Today’s news in brief-9/5/24

Frasers Group is reportedly finalising a deal to become the new partner of struggling retailer Ted Baker following the collapse of its previous UK licensing partner, No Ordinary Designer Label (NODL). Sources indicate an agreement with NODL’s administrators could be reached in the coming days. This move would add Ted Baker to Mike Ashley’s retail portfolio, which includes House of Fraser and Sports Direct. Other interested parties, such as Next and Ted Baker’s US licensing partner OSL, had also shown interest in acquiring the retailer.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is calling on grocery stores to prioritise accurate pricing after finding pricing discrepancies in a review of 139 stores. The majority of issues were identified at independent and symbol convenience stores, where prices were inaccurate or missing on certain products. The CMA has released new compliance materials to help retailers adhere to consumer law and ensure that displayed prices match what shoppers are charged at the till.

Selfridges plans to cut around 70 jobs, attributing the decision to the UK government’s discontinuation of tax-free shopping for international tourists. CEO Andrew Keith cited this policy change as a factor behind the redundancies. This news follows Selfridges’ recent financial performance, which showed increased sales but continued losses before tax.

Former BT chief Gavin Patterson has been appointed as an independent non-executive director of Ocado Group. Patterson brings significant multinational leadership experience and expertise in B2B technology companies to Ocado’s board. His appointment comes as Ocado expands globally beyond its UK online grocery operations into new sectors. Ocado’s chairman and CEO welcomed Patterson’s appointment, noting his valuable perspective for the company’s development.


Watches of Switzerland Group has acquired Roberto Coin Inc., a renowned luxury jewellery brand, for $130m (£104.2m). Roberto Coin will continue to operate independently within the group, leveraging Watches of Switzerland’s retail expertise to enhance its presence in the US luxury jewellery market. The acquisition reflects the group’s strategy to strengthen its position in luxury branded jewellery and drive growth through wholesale distribution and direct-to-consumer channels.

Waitrose executive director James Bailey has declared that the “era of cheap food is over,” emphasising the need for sustainable food production. Waitrose plans to support British farmers in transitioning to regenerative agriculture, aiming for net-zero emissions across its stores. This initiative reflects a broader industry trend towards sustainable sourcing and reducing food waste, with major retailers urging government action to address these challenges.

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