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Retailing - 2004
Wilkinson is looking to recruit 100 staff for a new discount store due to open in Bedminster next year.
Argos is to set up a 500,000 sq ft distribution centre at Max Park in Corby in the spring, with the creation of 400 jobs, and the site will be operated by Wincanton.
Filmnight has acquired Apollo, the chain of 65 video shops and 200 franchises, for undisclosed terms.
Harry Winston of the US is to set up its first UK store on London's New Bond Street in 2007.
Whole Foods Market is planning to open about six organic food megastores in the London area over the next few years.
Faith Shoes is planning to open more than 30 outlets over the next four years, to add to the existing 67 stores and 120 concessions.
Levi's is looking to expand its chain of 21 jeans stores with up to 60 new sites.
Focus has outlined plans to invest about £150m in the development of 50 new DIY stores.
John David Group has acquired RD Scott, the chain of 23 fashion stores in the North West, Midlands and Yorkshire, for £4m.
Focus Wickes has sold its Wickes chain of 172 DIY stores to Travis Perkins for £950m.
Ceredigion County Council is to consider plans from Eatonfield Holdings for a £15m regeneration project in Cardigan, including a new shopping centre.
Macmillan Distribution is to expand its book distribution facility in Pontarddulais by 35% over the next two years, with the creation of up to 40 jobs.
Tesco is seeking permission to rebuild its supermarket in Wragby Road, Lincoln, with the creation of at least 150 new jobs.
Faith Shoes, the chain of 67 shoe shops and 120 concessions, has been acquired by Bridgepoint Capital for £64m.
Dunelm is planning to expand its chain of 68 home furnishings stores with about 20 new outlets a year.
Hugo Boss, the fashion company, is to relocate its London headquarters to a 35,000 sq ft office and showroom in Camden in June.
Durham Tees Valley Airport is planning to build a number of new retail outlets, and talks are already under way with some potential operators.
Carmarthenshire County Council and Simons Developments have announced plans for a £50m market site regeneration scheme in Carmarthen, including a Debenhams store, 21 two-storey retail units and the creation of about 300 jobs.
Horsham District Council has awarded a £20m contract to Miller to build a retail and leisure village at Southwater in West Sussex.
Jessops is planning to expand its chain of 268 camera shops with 20 new sites a year, eventually taking the total to 450.
Barnsley Council has appointed the 1249 Regeneration Partnership to undertake the £180m redevelopment of Barnsley town centre, including new indoor and outdoors markets as well as a cinema and amphitheatre.
Sheffield City Council has approved plans from Deutsche Bank Real Estates for the multi-million pound refurbishment of The Moor shopping centre.
Courts has sold Courts Contracts, which fits out show homes for housebuilders and has 90 staff at eight warehouses, to a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.
Aston Villa is seeking permission from Birmingham City Council to build a £8m shopping and housing development in Witton.
Floors 2 Go is planning to expand its chain of 120 stores with up to 25 new sites by the end of next year, and is particularly interested in East Anglia, the South and Northern Ireland.
Cooltrader is planning to expand its chain of frozen food stores from 23 to 33 next year.
Topps Tiles is planning to expand its chain of 220 tile stores with 24 new outlets next year.
Sainsbury has acquired JB Beaumont, the operator of six convenience stores in the East Midlands with 193 staff.
Marks & Spencer is planning to open a further six Simply Food stores at Moto motorway service areas over the next 18 months.
Aldi is planning to expand its chain of 278 discount grocery stores with up to 200 new sites over the next seven years, at a cost of more than £500m.
Wolverhampton Council is to consider plans from Simon Developments for the £50m transformation of the 14-acre Springfield Brewery site into a new village with shops, apartments and offices.
Solution Footwear is planning to expand its chain of six shoe shops with ten new sites, having secured new investment.
Stefanel of Italy is planning to open ten knitwear stores in the UK over the next two years, and is seeking a master franchisee.
Wakefield Council is considering plans for a £50m redevelopment of the town centre, including an extension to the Carlton Lanes shopping centre.
GUS is planning to open 45 Homebase DIY stores over the next three years.
Wilson Bowden has won planning consent for the £70m redevelopment of Bishop's Stortford town centre, which will double the size of the 100,000 sq ft Jackson Square shopping centre.
Krispy Kreme is planning to open a further 21 doughnut stores across the country.
Olan Mills, the chain of 73 photographic studios, has been acquired by Piper Private Equity and Graphite Capital for up to £10m.
QXL Ricardo, the online auction company, is to undergo a £12m management buy-out.
CJ Lang & Son of Dundee has sold its Penrith-based cash-and-carry and food service operations to Peter Lowrie & Co of Newcastle for undisclosed terms.
Meteor Electrical is to create 100 new jobs at its Cookstown-based electrical wholesaling business over the next 18 months, with vacancies in warehouse management, distribution and telesales.
ScS Upholstery is planning to expand its chain of 65 sofa stores with up to six new sites over the next 12 months.
Merchant Retail Group is planning to expand its Perfume Shop chain with about 12 new stores next year.
Dainese of Italy is planning to open its first sportswear stores in the UK, and has appointed Cushman Wakefield Healey & Baker to find suitable sites.
Anglia Co-op has acquired seven Sunwin department stores from United Co-op for undisclosed terms, and the sites will be converted to Anglia's Westgate format.
Jimmy Choo, the supplier of shoes and other luxury goods, has sold a majority stake to private equity firm Hicks Muse in a £101m deal.
Mothercare is to invest £6m in setting up a new 300,000 sq ft warehouse in Daventry next year, and the site will be managed by Exel.
Interflora is expected to be acquired by 3i for £23m, with almost 1,900 flower shop owners receiving up to £12,000.
Clinton Cards is to acquire Birthdays Group, the greetings card retailer with 500 stores, for £49m.
Barclays Private Equity has supported a management buy-out at The Original Factory Shop, the 54-strong Yorkshire-based chain that is planning to open a further 20 sites over the next three years.
Majestic Wine is planning to expand its chain of 120 wine stores with up to eight new sites a year.
Gowrings, the chain of 41 Burger King restaurants, is to be acquired by Caspian for £9.6m.
