HOME RUN: GUS plc, the retail and business services group that owns a majority stake in Burberry, has announced plans to sell its home shopping and home delivery division for approximately $968 million to March U.K. Limited, a newly incorporated company controlled by Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay — the owners of Littlewoods Ltd., the British retail chain and home delivery business. The businesses that March U.K. will acquire include GUS’s U.K. home shopping catalog operation (which includes Kays, Great Universal, Choice and Innovations); its home shopping businesses in Ireland and Sweden; and the Additions brand and business in the U.K. GUS will receive about $738 million in cash on completion of the transactions and an additional, unconditional sum of about $230 million payable in May 2006.
This story first appeared in the May 28, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
ADLER LEAVES BG: Katherine Adler, Bergdorf Goodman’s vice president and divisional merchandise manager of fine and fashion jewelry, left the luxury retailer earlier this month, WWD has learned. Adler joined the specialty store in 1999 and is widely credited for spearheading the transformation of the main floor, doubling the fine jewelry real estate and bringing in some of the hottest names in jewelry such as Stephen Webster and Julie Baker. Adler was hired in 1999 despite having no experience in the classification. She had run an investment group headquartered in Beijing, and before that, held marketing posts at Avon and the Echo Design Group. Bergdorf’s has not yet named a replacement.
JAPAN QUAKE: More than 100 people were injured Monday, some seriously, from an earthquake that struck the northeastern region of Japan’s main island of Honshu. The quake destroyed a water purifying system at a Fujitsu, Ltd., semiconductor plant in Iwate with a workforce of 2,000, forcing the plant to halt operation. It was unknown at press time when the plant would resume operation. Otherwise there were no immediate reports of major damage to factories or stores in the quake-affected region. The epicenter of the earthquake, which registered six on the Japanese intensity scale of seven, was located 12.5 miles off the city of Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, some 44 miles under the seabed, the Meteorological Agency said. The quake was felt as far away as Kobe. In Tokyo, people on higher floors of office buildings could severely feel a big sway. The quake disrupted railway services in the region, but they were restored Tuesday, according to the East Japan Railway Co. Airports were temporarily closed.