Conran admits to storing up trouble

APPOINTING Michael Julien to be chief executive of Storehouse was the 'biggest mistake of my life', says Sir Terence Conran in today's Independent on Sunday, writes Roger Trapp.

Ecstasy seized in warehouse raid

Seven people were arrested after police seized 200,000 ecstasy tablets in a raid on a disused warehouse in Ponders End, north London. Detectives, who also found 20kg of the powder, said it was 'the most sophisticated laboratory' discovered in Britain.

Bottom Line: Kwik Save still good value

KWIK SAVE grew through the fat years, continued to flourish in the recession and, according to Graeme Seabrook, the outgoing chief executive, will carry on pleasing the market when things pick up. Yesterday's interim figures suggest he is right.

Littlewoods plans to open warehouse club to subscribers

LITTLEWOODS Organisation, Britain's biggest private company, announced plans to open a 'warehouse club' store by the end of the year, selling cut-price groceries and durables to subscription-paying members.

View from City Road: More candidates for the cut-price club

Warehouse clubs - shed-style stores where subscription-paying members can buy cut-price food and durables - are suddenly all the rage. In theory, at least. None yet exists in Britain, but CostCo of the US has been negotiating UK sites for months. Nurdin & Peacock, the cash-and-carry operator, announced this month plans for two warehouse clubs. Now Littlewoods has thrown its hat into the ring.

Hope for business property

THE commercial property market is set for recovery, with investors planning to spend more this year, according to a survey of property companies and institutional investors.

View from City Road: Senseless silence at Storehouse

STOREHOUSE has some explaining to do. After a day of speculation in the City that sent the shares 11p lower to 194p it was left to Carter Hawley Hale, the US department store chain now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, to announce that David Dworkin, who has been chief executive of Storehouse since July, is joining as president and chief executive from 1 April. Storehouse had steadfastly refused to comment on the rumours, thereby prolonging the uncertainty and shaking investors' confidence.

United Distillers warehouseman

(Photograph omitted)

Crisis takes over warehouse

Martin Meaney from north London drinking a cup of tea courtesy of Crisis. The charity has taken over a warehouse in Islington to provide shelter for 2,000 homeless people for eight days over Christmas. Other shelters are in Barrow-in-Furness, Southport, Skelmersdale, Lancaster, Stoke, Peterborough, Glastonbury, Hastings, Hull, Oxford and Haverhill, all offering food, showers, bedding, clothing and medical treatment.

1 million packs of gum stolen

Thieves stole 1 million packets of chewing gum from a warehouse yesterday.

View from City Road: Storehouse freed from its chains

THE UNBUNDLING of Storehouse is almost complete. The Richards chain has gone. So has Habitat in Britain and France. The loss-making American arm of Habitat will be sold or shut down within months. There should be no trouble finding a buyer for the popular Blazer shops. Storehouse will then be reduced to two chains, BhS and Mothercare. The ill-fated plan of seven years ago to build a portfolio of high street chains under the umbrella of a design-led parent will be finally laid to rest. And good riddance to a pretty flaky idea.

Levis fakes

About 1,300 pairs of fake Levis jeans worth pounds 50,000 were seized from a London warehouse, trading standards officers said.

Blaze knocks chemical firm's shares

SHARES in Allied Colloids, the Yorkshire chemicals company, dropped yesterday as fears grew that it will have to foot a large environmental bill after a fire at its main plant, writes Robert Cole.
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