House of Fraser is to open a department store at the Northgate Centre development in Chester in 2008.
LK Bennett, the chain of 50 fashion stores valued at about £75m, has appointed BDO Stoy Hayward to find outside investors to take control of the business.
Macdonald Estates has won planning permission for a £25m retail, office and residential scheme on Dunfermline high street.
John Lewis is to set up a 220,000 sq ft department store at the £250m Tricorn development in Portsmouth, and is also planning to open a store in Crawley.
Jeroboams Group has acquired La Reserve, the London-based drinks retailer and wholesaler with four stores.
Esquires Coffee Houses is planning to expand its chain of 15 coffee shops with 12 new sites over the next 12 months.
New Heights is planning to expand its chain of 11 hardwood furniture stores to 20 by 2008, having received a £1.7m investment from the owner of Wilkinson's.
Sainsbury has sold its former headquarters in London's Stamford Street to the Beetham Organization for £48m, and Beetham will submit redevelopment plans.
Tesco has unveiled revised plans for the £150m redevelopment of the former Vaux site in Sunderland, including a superstore, a mall, apartments and a 90-room four-star hotel.
West Coast Capital is to help finance the £40m expansion of the Qube shoe retailing business, which is expected to grow from ten to 150 stores over the next five years.
Peacocks is opening 100 new clothing stores this year, with the creation of 1,300 jobs.
Mk One, the chain of 176 fashion stores, is to be acquired by Baugur in a £55m deal.
Debenhams is to spend £6m refurbishing its Oxford Street department store in London, which will involve the addition of a new sales floor and the relocation of its buying department to the nearby headquarters.
Asda is planning to open about eight more standalone George fashion stores next year, and 50 potential sites are being considered.
Aldi, the food retailer, is planning to set up a distribution centre and regional headquarters on a 28-acre site at the Capital Business Park in Cardiff, with the creation of 300 jobs.
Past Times, the historical gifts retailer, is planning to set up 50 concessions in department stores over the next three years.
N Brown has acquired House of Bath, the gift catalogue, for £1.1m, in order to expand its home shopping business.
NWF Group has sold five country stores to Countrywide Farmers for £2.4m, and has also announced the acquisition of Victoria Garden Centre for £6.1m.
Ikea is seeking permission to build a furniture superstore on the site of the former Peerless Edible oils factory on Merseyside, with the creation of 500 jobs.
Ikea has announced plans to build a furniture distribution warehouse in Walsall, with the creation of 50 jobs.
Midlands Co-op has acquired Metro Discount Stores, the Burton-based chain of eight food stores, taking its estate to 162.
Booths is planning to expand its chain of 26 supermarkets to 40 over the next few years.
Early Learning Centre is planning to open about 15 toy shops a year, and is currently improving the lighting and flooring at its 215 sites.
Cromwells Madhouse, the discount fashion retailer, is expected to be bought out of administration by Sports Soccer.
Blacks Leisure has acquired 27 Outdoors stores from the Scout Association for £2.6m.
Officers Club is looking to double the square footage at its chain of 185 menswear stores, with the creation of 400 jobs over the next five years, and is also seeking a suitable site for a new head office and warehouse in Cramlington.
JT Morgan, the Swansea-based speciality warehouse store, has undergone a £1m management buy-out, securing the future of 150 jobs.
Morrisons is to sell 114 Safeway stores and a distribution centre in Welwyn to Somerfield and Northwharf Investments, in two deals worth £260m.
Tesco has submitted plans to Forest of Dean District Council to build a new superstore in Cinderford.
Slater Menswear is planning to expand its chain of 17 stores to 100, including new sites in Dundee, Inverness, Crawley, Preston and Bolton.
Kingdom of Leather is to refurbish six shops and reopen them under the Natuzzi format, and a further four sites will be sold off.
Asda is to open a buying office for its George fashion business in Switzerland, which could lead to the international expansion of the brand.
Cambridge City Council has approved plans from Ravenseft Properties to build 21 new shops and 15 apartments at Bradwell's Court.
B&Q is to open a new DIY superstore in Halifax next year, with the creation of 130 jobs.
Benjys is planning to open 150 new sandwich bars by 2006, with the creation of 2,000 jobs.
Sainsbury is to create 3,000 new jobs in its supermarkets, in order to improve the availability of stock on the shelves, but a further 700 head office jobs are expected to be lost.
Co-operative Group has acquired Howard & Palmer, the Swansea-based pharmacy chain with 174 staff and 30 branches.
Hobbs, the fashion retailer, is to undergo a £110m management buy-out backed by 3i.
Peacocks is planning to expand its chain of Perfume Shops from 36 to more than 50 over the next 12 months.
Optical Express is to acquire the in-store dental and laser eye correction services operated by Boots, saving 700 jobs, and the services will be integrated into new or existing locations.
Tesco has won planning permission to build a 480,000 sq ft distribution centre at Parnell Way in Peterborough by next August, and the site will be developed by Raven Group.
Debenhams is said to be considering plans to relocate its Derby department store to the planned new Eagle Centre extension, making way for a new £20m library.
Eastbourne Borough Council is to consider proposals for the multi-million pound expansion of the Arndale shopping centre.
Cooltrader has acquired Poundfreeze, the West Midlands-based chain of eight frozen food stores, taking its chain to 20.
Zannier of France is planning to open 30 children's wear stores in the UK over the next three years, and is in talks with potential franchise partners.
Laser Electrical, the chain of eight electrical stores in Northern Ireland, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.
Leveys, the Whitley Bay-based chain of 18 decorating stores with 120 staff, has been acquired by Strategic Retail for undisclosed terms.
Hardy Amies is to raise £2m in a share issue to fund expansion into fragrances, shoes and homewares.
Marks & Spencer has acquired the Per Una clothing range for £125m.
Poundland, the discount retailer, is seeking permission to set up a distribution centre at the disused Metabrasives site in Springvale, Bilston, with the creation of up to 500 jobs.
Asda is planning to open a new £25m superstore in Walsall next year, with the creation of up to 500 jobs.
Hennes & Mauritz is planning to open a further five fashion stores this year, taking the total to 91.
Kingfisher is planning to open more than 100 Castorama warehouse stores in Poland over the next five years.
