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Today’s news in brief- 1/11/23

Matthew Moulding, the founder of THG, has acquired a 3.2% stake in Kelso Group, a shareholder critical of THG’s business leadership. Moulding’s investment of approximately £300,000 comes amid Kelso’s consistent claims that THG is undervalued, advocating for the separation of its divisions. Kelso, launched in 2022, raised £3m to invest in undervalued listed businesses. Despite Kelso’s calls for strategic changes, THG maintained its full-year revenue and EBITDA guidance after a strong quarterly performance. The group’s Beauty division drove positive constant currency revenue growth of 3.2% in September.

Frasers has pulled out of its deal to acquire SportScheck, a German sports retailer, following SportScheck’s parent company, Signa Holdings, filing for administration. Frasers now aims to acquire SportScheck through a pre-pack deal and expressed disappointment in the insolvency but reiterated its commitment to becoming the leading sports retailer in the EMEA region. The company plans to work with the appointed preliminary insolvency administrator of SportScheck to acquire its business/assets out of administration.

Aldi has committed £12m to reduce prices on more than 180 of its products, following the introduction of its ‘Christmas Price Lock.’ This initiative ensures that prices for key festive items, such as turkey crowns, pigs in blankets, Christmas puddings, and vegetables, remain the same as in 2022. Throughout the holiday season, Aldi is slashing prices by over 20% on over 180 Christmas products, including stuffing, chocolate, prosecco, and frozen party foods. Over the past few months, the supermarket has already lowered prices on almost 300 products. Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, emphasises the commitment to making quality food affordable, ensuring everyone can enjoy the festive season with low prices.

Chris Cramer, former president of Parade, has been named the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Claire’s. With over 20 years of experience at Bath and Body Works, including roles as CFO and COO, and previous positions at IBM and Accenture, Cramer is tasked with driving the company’s strategic roadmap through business and operational planning. Ryan Vero, CEO of Claire’s, expresses confidence in Cramer’s ability to enhance operational efficiency and lead the company into the next phase of profitable growth.

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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) reports early signs of footfall recovery in the UK retail sector for November. Total UK footfall decreased by 0.7% year-on-year, an improvement from October’s -5.7%. High Street footfall improved to -1.7%, Retail Parks decreased by -1.0%, and Shopping Centre footfall improved to -2.2%. Wales exhibited the least significant year-on-year drop at 0.4%, while Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland recorded drops of 0.9%, 1.0%, and 4.9%, respectively. Helen Dickinson, CEO of the BRC, attributes the uptick to increased consumer confidence, easing inflationary pressures, and predictable weather, fueled by Black Friday sales.

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