mothercare slips back. Mothercare, the babywear retailer which has enjoyed a rally of sorts since February, has been falling in recent days. .... [more] 17 May, 2003
INTEREST - UK's euro decision day named. The announcement on whether the UK should join the euro will be made in the House of Commons on 9 June, Downing Street has said. .... [more] 15 May, 2003
INTEREST - Pro-euro bosses press Blair. Pro-euro bosses are urging Tony Blair not to rule out joining the single currency before the next election. .... [more] 12 May, 2003
A coffee coup for Whitbread. The John Lewis Partnership has clinched a deal with Whitbread to put Costa coffee shops into Waitrose supermarkets. .... [more] 11 May, 2003
INTEREST - Brown denies sidelining euro. Chancellor Gordon Brown has attempted to reassure euro supporters he would support Britain's membership of the single currency under the right economic circumstances. .... [more] 11 May, 2003
Ex Pizza Express owner drops bid. The former owner of Pizza Express has pulled out of the battle to take over the business. .... [more] 9 May, 2003
Laura Ashley becomes fashion victim. The beleaguered high street fashion retailer Laura Ashley today announced the resignation of its chief executive as it reported a full-year loss and cancelled its annual dividend. .... [more] 8 May, 2003
Australian's UK inns a boon to the backpacker. Antipodean backpackers fed up with spending their European peregrinations at basic youth hostels or fleainfested B&Bs will soon be able to stay at designer budget inns built especially to cater for their needs. .... [more] 8 May, 2003
Firms set to join M&S tax challenge. Marks & Spencer's court challenge to the Inland Revenue is reportedly to be joined by up to 45 businesses to recoup up to 1bn of tax. .... [more] 4 May, 2003
Green told: Show your hand. Safeway has called on retail king Philip Green to make clear whether he intends to launch a bid for the company. .... [more] 4 May, 2003
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