Sears to abandon shoe business
Sears, the troubled retailer, is quitting the shoe business after 75 years with the loss of 550 jobs. The group is to close or sell all 775 shoe shops and take a pounds 150m charge. The fate of the company now rests on whether it can complete the sale of Freemans, its catalogue business, to Littlewoods, and float Selfridges. reports Sameena Ahmad.
Friday 26 September 1997
Speaking as the group announced headline half-year losses of pounds 98m compared to pounds 3.5m profits last time, Sir Bob Reid, chairman, said yesterday that the company would demerge the Freemans catalogue business if the sale to Littlewoods was blocked by Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade. Freemans' book value is around pounds 200m. However, Sir Bob - who expects a decision from the Government on the sale no later than the end of November - said he was confident that the sale would be approved: "I don't see why it will be blocked. The merger of the two would create a strong force in retailing able to compete against the likes of GUS. To disrupt that doesn't make sense."
Sir Bob said that plans to spin off the Selfridges department store were on track for mid 1998, and that the business could be worth pounds 800m. He said that, given the break up of the group, he had decided not to appoint a chief executive to replace Liam Strong who was ousted earlier this year. "We have chief executives for both Selfridges and the clothing business. There is no need for someone to sit on top of them. Since Liam has gone I have taken on a lot of his responsibilities." Sir Bob said he would stay on with the group for around a year after the demerger of Selfridges, but then planned to step down.
Investors had been braced for yesterday's news, and the company's already depressed share price eased 0.5p to 58p.
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Three killed at South Korean nuclear reactor days after hackers target country's atomic agency
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...