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Retailing - 1997
B&Q is planning to open six new warehouse stores in 1998, including outlets in Birmingham, Stockport and Warrington, creating 1,500 jobs.
Sears has sold 44 Shoe City outlets to Brantano of Belgium for an initial £6m, but 39 other shops are being closed.
Betterware, the door-to-door shopping company, has accepted a £117m takeover offer from NatWest Equity Partners which will take the company private.
Austin Reed is to acquire Country Casuals, the troubled clothing retailer, for £26m.
Carpetright is planning to open a further 14 carpet stores in the second half of its financial year as part of an expansion that will result in a national chain of 300 stores.
Sears has sold its Shoe Express retailing chain for £8.3m to a former chairman of Amber Day who plans to retain 185 of the shops and close the remaining 136.
Tesco is to sell Catteau, its French supermarket chain, to Promodes for £225m, due to slow sales growth and difficulties in obtaining planning permission to open more stores.
Readicut is to sell European Carpets, its carpets manufacturing business, to Interface of the US for £30m, and it is now looking for buyers for its UK yarn spinning business and its US carpet business.
Great Universal Stores is acquiring Innovations, the mail-order gadgets company, for £20m, which represents a first major move away from agency mail order towards dealing directly with customers.
Alexon and Electra Fleming are forming a joint venture to acquire Dolcis, the chain of 106 shoe stores, from Sears for £1.6m.
Dawson Holdings is acquiring Johnsons News, the newspaper and magazine wholesaling business, for £32m, giving it about 20% of the market.
NatWest Equity Partners has acquired Artform, the point-of-sale display company, for £38m.
ScS Upholstery, the furniture company, is planning a flotation in order to fund the opening of up to 20 outlets in the Midlands, which will be followed by nationwide expansion.
Tecno Holdings has been set up to acquire Era's chain of 26 Tecno camera and camcorder shops for up to £5.9m.
Unichem is to merge with Alliance Sante Luxembourg in a £300m deal, creating the second-largest pharmaceuticals wholesaler in Europe.
Safeway is to create 2,000 jobs in Northern Ireland in an 18-month expansion programme and is actively looking for sites in the Republic.
Etam, the womenswear retailer, is to be acquired by Etam Developpement of France for £93m, and the revamp of the 214 stores will continue.
Marks & Spencer is planning a £2bn expansion programme that will increase its selling space by a third across the UK, Europe and the Far East, and create 5,000 jobs over the next three years.
Budgens has acquired the 7-Eleven convenience store chain from Jardine Matheson for £5.8m.
Tesco has acquired Sanders Supermarkets, the operator of two supermarkets in Somerset, for £4.9m.
H&C Furnishings has launched a £48m agreed offer for Kingsbury, giving it an additional 79 furniture shops.
Thorntons is to accelerate its store opening programme, aiming to have 507 shops by 2001, and will create 820 jobs.
Books etc, the book retailer, is to be acquired by Borders Group of the US for about £40m, a move which will enable it to continue with plans to set up a chain of superstores.
T&S Stores has launched a £42.8m recommended cash offer for M&W, the chain of 179 convenience stores.
Boots is acquiring Hermal Kurt Herrmann, the German skincare company, from Merck for £174m, and will use Hermal's salesforce to launch its Lutsia range of anti-ageing and anti-acne products into Germany.
GrandOptical Photoservice of France is to acquire Vision Express, the chain of 200 opticians, for about £200m.
Iceland Group, the frozen food retailer, is launching a nationwide home delivery service, creating 1,000 jobs.
Boots is selling its AG Stanley home-decorating stores to Alchemy Partners, the venture-capital group, for a nominal sum.
Brown & Jackson has agreed the £6.5m acquisition of WEW, the discount retailer that trades as What Everyone Wants and The Store.
Dixons is planning to double the size of The Link, the chain of 100 high street communications stores, within two years, creating 800 jobs.
Brown & Jackson is planning to buy Your More Store, the chain of 127 discount stores, for £7.6m.
NBTY, the US vitamin retailer, has bought the Holland & Barrett chain of over 400 health food stores from Gehe for £100m, and is expected to focus the group on own-label products.
Dixons is planning to create up to 3,000 jobs in its chain of electrical goods stores, following a 17% increase in sales in the first nine weeks of the year.
Waterstone's, the WH Smith subsidiary, is to open bookshops in up to 50 small towns, each carrying about 25,000 titles, creating 400 jobs.
Ventura, the customer service operation owned by the Next Group, is to create a further 100 jobs at its call centre in Leeds.
The Mister Minit international shoe repair and key-cutting business is to be sold to the UBS banking group for undisclosed terms.
Powerhouse is planning to open a further six electrical superstores this year with a stronger focus on white goods, creating about 100 jobs.
Storehouse, the owner of the Mothercare and Bhs chains, is to invest £120m in store information systems and new shopping formats, creating about 1,000 new jobs.
Marks & Spencer plans to add a further 1,700 jobs this year in order to support rising sales, and it also wants to double the number of stores in continental Europe to 70.
Kingfisher is acquiring BCC Holding Amstelveen, the Dutch electrical retailer with 17 stores, for £34m.
Safeway is to create an additional 1,600 customer service jobs at existing stores, as well as a further 6,400 jobs at 34 new stores planned for the next two years.
Adminstore, which trades under the Europa Foods and Harts the Grocer names, has announced a £7.4m agreed takeover offer for Cullens, the convenience store chain.
Hamleys has acquired Hobbies & Models, which owns 11 Toy Stack shops in the south east, for £8.7m.
Wickes is to sell Wickes Continental, the chain of 39 DIY stores in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, to Bricorama of France for £7.5m, which will reduce Wickes' group debt by £12.5m.
Sears has reached agreement to sell the Freemans mail order business to Littlewoods for £367m, and also plans to demerge the Selfridges department store next year as part of a restructuring aimed at stemming the losses in its £465m footwear business.
C&J Clark, the shoe group, is selling its factory outlets to MEPC, the property company, for £80m.
Great Universal Stores has acquired Direct Marketing Technology, the US marketing database company, for £180m.
The Peacock and Millets chains of clothing retailers are being sold to a management buy-out for £78m, and plans are being prepared to open 40 stores a year.
Wm Morrison is planning a £200m expansion programme for its supermarket chain, including two superstores in the south of England, creating 2,250 jobs.
Rosebys has acquired Bensons, the bed retailer, for up to £25m.
Watson & Philip plans to open 500 more Alldays convenience stores by 2000 using a unique regional franchising scheme.