Co-operative Group is to invest £8m in the development of a 300,000 sq ft distribution centre in Coventry by next June.
Liverpool City Council is considering plans from St Modwen to relocate Great Homer Street market to a purpose-built market hall nearby.
Salvation Army is planning to expand its chain of 49 charity shops to about 200 sites, and aims to create a more professional retailing operation by targeting shopping centres.
Clinton Cards is planning to open a further 40 greetings card stores over the next few months, and expects the chain to reach 1,000 by 2010.
Arcadia's owner is planning to set up a £10m retail academy, in order to train school leavers in all aspects of the retail sector.
AF Blakemore has expanded its chain of Tates grocery stores with the acquisition of four central London outlets from Lords Food & Wine, taking the total to 193.
Gamestation is planning to open about 70 computer games stores by the end of next year.
Capital & Regional and Morley Fund Management are planning to invest £20m in improvements to the Cleveland shopping centre in Middlesbrough over the next three years.
Thornfield Properties has won planning permission for the £20m regeneration of Thornaby town centre on Teesside, including new shops and offices.
Budda Group is planning to open about five coffee houses over the next 12 months, having just revamped its flagship bar in Glasgow's St Vincent Street.
Zushi is planning to set up a nationwide chain of about 50 sushi conveyor restaurants, having just opened the first in Cardiff.
Capital & Regional is planning to double its portfolio of 21 covered shopping centres over the next three years.
Index is planning to open 100 catalogue stores on retail parks over the next few years.
Courts, the furniture retailer, is planning to relocate its Wimbledon head office to an existing site in Morden.
Furniture Village is planning to expand its chain of 29 stores with about ten more sites over the next two years.
JW Fidler & Son, the Manchester-based wholesaler of food and equipment with 70 staff, has undergone a management buy-in.
Ikea has submitted plans to build a furniture store in Doncaster, creating up to 500 jobs.
Preston Council has approved plans from Warner Estates to expand the Fishergate Centre with 12 new shops and a department store, creating 300 jobs.
Culpeper has raised £1m to fund the expansion of its herbal products retailing business, and up to six new outlets will open next year.
Extreme Group has acquired Legends Surf Shops out of administration, and plans to rebrand and reopen the stores.
Bhs is investing £20m in the refurbishment of 50 department stores by the end of October, and plans to open five new stores next year.
Harvey & Thompson, the pawnbroker with 57 outlets, has been acquired by the Rutland Fund for £49m.
Azendi is planning to expand its chain of four jewellery stores by opening three or four new sites next year.
Vom Fass of Germany is planning to open up to 50 off-licence stores in the UK by 2007, to add to the existing six.
Argos is seeking permission to set up a flagship store at the £100m Cattle Market development in Gloucester.
Wagamama has raised £13m to double the size of its chain of noodle bars to 50.
Comet is to create more than 300 jobs at its newly-opened distribution centre in Skelmersdale over the next two years, and the site will be operated by Exel.
Arcadia has identified 60 potential sites to set up new Topshop fashion stores.
Maplin, the chain of more than 80 electronics stores, has undergone a £244m buy-out backed by Montagu Private Equity for £244m.
Graphite Capital has backed a management buy-in at JT Frith, the wholesale warehouse club with sites in the Midlands and Yorkshire, for undisclosed terms.
Dundees is setting up a chain of 13 sandwich shops on Tyneside following the acquisition of sites from Milligans and Nichol & Laidlow, and about 25 staff will be added to its 60-strong workforce.
Littlewoods is creating 250 temporary jobs at its home shopping call centre in Crosby.
Orange is to expand its chain of 250 mobile phone stores with 20 new sites by the end of the year.
Dreams is to open ten new bed superstores over the next ten weeks, and aims to reach 200 sites eventually.
Moss Pharmacy has acquired Joyce Morrison, the chain of 17 pharmacies in Scotland, for undisclosed terms.
Denbighshire County Council has approved plans for the expansion of the Tweedmill retail centre in St Asaph, with the creation of up to 50 jobs.
Walsall Council has announced plans for the development of a £50m shopping centre next to the Shannons Mill designer outlet, with the creation of about 800 jobs.
Tesco is seeking permission to build a "store on stilts" in Whitehaven, with the creation of 150 jobs.
American Golf Discount Centre has been acquired by a management buy-in team for about £40m, and now plans to expand its chain of 61 stores with about 25 new sites over the next five years.
Tesco has sold the Dillons chain of 181 newsagent shops to TM Retail for undisclosed terms.
Video Island is to merge with Screen Select to create the country's largest online DVD rental company.
Sainsbury is considering plans to vacate its headquarters in Holborn, three years after moving there, in order to relocate outside London.
Osim of Singapore has opened its third health food store in Solihull, as part of plans to open a 50-strong nationwide chain over the next five years.
Bolton Council is considering plans from Agora Shopping Centres to extend the Market Place centre with an additional 100,000 sq ft of retail space.
Sainsbury has acquired Jacksons Stores, the chain of 114 convenience stores in Yorkshire and the Midlands, for about £100m.
The Department of Health is planning to introduce legislation that will allow supermarkets to open 24-hour pharmacies.
United Co-operatives has acquired Quality Fare, the chain of 19 convenience stores in the north-east, for £38m.
Linens Direct is planning to expand its chain of 28 soft furnishing stores with four new sites in the Midlands and the south this year.
Murphy & Nye is seeking franchise partners to expand its nautical fashion brand across the country, and believes there is potential for about ten stores.
Turkington is planning to set up the first four motorway service stations in Northern Ireland, and discussions with potential store operators will start next month.
ECI Partners has acquired M&M Sports, the online and mail order retailer of discounted branded sports and leisure goods, for undisclosed terms.
Wine Cellar, the chain of 250 off-licences, is relocating its head office and 65 staff from Warrington to The Heath Business & Technical Park in Runcorn.
Greggs is to increase capital expenditure from £32m to £50m in 2005, in order to invest in new bakery stores and production facilities.
Georgica is to sell its 32 Burger King restaurants to Cairnserve Northwest for £4.7m, in order to focus on cue sports and bowling centres.
