CHECKOUT COUNTER: Jamie Oliver restaurants face closure
A weekly round up of the hottest international retail and consumer news.
1. McDonald’s sells control of China franchise
1. McDonald’s sells control
of China franchise
McDonald’s will offload a controlling stake in its mainland China and Hong Kong operations to a group of investors for about US$1.7bn. The new owners are Chinese state-backed conglomerate Citic Ltd, Citic Capital Holdings and private equity firm Carlyle Group. They aim to open as many as 1,500 restaurants in smaller Chinese cities over the next five years. McDonald’s, which is retaining a fifth of the company, wants to (believe it or not) slim down. It’s been streamlining global operations.
2. Neiman Marcus scraps IPO plan
Struggling department store operator Neiman Marcus has asked the US Securities & Exchange Commission for permission to withdraw its initial public offering registration. Neiman also operates the famed Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan.
3. Jamie Oliver restaurants face closure
Ciao. Jamie Oliver will shut six of his Italian restaurants in the UK during the first quarter of the year citing a tough market and lower pound post-Brexit, which increased the cost of importing ingredients. According to the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, there are 70 Jamie’s Italians worldwide (including one in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg).
4. Next cuts profit forecast
Almost £1bn was wiped from Next’s value last week after shares closed more than 14% down at £40.85. This followed the UK retailer’s surprise update, in which it said profit for the year to December 24 was likely to come in at £792m — £100m below forecasts. This was its worst day’s trading since March, raising fears that high street fashion rivals faced a tough festive trading period. So it’s not just us then.