Today’s news in brief

Mike Ashley is reportedly in talks to sell the online clothing label Missguided to Shein, a Chinese-founded online fashion platform. If successful, this would mark Shein’s first acquisition of a British fashion brand. The deal is anticipated to cover Missguided’s brand and intellectual property, with Ashley’s company retaining its head office. Shein, valued at around $66bn, aims to go public in the U.S. within the next year.

Boots has decided to cancel its plans to launch an online marketplace. Initially announced in spring 2023 as part of the company’s digital transformation efforts, this platform was intended to allow brands to list their products on Boots’ website. Instead, the company will focus on enhancing its existing dropship programme, which facilitates direct delivery of third-party brands’ products to shoppers. This shift in strategy comes amidst a 25% surge in online sales for Boots in the last quarter.

Elliott Advisors, the owner of Waterstones, has entered the race to acquire The Body Shop, which was put up for sale by its current owner, Natura. While Elliott has submitted an indicative bid for the cosmetic chain, it remains uncertain whether they are still actively pursuing the acquisition. Natura, having owned The Body Shop since 2017, initiated the sale process due to a post-pandemic downturn in performance. Analysts estimate the business to be valued at £405m.

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Nordstrom has made three key executive appointments to its merchandising and store organisations. Jamie Nordstrom assumes the role of chief merchandising officer, Fanya Chandler is appointed president of Nordstrom Stores, and Gemma Lionella takes on the role of president of Nordstrom Rack. These appointments are effective immediately and aim to strengthen Nordstrom’s leadership team.


Lululemon Athletica has appointed Shane Grant to its board of directors, effective November 1, 2023. Previously, Grant held significant roles at Danone and the Coca-Cola Company, bringing a wealth of experience in consumer businesses and global growth. His insights are expected to be invaluable as Lululemon continues to pursue its growth strategy.

The collapse of Wilko means that there have now been over 100,000 retail job losses since 2020, according to data from the Centre for Retail Research. Over 17,000 jobs have been lost at large and medium-sized retailers in the current year alone. This figure does not yet account for the majority of Wilko staff. The total job losses in 2020, 2021, and 2022 were 53,364, 24,179, and 6,732 respectively. Following the Wilko collapse, Poundland and B&M have acquired several stores, and they have expressed intent to prioritise Wilko staff in hiring for the purchased locations.


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