Wilco Motor Spares has acquired Motosave, the automotive shop chain with 190 staff at 24 workshops and 23 shops in northern England, for undisclosed terms.
Scotmid is to acquire Dundee-based Morning Noon & Night's 50 stores across Scotland for about £30m.
Courtney Airsavers is planning to expand its Newcastle-based chain of four travel agents across the north of England, including acquisitions and new branches in Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Liverpool.
National Schoolwear Centres is planning to expand its chain of 37 schoolwear stores to 50 by the end of the year and 90 within the next three years.
Matalan is to open a £1m clothing superstore at the Merry Hill Centre in the West Midlands in November, with the creation of more than 100 jobs.
Games Workshop is to create up to 100 jobs over the next year with a £10m investment in new offices and a warehouse in Nottingham.
New Look is to close its fashion distribution centre in Weymouth in September 2005 with the loss of 580 jobs, in order to set up a new site in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Wyevale Garden Centres has acquired Great Park Nurseries, the operator of Jack's Patch Garden Centre in Devon, for £4m.
TK Maxx is looking to expand its chain of 154 discount fashion stores to about 300, and 30 sites will be refurbished this year.
Monsoon is planning to set up a chain of childrenswear stores, following the success of a trial at Brent Cross, London.
Gamestation is planning to expand its chain of 180 computer games stores to about 200 by the end of the year.
United Co-operatives has acquired Cheers Shropshire, the Oswestry-based chain of 12 Neighbours convenience stores with 200 staff.
Hawkshead, the outdoor clothing retailer with 12 stores and 16 concessions, has undergone a management buy-in from Retail Variations for undisclosed terms.
Specsavers has acquired Tva Bla, the Swedish chain of 19 opticians with annual sales of £9m.
Mackays Stores is planning to expand its chain of 260 discount fashion stores with 50 new outlets.
Paperchase, the chain of 61 stationery stores, has been sold by Graphite Capital to Borders for £19m.
Tesco has won approval from Flintshire County Council to build a superstore in Holywell town centre.
DP Furniture Express is planning to open at least ten more stores and a distribution centre in Liverpool this year, and is also considering acquisitions and a flotation.
Luton Borough Council has announced proposals to redevelop Luton town centre, including improvements at the Arndale shopping centre.
HMV is to spend £10m refurbishing stores this year, and up to 25 new outlets will be opened.
HobbyCraft is planning to expand its chain of 19 hobby supermarkets to about 60.
Ben Sherman is planning to open two new standalone fashion stores and 20 concessions over the next 12 months.
Snow & Rock, the operator of 11 outdoor clothing stores, has been acquired by the founder of the Forever Friends brand for undisclosed terms.
Eliza Tinsley has acquired MH Berlyn Group, the Cradley Heath-based supplier of consumer products with 70 staff, for £2.2m.
Asda is planning to open its first stand-alone general merchandise store in Walsall in October.
Cotton Traders is considering plans to open leisurewear stores at motorway service stations, depending on the success of a trial on the M5.
Cotswold Outdoor is planning to double its chain of 15 camping and outdoor sports stores over the next five years.
John Lewis is to create 25 jobs at a new 161,000 sq ft furniture distribution warehouse at Grange Park in Northamptonshire.
La Tasca Restaurants is planning to expand its chain of 39 tapas bars with up to ten new outlets this year.
Carpetright is planning to expand its chain of 364 carpet stores in the UK and Ireland to 450 by 2009.
Home Entertainment Corporation has acquired In-Store Movies, the supplier of video and DVD rental products to convenience stores.
John Lewis is to build a department store in Lisburn with the creation of almost 1,000 jobs, and construction work is expected to start next year.
Nisa-Today is planning to build a £30m distribution centre at the Normanby Enterprise Park in North Lincolnshire, with the creation of up to 300 jobs.
Gresham, the private equity firm, is to help finance a multi-million pound expansion by Wirral-based Cooltrader, which will involve opening 40 discount frozen food stores over the next four years.
Pets at Home, the chain of 155 pet stores, is to be acquired by private equity group Bridgepoint for about £230m.
Build-a-Bear Workshop of the US is to expand its chain of two teddy bear stores in the UK with a £4m investment from Wittington Investments.
Barclays Ventures has awarded £5m of funding to 99p Stores to expand its chain of 20 discount stores to 70 over the next three years.
Karen Millen, the fashion retailer with about 125 stores and concessions, has been acquired by Baugur of Iceland for £120m.
Mulberry is planning to open a limited number of luxury goods stores and concessions in the UK, and is also looking to expand in the US and Asia.
Body Shop International is paying £11m for a 75% stake in its Mighty Ocean franchise in Hong Kong, in preparation for its expansion into China.
Tiffinbites is planning to open 50 Indian-style fast food shops over the next three years.
Bathstore is planning to expand its chain of 63 bathroom shops with 30 more outlets this year.
Music Zone is to invest £10m in the expansion of its chain of 53 music stores to about 100 over the next three years.
Castle Morpeth Council is to consider plans from Trinity Development Company for a £35m retail, housing and leisure development in Morpeth town centre.
Coffee 1 is planning to open 16 more coffee shops in South Wales and the West Country over the next three years.
Dixons is planning to create 2,000 jobs across Europe and 1,000 in the UK this financial year, by expanding its chain of electrical goods stores.
Londis, the convenience store chain, is to accept a £60m takeover offer from Musgrave of Ireland.
Marks & Spencer has announced plans to set up a 90,000 sq ft superstore at the Broughton Shopping Park near Chester, with the creation of 850 jobs.
Morrisons has acquired a 14-acre fruit packing site at Thrapston, Northamptonshire, from The Greenery, and will create 300 new jobs.
Costco is planning to expand its chain of 15 warehouse club stores, and is in negotiations for a further 40 sites.
Crest Nicholson has submitted plans for a £100m mixed-use development in Camberley, including 120,000 sq ft of retail space, a cinema and bowling.
Price-drop.tv is planning to open a chain of ten shops this year, and a further ten in 2005, following a successful trial in Hatfield.
Asda has submitted plans to build a £15m superstore in Whitehaven by 2006, with the creation of up to 350 jobs.
