Today’s news in brief-04/10/23

Aurelius Group, the parent company of Lloyds Pharmacy, has reportedly emerged as a contender in the race to acquire The Body Shop. This places Aurelius Group alongside Elliot Advisors, owner of Waterstones, and private equity firm Epiris as potential buyers. The move comes following The Body Shop’s decision to put the chain up for sale last month. Morgan Stanley is overseeing the sale process, with hopes of finalising a deal by the end of the month.

The proposed rescue deals for over 100 Wilko stores appear to be encountering challenges as new owners seek to renegotiate lease terms with landlords. B&M, which had initially agreed to acquire over 50 Wilko stores, is reportedly delaying the completion of these deals in order to secure more favourable lease arrangements. Poundland, which has already taken over 20 former Wilko stores, has also held off on formal lease applications for some properties.

Fenwick has unveiled an ambitious £40m renovation plan for its flagship store in Newcastle. The extensive facelift is set to encompass various elements including opening up ground floor windows, the installation of a contemporary canopy, and the creation of an impressive central entrance on Northumberland Street. Spearheaded by architect Ben Mailen of Mailen Design, who holds strong ties to the city, the design concept drew inspiration from Fenwick’s illustrious 140-year history. Kieran McBride, the director of the Newcastle store, emphasised the historical significance of the project, emphasising the store’s iconic role in the city since its establishment in 1882. He expressed the vision that the new frontage will not only offer a warm welcome to all visitors but also cement Fenwick’s position as the preferred shopping destination for the entire region.

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Topps Tiles has notched up revenues of £263m in FY23, marking the third consecutive year of record turnover for the group. This achievement places sales a notable £40m above the levels recorded in FY19. The impressive 6.4% rise in sales over the previous year is attributed to a significant outperformance in the UK tiling market. Topps Tiles is now making swift progress towards its ambitious goal of securing a 20% market share by 2025.


Tesco has announced adjusted operating profits of £1.3bn in the UK, marking a substantial 17.2% increase. This surge in profits is attributed to a robust 7.8% rise in like-for-like sales and a concurrent drop in inflation over the first half of the fiscal year. Encouraged by this performance, Tesco now anticipates delivering retail adjusted operating profits between £2.6bn and £2.7bn for the entire 2023/24 financial year. The supermarket chain attributes its success to an unwavering focus on customer needs and significant cost-cutting measures.

Superdry has finalised an agreement to sell its South Asian Intellectual Property to Reliance Brands Holding UK (RBUK) for a substantial £40m. Under this deal, RBUK will gain majority ownership of the Superdry brand and associated trademarks in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. This marks a strategic joint venture, with RBUK holding a 76% stake and Superdry retaining the remaining 24%. Superdry anticipates gross cash proceeds of approximately £30.4m from the £40m sale. The company is set to invest £9.6m in the joint venture entity, offsetting the proceeds. This move is expected to pave the way for the Superdry brand’s robust growth in South Asia.

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