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Retailing - 1996
Kingfisher, the retail group, has sold its 50% stake in the Staples office supplies superstores to Staples, its US partner, for £23.5m.
Safeway is planning to set up 15 superstores and 4 supermarkets a year for the next two years, in a move which will create 3,500 full-time jobs.
Great Universal Stores has acquired Experian, the US credit rating and information agency, in a £1.04bn deal.
Harry Ramsden's, the fish and chip restaurant chain, is planning eight new franchised and joint venture restaurants, including four in Scotland, in a move which will create 1,000 new jobs.
Comet, the electrical retailer, is acquiring Norweb's electricity showrooms for £29m, and is expected to withdraw from about 57 high-street shops in order to avoid conflict with its existing stores.
Marks & Spencer is planning to take on 2,000 extra staff at its stores, in order to improve customer service.
Dixons, the electrical retailer, has bought DN Computer Services, the mail order computer company, for £9.7m.
Pet City Holdings of the UK is to undergo a £140m merger with PetsMart of the US, as the first step in the US pet product retailer's European expansion plans.
General Nutrition Centres of the US is opening its first UK health food store in Bristol, and plans to set up 400 high street stores over the next four years.
The Birthdays chain of 330 greetings cards shops has been sold to a consortium of investors for £90m.
Burton, the clothing retailer, has acquired Racing Group, the mail-order concern, for £19m.
Grand Metropolitan has sold its Pearle Vision chain of optician shops in North America and Europe to Cole National of the US for £140m.
Boots is acquiring Laboratoires Lutsia, the French skincare concern, for £115m, as part of its strategy to develop its over-the-counter healthcare activities.
Wm Morrison Supermarkets is planning an expansion programme with the opening of four more stores in 1997 and the creation of 3,200 jobs.
Iceland, the frozen food retailer, is planning to open 31 new stores this year and 25 next year, and is investing in a sales-based ordering system.
Software City has opened in Leeds, the first of 50 software superstores planned over the next four years.
Stylo has bought the retail and wholesale operations of the Hush Puppies shoe business from Sears for £23m.
Jessop Group, the chain of 70 photographic shops, has undergone a management buy-out backed by NatWest Ventures.
Dixons, the electrical retailer, is planning to open 10 Currys superstores and 10 PC Worlds this year, creating 2,500 jobs.
Cantors, the furniture retailer, is to undergo a reverse takeover with Harveys Holdings, the textiles and furniture concern, creating a group with sales of £140m and almost 300 stores.
Asda is planning to open eight new stores this year, creating 3,000 jobs.
Formal Group is acquiring Blakes Menswear, which operates mainly in the south east, for up to £4.5m.
Littlewoods Stores is planning a further 40 stores across the country and a distribution centre in Burton on Trent, creating 3,000 jobs over the next four years.
Watson & Philip is planning to expand its Alldays chain of convenience stores to 540, with a further 100 outlets this year.
Carpetright is planning to expand its chain of carpet stores from 200 to 260 by next April.
Moss Bros has bought Blazer, the chain of 28 casual wear shops, from Storehouse for £7.1m.
WH Smith has sold Paperchase, the chain of 12 stationery stores, to management for £1m.
Edinburgh Development and Investment has announced plans for a £100m shopping mall under Princes Street in Edinburgh.
Richardson Developments has announced plans for a £90m out-of-town shopping centre in York.
Boots is to acquire WH Smith's share in their joint Do It All chain of DIY stores.
Allders, the retailer, has agreed to sell its duty-free business to Swissair for £160m, thus ending the attempt by BAA to buy the business.
Mister Minit of Switzerland is buying 39 Salisburys luggage stores from the Facia Group, which is now in receivership.
Littlewoods plans to spend £35m opening between 40 and 70 Index catalogue shops over the next four years.
La Senza, the underwear retailer from Canada, plans to open 152 new UK shops funded by a float on the Alternative Investment Market that should raise £19m.
JJB Sports, the sports retailer, plans to open a further 15 superstores and 20 high street stores this year.
Adare Printing of Ireland has bought Prontaprint, the chain of 250 design and print centre franchises, for £23m.
Sears has sold Hoogenbosch Beheer, the Dutch shoe retailer with 308 outlets, to a management buy-out for £47m.
WH Smith has sold its Niceday stationery supply business to Guilbert of France for £142m.
La Senza, the lingerie retailer, is to float on the Alternative Investment Market, raising £20m to expand its outlets from 22 to 174 over the next 4 years.
Tesco plans to open 24 new stores this year, including 12 compact stores, 4 Metro stores and 8 superstores, thus creating 4,000 new jobs.
Tie Rack, the tie and fashion accessories retailer, plans to open 50 new outlets this year, mainly overseas.
Dixons, the electrical retailer, is planning a £100m expansion focusing on its PC World and The Link outlets, and creating 4,000 jobs over the next two years.
Tesco is to recruit 4,500 mainly part-time staff to help customers with their shopping.
City Centre Restaurants plans to add another 50 outlets this year, with emphasis on its newer chains rather than the established Deep Pan Pizza and Garfunkels.
Facia is acquiring the chain of 110 Bata shoe shops in Germany, its first move into continental Europe.
Tesco is buying Kmart's Czech and Slovak outlets for £77m, including seven department stores in Slovakia and six in the Czech Republic.
Marks & Spencer is selling its 85-strong Canadian chain of D'Allaird's stores to Comark, and its Canadian strategy will now be to replicate its successful UK format.
Millets Leisure, the chain of outdoor clothes and camping equipment shops, has been bought from Sears in a management buy-out, for about £17m.
Storehouse is acquiring Children's World, the 56-strong chain, from Boots for £62m and will integrate it with Mothercare.
PizzaExpress plans to open 20 new restaurants this year, mainly company-owned.
J Sainsbury has received planning permission for the first 2 of 7 stores that it is planning in Northern Ireland in a £100m investment.
Unichem is poised to acquire Lloyds Chemists for £480m, which would create the leading pharmacy chain and drugs wholesaler in the UK.
The Jackswood chain of five garden centres has been bought by Wyevale Garden Centres for £2.78m.