Flintshire County Council is to consider plans from Hercules Unit Trust and Development Securities to extend a retail park in Broughton, including a two-storey Marks & Spencer store and up to 850 new jobs.
Asda is to create 250 new jobs with the £18m expansion of its Boldon Colliery store on Wearside by July 2005.
Signet, the jewellery retailer, is to relocate 85 jobs in its finance, IT and human resources departments from London to Birmingham.
Waitrose is recruiting 50 staff for a new store due to open in Newmarket in October, while 200 staff will transfer from its existing site.
Schuh, the Livingston-based footwear retailer with 37 stores, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.
Blueheath is planning to raise up to £15m in a flotation on Aim to fund the expansion of its distribution service for small retailers.
Ethel Austin has been acquired by ABN Amro for £122m, and plans to expand its chain of 271 discount clothing stores to 470 over the next five years.
Antler, the operator of 24 luggage stores and more than 70 concessions, has undergone a £44m management buy-out backed by Barclays Private Equity.
Rituals of the Netherlands is planning to open 30 cosmetics and homewares stores a year in the UK, starting with a five-store trial.
AMS, the Redditch-based retail display equipment supplier with 240 staff, has undergone a £5m management buy-out.
Video Island has secured £6m of private equity to fund the expansion of its online DVD rental service.
Capital Incentives, the Chester-based supplier of staff reward schemes and gift vouchers with 100 staff, is to be acquired by Accor of France for £17m.
Peacocks has acquired The Fragrance Shop, the Liverpool-based operator of 29 perfume shops, for up to £15m.
Marks & Spencer has won planning permission for the £125m redevelopment of its Baker Street headquarters in London, including seven floors of office space, a health club and 32 new homes.
Tesco is seeking permission to build a 726,000 sq ft distribution centre in Peterborough, with the creation of up to 1,000 jobs.
Tomo is to open two new mobile phone stores in Glasgow with the creation of 50 jobs.
Burger King is planning to expand its chain of 700 fast food restaurants with at least 25 new sites this year, with the creation of 800 jobs.
Dixons Group is to acquire WHSU, formerly known as Micro Warehouse, in order to expand the business-to-business operation of its PC World subsidiary.
USC, the operator of 40 branded clothing and footwear stores, has been acquired by West Coast Capital for undisclosed terms.
BHK is to expand its chain of 13 flooring stores to 30 by the end of next year, with the creation of 70 jobs, and is considering sites in Hull, Bristol, Teesside and Scotland.
Ethel Austin is to open 40 discount clothing stores a year until 2009, and is currently in exclusive takeover talks with ABN Amro Capital.
Virgin Megastores is planning to close or sell some of the less-profitable music stores from its 167-strong chain, but larger stores will continue to open as part of a £90m investment programme.
Tesco is to seek planning permission to build a new superstore in Ballymena.
Ilva of Denmark has selected Piccadilly Basin in Manchester as the location for its first furniture superstore in the UK, with the creation of 250 jobs.
Borders is planning to expand its chain of 53 bookstores by about 25% by the end of next year.
David Sands, the chain of 17 convenience stores, is to relocate to a new £1.5m head office and 27,000 sq ft warehouse in Kinross, Perthshire, next spring.
Abrakebabra, the Irish chain of 70 kebab outlets, is to open five franchised sites in the UK, starting with Banbury, Bedford and Northampton.
Mothercare is planning to open up to ten baby goods stores a year, and has identified 40 potential high street locations and 20 out-of-town sites.
Amazon, the online retailer, is to set up a 300,000 sq ft distribution centre at Gourock in Renfrewshire with the creation of 300 jobs.
Culpeper, the chain of herbalists, is to close its Cambridge-based headquarters in August and relocate its warehouse operations to Braintree and its administrative operations to London.
Johnson Service is to acquire Sketchley Services, which includes 103 dry cleaning shops, from the Timpson Group for a nominal sum.
Hennes & Mauritz, the fashion retailer, is planning to open a distribution centre in Winsford later this year, with the creation of about 100 jobs.
Fortnum & Mason, the upmarket grocery retailer, is planning to open its first overseas outlets, starting with two stores in Japan.
Tesco is to create 400 jobs at a new superstore being built at Clay Cross in Derbyshire.
Poundstretcher, the discount retailer, is to relocate its head office from Leeds to Huddersfield in August with the creation of about 400 jobs, and a distribution centre will open at the new site early next year.
Blooms of Bressingham has raised £2.5m in a share placing, in order to develop garden centres in Gloucester and Rugby.
Music Zone is considering plans to open a chain of book shops, and is seeking sites in Scotland and the north of England.
Oxfam is planning to set up a chain of 20 fair trade coffee shops called Progreso by 2007.
Asda has announced plans to create 4,300 jobs this year, as part of a £400m investment that will include relocations, 21 store extensions and new sites in Dorset, Somerset, London and Merseyside.
Somerfield has acquired eleven forecourt convenience stores in Scotland from the receiver of Osprey Forecourts for £2.6m.
Tesco is to expand its distribution centre in Middlewich, with the creation of 30 jobs.
Musgrave is planning to open 25 SuperValu and Centra food stores in Northern Ireland this year, taking the total to 130.
Co-operative Group is to acquire Conveco, the Bristol-based chain of 64 convenience stores with more than 900 staff, for an estimated £25m.
Tesco has secured planning permission to build a £10m superstore in south Belfast, with the creation of up to 500 jobs.
Waitrose is to set up a 210,000 sq ft distribution centre at Bardon in Leicestershire by April 2005, which will be operated by Hays Logistics.
Debenhams is to relocate its Exeter department store to the £175m Princesshay development.
Blacks Leisure is planning to open 30 stores this year, and is interested in sites being vacated by Dixons.
Dickinsons has acquired Decorflair, the chain of eight interior decorating stores in the north-east, for undisclosed terms.
Morrisons is planning to recruit 700 additional staff for its new headquarters in Bradford over the next 12 months, while only a few of its recently-acquired Safeway staff are expected to relocate from Hayes.
Tesco is to build a new superstore at Cheetham Hill in Manchester, with the creation of 400 jobs.
Homestyle is to sell its Rosebys chain of textiles stores to a management buy-out backed by Lloyds TSB for £50m.
