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Today’s news in brief-4/12/23

The owner of Jollyes, private equity firm Kester Capital, is reportedly considering a sale of the UK pet retailer for around £100m, according to sources. City insiders revealed that Kester Capital is collaborating with financial advisors at Houlihan Lokey to explore various “strategic options” for the business. Jollyes, currently operating 98 stores, has shown robust financial growth, with half-year sales reaching £70m, marking a 33% increase from the previous year’s £54m. The pet retailer, on track to open its 99th and 100th stores in March next year, emphasised its commitment to further expansion and meeting the needs of pet owners across the UK.

Marc Allera, CEO of EE, has revealed plans to challenge major competitors like Amazon and Currys by positioning EE as a leading seller of electrical goods in the UK. Allera aims to offer customers a diverse range of services under the EE brand, including the consolidation of various subscriptions into a single, paid account. This move aligns with EE’s strategy to become a “one-stop-shop” for consumers tired of managing multiple subscriptions. In addition, the company is set to consolidate all home services under the EE name, emphasising its ambition to be a significant player in the consumer electronics retail sector.

Mark Constantine, CEO of cosmetics retailer Lush, has pointed to the decline of the UK high street, attributing it to the Conservative government’s reduction of council finances. Constantine expressed concern that local councils, facing financial strain, are unable to invest in town centres, leading to deserted high streets. He urged the government to reconsider its approach and make high streets more vibrant to attract tech retailers and revitalise the retail landscape. Constantine joins other industry leaders, such as John Lewis Partnership’s Sharon White, in calling for a collaborative effort to support the regeneration of the high street.

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Specialist wine retailer Majestic has made strategic appointments in its property team to support its ambitious store opening plans. Stuart Williams, set to rejoin the company as director of estates and acquisitions, will lead efforts to find new Majestic stores and manage existing lease agreements. Andy Latham, currently Majestic’s director of property, will transition to the role of director of format development and new store operations, overseeing planning, fitting out, and setting up new stores. The reshaped property team reflects Majestic’s commitment to growth, with plans to open up to one new store per month in the coming years.

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