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: : Jul/Aug 2003

PizzaExpress takes axe to outlets. Struggling PizzaExpress has put the For Sale sign up at 10 of its London outlets. .... [more] 22 Aug, 2003
Storm looming at Monsoon. Fashion chain Monsoon has run into a storm over an attempt to buy out minority shareholders without offering a reasonable takeover premium. .... [more] 21 Aug, 2003
M&S adds to its Lifestores. Marks & Spencer will today name Kingston upon Thames and the Lakeside shopping centre near Thurrock as the next two locations for the Lifestores being developed by Vittorio Radice. .... [more] 21 Aug, 2003
Pizza Hut bans smoking. Restaurant chain Pizza Hut has introduced a smoking ban in all its UK restaurants. .... [more] 17 Aug, 2003
M&S closer to credit-loyalty card. High Street stores group Marks & Spencer took a step closer to offering customers a combined credit and loyalty card today after the banks backing its development agreed a 1.25bn loan. .... [more] 15 Aug, 2003
Ryland ends rift with Pendragon. Independent directors at the upmarket car dealership group Ryland yesterday ended a 12-month stand-off with its rival and major shareholder Pendragon by agreeing to sell the business. .... [more] 14 Aug, 2003
Countrywide raises profit forecast. Countrywide Assured Group, the owner of Britain's biggest estate agency, has raised its profit forecast after July house sales surged. .... [more] 14 Aug, 2003
M&S admits defeat on US sale. Retail giant Marks & Spencer has admitted defeat in its two-year attempt to sell its north American supermarket arm. .... [more] 14 Aug, 2003
Cassani to join M&S board. Barbara Cassani, the former chief executive of the low cost airline, Go, and head of London's 2012 Olympic bid, is to join the board of Marks & Spencer as a non-executive director. .... [more] 13 Aug, 2003
Petrol station forecourt shopping 'to grow twice as fast as high street'. Supermarket groups are likely to launch a major charm offensive to woo petrol station owners after research predicted forecourt shopping would grow twice as fast as the high street over the next four years. .... [more] 11 Aug, 2003
Harrods with a hole. American tourists will soon feel at home in Harrods when Krispy Kreme, the US doughnut retail chain, opens its first outlet in what is arguably London's premier department store. .... [more] 6 Aug, 2003
Hair firm that just keeps on growing. Middlesbrough-based Contemporary hairdressing is celebrating a 61pc growth in sales and is moving towards a franchise operation. .... [more] 6 Aug, 2003
Gap hotshot switches to Marks. Retailer Marks & Spencer has poached a new head for its troubled childrenswear business from rival fashion group Gap. .... [more] 4 Aug, 2003
Regus to expand in west country by franchise. Regus, the UK's leading serviced-office provider, is launching an expansion drive aimed at small business occupiers in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall from January by tapping local expertise in the opening of business space. .... [more] 31 Jul, 2003
Express Dairies shares turn sour on OFT price-fixing investigation. Express Dairies shares dipped yesterday on news that the Office of Fair Trading has launched a price-fixing investigation into three dairy groups. .... [more] 29 Jul, 2003
Monsoon sales heat up. Monsoon looks set to cash in on the recent hot weather after seeing summer sales shine. .... [more] 28 Jul, 2003
New chain will teach Britain's coffee lovers to drink Italian. If you thought the high street was already packed with coffee shops, then hold on to your cappuccino: the Italians are coming. .... [more] 27 Jul, 2003

Stoneycroft closes in on Monsoon. The family trust which is trying to increase its stake in the fashion retailer Monsoon was close to reaching its target of buying an extra 20 per cent of the company yesterday, despite damaging criticism over the move. .... [more] 25 Jul, 2003
Warm weather heats up June retail sales. Shoppers flocked to the high street in June, the warmest in decades, pushing retail sales growth to its fastest pace for more than a year, figures showed today. .... [more] 24 Jul, 2003
Prints' up-to-the-minute man. In 1997, Richard Dinnes was looking for a new direction. His employer was undergoing a corporate takeover and the future looked uncertain for his role within the organisation. He decided that the time was right to go into business for himself. .... [more] 22 Jul, 2003
Brazin to detail 160-store UK foray. Troubled music and lingerie retailer Brazin expects to open as many as 160 shoe and surfwear retail shops across the United Kingdom in an effort to regain its growth path. .... [more] 21 Jul, 2003
Hamleys accepts Baugur's 59m offer. Regent Street toy store Hamleys has told its shareholders to accept a 59m bid from Icelandic retail investor Baugur after rival bidder Tim Waterstone withdrew from the contest. .... [more] 18 Jul, 2003
Jobcentre go-ahead for Ann Summers. The government has conceded defeat in its battle to prevent Ann Summers from advertising in Jobcentres and will allow the sex toys and lingerie chain to advertise from 21 July. .... [more] 18 Jul, 2003
Mothercare signals recovery. Baby-care retailer Mothercare has signalled it is recovering from past distribution problems as its same-store sales in the 15 weeks to July 11 rose. .... [more] 18 Jul, 2003
Waterstone withdraws Hamleys bid. Tim Waterstone, the bookshop entrepreneur, today bowed out of the takeover battle for Hamleys, conceding the famous London toy store to Baugur, the owner of Iceland. .... [more] 17 Jul, 2003
Fears over sales of childrenswear weigh on M&S. Marks & Spencer shares fell 7 per cent yesterday after a first-quarter trading statement showed disappointing progress in the group's key clothing division, with childrenswear still the biggest problem area. .... [more] 17 Jul, 2003
Doughnut duel moves to UK. The turf war in the US doughnut industry between two of the biggest players, Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme, is about to spill over into Britain. .... [more] 13 Jul, 2003
M&S to pay Vandevelde 520,000 a year in shares for a three-day week. Marks & Spencer unveiled a trailblazing pay package for its chairman, Luc Vandevelde, yesterday, paying him in shares rather than cash in an attempt to avoid criticism for payments for failure. .... [more] 9 Jul, 2003
M&S abandons pay cut plans. Marks and Spencer has ditched controversial plans to suspend double pay for shop assistants working unsociable hours. .... [more] 4 Jul, 2003
Monsoon investors query boardroom independence. Minority shareholders in Monsoon, the fashion retailer, yesterday expressed concerns about corporate governance at the company as the family trusts of the founder moved to increase their stake in the company to 92.5 per cent. .... [more] 4 Jul, 2003
Battle for Hamleys intensifies. The bidding war for Hamleys intensified today as Baugur, the Icelandic retailer, raised its offer for the toy store to 58.7m. .... [more] 3 Jul, 2003
Monsoon chief courts controversy with proposal for share buyout. The family of Peter Simon, the founder of the Monsoon fashion chain, launched a controversial offer to increase its stake in the company to 92.5 per cent yesterday. .... [more] 3 Jul, 2003
Ice-cream shop is too posh for city. The estate agents handling the sale of a city Haagen Dazs ice cream parlour today claimed it had been forced to close because the people of Norwich were not trendy enough for it. .... [more] 2 Jul, 2003
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