Birmingham City Council is to consider plans from Standard Life for the development of a £60m retail park on the site of Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, and the college will move to nearby Haden Circus.
Klondyke Garden Centres has won permission to set up a garden centre and visitor attraction on a 24-acre site at Houghton Hall near Carlisle.
Limavady Borough Council is considering plans from Oakmore Developments for the £8m transformation of the former cattle market into a retail centre, with the creation of 200 jobs.
Body Shop International is planning to open more than 300 stores around the world over the next three years, and is particularly interested in the US, Europe and South America.
Argos is seeking permission to build a 730,000 sq ft home delivery distribution centre on the Faverdale Industrial Estate in Darlington, with the creation of 700 jobs.
Ciro Citterio, the operator of 52 menswear stores, has been bought out of administration by Anar of Huddersfield.
Debenhams is to recruit 700 staff for a new department store due to open at the MetroCentre in Gateshead this autumn.
TK Maxx, the clothing retailer, is said to be planning to transfer its warehousing and distribution operation to Walsall's Green Lane, with the creation of 850 jobs.
Dreams, the bed retailer, is to set up a 50,000 sq ft head office for 120 staff in Loudwater.
Jimmy Choo is planning to expand its chain of 22 luxury goods stores in eight countries to 50 over the next five years.
WH Smith has sold its ASPAC Retail operations in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong to Pacific Equity Partners.
Mexx is planning to expand its chain of eight fashion stores and 120 concessions, and its largest site will open at the Bullring in Birmingham in September.
Laura Ashley is planning to relocate 30 of its 200 stores from high street location to out-of-town sites over the next two years.
Spark Response is to create 150 jobs at its call centre in Gateshead, having won a number of new outsourcing contracts.
Jessops, the camera retailer, is to relocate its distribution activities from sites in Leicestershire to a Unipart site in Weedon, Northamptonshire, with the transfer of up to 155 staff.
Specsavers is planning to open 40 optician outlets throughout the country this year, with the creation of 400 jobs.
Oil & Vinegar, the Dutch food retailer, is to expand its chain of 14 UK-based stores to 30 by the end of the year.
Costcutter and Numark are planning to open a chain of about 20 combined pharmacy and convenience stores.
Julian Graves is to open 15 kiosks selling specialist ingredients at hospitals, stations and shopping malls over the next 12 months, and 50 new stores are also planned.
Blooms of Bressingham is to sell its new plant marketing operations for up to £0.5m, and the proceeds will be invested in its garden centres.
Big Food Group is to accelerate the programme to refurbish its Iceland food stores from three to six sites a week.
Ilva of Denmark is planning to open 20 furniture superstores in the UK over the next ten years, and is expected to sign a number of leases over the next few weeks.
Glasgow City Council has approved plans from Alba Town for a £30m shops and housing development at Glasgow Cross.
Keep Able is to expand its West Midlands-based mobility aids business by opening more shops, with the creation of more than 100 jobs.
Pets at Home, the Cheshire-based chain of 150 stores, is planning to open a further 100 superstores and 100 high street outlets over the next five years, and 300 jobs will be created at 20 new stores this year.
Mappin & Webb is to set up a flagship jewellery store on New Bond Street in London.
Wyevale Garden Centres has acquired Carr Gate Garden Centre of Wakefield for £2.5m, taking its total to 123 sites.
Westfield is to create up to 2,000 construction jobs during the £200m refurbishment of the Eagle shopping centre in Derby.
Early Learning Centre, the chain of 200 toy shops, has been acquired by Eagle Retail Investments for £62m, and will now be merged with the Daisy & Tom chain.
George Wimpey is considering plans to set up a nationwide chain of home improvement outlets, and is currently running trials in Edinburgh and Cannock.
Hennes & Mauritz is planning to expand its chain of 80 H&M fashion stores to about 100 by 2005.
Staples is planning to acquire Office World's 59 UK-based office supplies stores for £33m.
The Retail Practice is seeking funding of £2m to open up to five Venus & Mars gift shops, following a trial in Leamington Spa.
Netto is to expand its chain of 134 discount stores by opening 20 new sites a year, and believes there is scope for up to 1,000.
Delcor is looking to expand its chain of 12 upmarket furniture stores into new parts of the country, having just opened outlets in Manchester and Edinburgh.
Floors 2 Go is planning to expand its chain of about 100 laminate flooring stores to 300, and has just undergone a £70m flotation on Aim.
Carphone Warehouse is to accelerate its UK and international expansion programme by opening 200 mobile phone stores over the next 12 months, taking its European total to more than 1,400.
Moss Bros is to refurbish 30 of its 100 Moss menswear stores this year at a cost of £2m, while £3m will be spent on two new Boss stores, a new design for Cecil Gee and new IT systems.
Pret a Manger is planning to open 50 Pret Cafes over the next two years, mainly outside London.
Birthdays, the greetings card retailer, is considering plans to relocate its head office and up to 200 jobs from Bury to Glasgow.
Boots is to spend £250m opening 40 edge-of-town and 20 convenience stores this year, and about 3,000 new jobs will be created.
Debenhams is to open a department store in Craigavon in the autumn, with the creation of 230 jobs.
Fat Face is planning to open 25 fashion stores a year over the next three years, to add to the existing 70.
Hobbs is looking to double its 50-strong chain of womenswear stores, and will also open franchised outlets in continental Europe.
Specsavers has acquired Blic, the Swedish spectacles retailer, and plans to expand the chain from 34 to 70 sites.
Sainsbury is to sell Shaw's, its chain of 202 US supermarkets, to Albertson's for £1.4bn.
Strides has bought the Van Mildert fashion store chain, which employs 40 staff in Durham and York, out of receivership for undisclosed terms.
Dellstone Fireplaces of Leicestershire is planning to open a further five retail outlets over the next five years, following a recent management buy-in.
Woolworths is to invest £25m in a refurbishment programme for its main high street stores this year, while its Big W stores will be rebranded as Woolworths and some of the larger sites will offer sub-lets to other retailers.
MFI is planning to open up to 40 out-of-town furniture stores over the next year, taking its total number of outlets to 254.
Tesco is seeking permission to build a superstore in Castle Douglas, with the creation of 200 jobs.
