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Retail Round-Up July 8th 2011

Hilco sell Habitat’s European arm to Cafom Sa

Habitat’s European business has been sold by Hilco to Cafom SA, a French international home furnishings retailer. Cafom SA has committed to purchase all 38 stores in Habitat’s European portfolio, which comprises 27 stores in France, 6 in Spain and 5 in Germany. The sale, which remains subject to Works Council consultation and competition authority approval in France, is expected to complete before the end of August.

Tesco applies feng shui as it opens Asian retail academy

Tesco has opened a retail academy in South Korea to train its 100,000 staff in Asia – a sign of the increasing importance of the region to the retail giant. Tesco has invested £300m in the shopkeeping school and is the first FTSE 100 company to launch such an academy in Asia, the Financial Times reported. The college will cater for 24,000 students a year and includes a company museum to help foster a shared culture across the Tesco empire, and its location was decided as a result of feng shui analysis.

End of an era at Clinton

The end of an era is on the cards at embattled retailer Clinton, which is considering handing day-to-day management of the group to someone outside of the Lewin family for the first time. The retailer is searching for a new managing director as founder and chairman Don Lewin, 77, is understood to be putting a succession plan in place ahead of his retirement. The management restructure comes as the retailer fights both the consumer downturn plus fierce competition from supermarkets, online businesses and rival specialists such as Card Factory.

3663 owner eyes $4bn foodservice sale

Foodservice giant 3663 could be sold by its South African owner, with a number of private equity groups thought to be circling. South African conglomerate Bidvest said yesterday it had received bids worth up to $4bn (£2.5bn) for its foodservice arm, which includes 3663 in the UK. 3663’s foodservice rival Brakes was sold to Bain Capital in 2007 in a deal worth around £1.3bn.

Cowan handed GB reins in Diageo reshuffle

Andrew Cowan has been named national director for Diageo GB as part of a management restructure at the drinks giant’s Western Europe operations. Cowan, currently the Guinness brewer’s commercial director for Ireland, takes up his new role on 1 September and will be responsible for leading the GB spirits and beer business.

Reckitt hails progress in bid to cut carbon footprint

Reckitt Benckiser has cut its total carbon footprint by 11% in just two years, according to its latest sustainability report. The maker of Finish, Vanish and Cillit Bang had committed to a 20% reduction from 2007 levels by 2020, as part of its ambitious Carbon 20 programme. But by the end of 2009 the firm had achieved an 11.25% reduction per dose in its products’ total carbon footprint, putting the firm halfway towards its 2020 goal already.
 

Tesco launches first customer mag in China

Tesco is launching what it claims is the first retail customer magazine in China as part of is expansion in the region. Tesco will circulate 750,000 copies of the 72 page free magazine called Tesco Lifestyle at the till in its Shanghai and Shenyang stores. The quarterly magazine will include editorial content covering beauty, health, food, finance and greener living, as well as lifestyle elements such as family care and travel.

McDonald’s to launch “eco uniforms”

McDonald’s staff will wear uniforms created by British designer Wayne Hemmingway from next year. The fast-food chain says that the collaboration is part of its long-term sustainability strategy. McDonald’s is also working with Worn Again, which specialises in “upcycling” clothing and materials to make new products.

Keri Link is a consultant on the Interim team