CHECKOUT COUNTER: D&G and Smeg in Sicilian tie-up
1. Tesco follows new vision
The UK’s biggest supermarket, Tesco, will sell its 206 optician branches to Vision Express under new plans to further strengthen the business. The retailer opened its first optician branch in Peterborough in 1999. Last year it made £90m in sales. Over the past two years, Tesco has embarked on a turnaround plan to shed noncore units as increased competition and changing shopping habits weigh on sales.
2. D&G and Smeg in Sicilian tie-up
Italian appliance retailer Smeg and fashion house Dolce & Gabbana have teamed up to create Sicilian-themed appliances. The collection, dubbed "Sicily is my love", comprises Smeg’s toasters, kettles, blenders, stand mixers and coffee machines, all richly decorated with the fruit, landscapes and icons that Sicily is famous for.
3. Saudi seeks local labour
Saudi Arabia will prevent foreigners from taking jobs in its shopping centres in a bid to boost employment opportunities for the country’s citizens. Labour ministry spokesman Khaled Aba Al-Khail told news channel Al Arabiya that the decision is expected to generate about 35,000 jobs, and that companies will be given "sufficient" time to deal with foreign labour contracts.
4. Tough times at the top
At luxury retailer Burberry, strong UK and China sales failed to offset a slowdown in the US and Hong Kong. Fourth-quarter retail revenue rose 2% on a comparable basis. Total retail sales rose by 3% to £1.3bn. "In an uncertain environment, we continue to take action to strengthen the brand and reposition Burberry for growth," said chief creative and executive officer Christopher Bailey.