Tesco is raising £650m in a 25-year property deal with Topland, which will involve setting up a joint venture company to issue bonds and using the rent from the stores to cover the interest.
JA Magson is to relocate its York-based stationery and toys distribution business to a larger site at Clifton Moor, with the creation of 30 jobs.
Peacocks is looking to expand its chain of 400 discount fashion stores to 700 in the long-term.
Uniqlo is to revive plans for the expansion of its chain of fashion stores, and believes there is potential for at least 100 outlets nationwide.
Somerfield has acquired Aberness, the operator of 36 convenience stores in Scotland with net assets of £4.8m.
Otto Group UK is to create 300 extra jobs at its Grattan mail order business in Bradford, but 500 jobs will be lost at its Freemans warehouse in Peterborough.
Marks & Spencer is to open a £2.6m store in Omagh next summer, with the creation of 50 jobs.
Ashtenne Holdings has sold InShops, the owner and operator of 58 properties that are let to independent traders for use as indoor markets, to Geraud UK for £16m.
Wyevale Garden Centres is planning an acquisitions and refurbishment programme to expand its chain of 122 sites.
New Look has accepted a £699m offer to sell the chain of fashion stores back to its founder, with financial backing from Apax and Permira.
Johnson Service is planning to open up to 25 dry cleaning outlets in London over the next 12 months.
Elmbridge Borough Council is considering plans from O&H Properties for the £100m redevelopment of Walton-on-Thames town centre, including the reconfiguration of 154,000 sq ft of retail space.
Cargo HomeShop is planning to expand its chain of 36 furniture stores with up to three new sites a year.
VV Rouleaux is planning to open ribbons and trimmings stores in Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.
John Lewis is planning to open a department store at the Shires shopping centre in Leicester in 2007, and one in Cardiff in 2008.
Christian Vision has acquired the Guildhall shopping centre in Exeter from Axa Sun Life for £44m, and is planning a £1m refurbishment project.
French Connection is looking to expand its fashion retailing business by spending up to £40m on the acquisition of new brands.
B&Q has announced plans to open 20 DIY stores this year, with the creation of 3,500 jobs.
Margram is planning to develop ten convenience stores on forecourt sites this year.
T-Mobile Retail is planning to double its chain of 124 mobile phone stores over the next two years.
Crabtree & Evelyn is planning to expand its chain of 41 toiletries stores with up to five new outlets.
Ben Sherman is planning to set up a chain of 27 fashion stores over the next four years, having opened the first in London's Carnaby Street 18 months ago.
Debenhams is looking to expand its franchised department stores business abroad, and is particularly interested in India, China and Indonesia.
Asda is planning to open standalone George clothing stores in Northampton and Preston in May, as part of a trial.
Robert Dyas is to be acquired by private equity firm Change Capital for £61m, and is now planning to double its chain of 75 hardware stores over the next five years.
Fireplace Store is considering plans to set up a chain of 50 fireplace stores, and is due to open its second outlet in Bristol next month.
Penny Plain, the operator of seven fashion stores, has undergone a management buy-out, and plans to expand to 40 outlets nationwide within five years.
Begbies Traynor has sold eight Karrimor outdoor equipment stores out of receivership to Lonsdale Sports for almost £4m, and is now seeking a buyer for the remaining 20 stores.
Internetdirect, the online supplier of cameras and electrical products, has been bought out of administration, saving 35 jobs.
Marks & Spencer is to create more than 100 jobs at a new store due to open at Parc Fforestfach in Llanelli in the early summer.
Argos is creating 160 customer service jobs at its Argos Direct office and warehouse centre in Stafford.
Perth & Kinross Council is considering plans from Ridale Developments to develop a retail park on a 65-acre site on the outskirts of Perth.
Marks & Spencer is looking to spend up to £50m on the acquisition of sites for its Lifestore homewares format, although only two more stores are due to open by summer 2005.
Chemicare Health of St Helens is planning to expand its chain of 14 pharmacies in the north west with a £10m acquisition programme.
JJB Sports is to create up to 60 jobs at a new sports store and leisure centre due to open on Kidderminster's Weavers Wharf development next month.
East Riding Council is considering revised plans from Key Growing to build a £1m flower and plant packing facility at Plaxton Bridge, Woodmansey, with the creation of up to 150 jobs.
Alliance UniChem is planning to expand its chain of 800 Moss chemists with up to 80 new stores this year, and is also seeking acquisitions for its wholesaling business.
Primark is planning to open a further six discount clothing stores over the next six months.
Apax Partners is to provide £20m of private equity to Silverscreen, to fund the development of a chain of up to 180 DVD stores over the next four years.
Home Bargains is planning to expand its chain of 100 homeware stores to 120 this year, and is seeking sites in the north.
Adnams is planning to set up a chain of specialist food and wine stores across East Anglia, and has also announced plans to build a distribution depot near Southwold.
Wagamama is considering plans for a £50m flotation in order to help fund the expansion of its chain of 22 noodle bars.
Sainsbury has acquired Bells Stores, the operator of 54 convenience stores in the north-east, for about £21m.
Republic has secured a £20m investment, partly from venture capital company 3i, to fund the expansion of its chain of 40 fashion stores.
Ask Central, the chain of 172 pizza restaurants, has accepted a £213m takeover offer from TDR, the owner of PizzaExpress, which beats a previous offer from City Centre Restaurants.
Subway is planning to open sandwich concessions in convenience stores, and is currently expanding its chain of 231 standalone stores with 20 new sites a month.
Urban Outfitters of the US is looking to open fashion stores in a number of major UK cities, to add to existing sites in London and Glasgow.
Green Baby, the supplier of environmentally-friendly clothing and accessories, is planning to expand its chain of two stores to six by 2007.
Game is planning to open up to 110 new computer game stores across Europe this year, including 50 in the UK.
Apple Computer is planning to open a 20,000 sq ft flagship store on London's Regent Street later this year, selling its entire range of electronic products.
Stationery Box is looking to expand its 160-strong chain of stores by about 25%, and Lambert Smith Hampton is seeking sites in the north and the Midlands.
City of York Council is to consider plans from Gregory Group for a 14-acre retail development in the Foss Islands Road area, including a Morrisons supermarket.
Centrale is to create 2,200 jobs when its new £100m shopping centre opens in Croydon, with retailers such as Mango, Elle and Allsports already recruiting staff.
Waitrose has awarded a £5m contract to Moss Construction to build a supermarket in Droitwich by March 2005.
Dobbies is considering 19 potential sites for new garden centres, and is also looking to open farm shops at some of its existing sites.
B&Q is to create 300 jobs at a new DIY superstore due to open at Trafford Park in July.
Budgens is planning to open a further 30 franchised stores over the next few months.
Cotton Traders is to open three leisurewear shops in airports this year, and hopes to have 14 airport sites in three years time.
Furnitureland, the chain of 22 furniture stores, has been acquired by US-owned SB Capital for undisclosed terms.
GlynWebb is looking to double the size of its chain of 25 DIY stores over the next five years, and will spend £1.5m refurbishing five stores this year.
Whisky Shop is planning to double its chain of six whisky stores, and will seek high street locations across the UK.
Caffe Nero is planning to expand its chain of coffee bars from 145 to 400, having increased its target from 300 because of lower high street rents and reduced competition.
Asprey & Garrard has secured an undisclosed equity investment from Morgan Stanley to fund the international expansion of its jewellery retailing business.
Whittard of Chelsea is planning to expand its chain of 109 tea and coffee stores with about ten new outlets a year.
British Bookshops & Stationers, the Brighton-based chain of 49 book stores, is to be acquired by Eason & Son of Ireland for about £30m.
Vision Express is planning to expand its chain of 203 opticians by opening 100 franchised outlets over the next five years.
Bargain Booze, the off licence chain, is seeking a suitable location to open a third distribution depot by the end of next year, to add to existing sites in Crewe and Stoke.
Sainsbury has announced a £550m deal to acquire Swan Infrastructure, the company set up by Accenture to operate its tills and IT systems, in order to save £25m a year.
Marks & Spencer is considering plans to set up a separate chain of stores for its per una fashion brand, with the first expected to open in Chelsea in June.
Boots is to outsource its Nottingham-based D82 Warehouse and 600 jobs to Unipart, while 300 new jobs will be created across the Boots logistics operation to cope with extended working hours and more frequent deliveries.
Shop Direct is to close a call centre in India and transfer the 250 jobs back to sites in Worcester, Burnley, Bolton, Widnes, Preston and Newtown in South Wales, following the company's acquisition by March UK.
Hammerson has won government approval to build an 80,000 sq ft retail park at Thanet, Kent, which will include a Homebase store.
Blackburn with Darwen Council is to consider plans for a £15m extension at the Blackburn Shopping Centre, including an additional 160,000 sq ft of retail space.
B&Q is planning to open a further 60 DIY stores in China by 2008, and is also considering moves into India and Thailand.
Music Zone is planning to expand its chain of 47 music stores with eight new outlets this year.
Monsoon is considering plans to open two more fashion superstores this year, and is also seeking acquisitions abroad.
Tesco is planning to recruit 400 departmental managers at stores across London and the south by the end of March.
Fresh & Wild, the London-based chain of seven organic food stores, is to be acquired by Whole Foods Market of the US for £21m.
Morrisons is considering plans to set up a 500,000 sq ft distribution centre at Swan Valley in Rugby.
Tesco has acquired Adminstore, the operator of 45 Cullens, Europa and Harts grocery stores in London, for £54m, and the sites will be rebranded as Tesco Express.
Storey Carpets is planning to open franchised flooring stores across the country over the next three years, while 150 jobs are currently being created at ten new outlets in the north.
Somerfield is considering plans to create a network of franchised supermarkets, in order to accelerate expansion and reduce costs.
Bovis Lend Lease has won a £100m contract from Grosvenor to build the Grand Arcade shopping centre in Cambridge city centre by the end of 2007.
Asda is seeking permission to expand its superstore in Wolverhampton, with the creation of 150 jobs.
Burrows & Close, the Nottingham-based chain of 15 retail pharmacies with more than 100 staff, has undergone a management buy-out.
Darlington Borough Council is to consider plans from Investream for the development of a multi-million pound shopping centre in Crown Street.
Jessops is looking to expand its chain of 255 camera shops to about 450.
KFC is planning to open 60 fast food restaurants this year, and is targeting the south-east.
White Stuff is planning to open at least three outdoor clothing stores every year for the next five years.
Alfred Jones has acquired Jacques Loggins, the chain of 13 Spar convenience stores, taking its estate to 82 stores.
Dixons is to open six new stores in the north-east this year, under the Dixons, Curry's and PC World brands, with the creation of 240 jobs.
Asda is to submit plans to Solihull Council to build a 42,000 sq ft superstore in Chelmsley Wood town centre, which would create 350 jobs.
Tesco has announced plans to invest a further £1.7bn in the expansion of its hypermarkets, convenience stores and financial services, partly funded by a £773m share placing.
Goldsmiths is planning to expand its chain of 166 jewellery stores with up to ten new sites.
Majestic Wine is planning to open eight new stores this year, and believes there is potential to almost double the chain to 200.
Durham Pine is planning to expand its chain of furniture stores from 79 to 100 this year.
Asda Wal-Mart is planning to build the country's largest supermarket in Milton Keynes, a 150,000 sq ft store at the Wimbledon football stadium project.
Marks & Spencer has announced plans to more than double the size of its store in Ballymena, with the creation of 70 jobs by September.
Brown & Jackson is planning to relocate up to 100 of its 338 discount stores, while about 20 will be closed over the next two years.
Time Group is planning to expand its chain of 140 computer shops to 160 by September, and GVA Grimley is to advise on up to 90 property acquisitions and disposals.
Highland Council is considering plans from Fairways Developments to build a £3m shopping centre at the Culduthel Farm development in Inverness.
Asda is to create 150 new jobs at its Taunton store by the end of next year, having won permission for an extension.
Marks & Spencer is to recruit 120 staff for a new clothing store due to open in Speke in the spring.
Dobbies has submitted revised plans for the expansion of its garden centre at Ponteland in Northumberland, which would create 80 new jobs.