Retail and leisure
Heavenly Desserts, the luxury dessert brand founded in 2008 has announced plans to accelerate their expansion across London and the south of England. Currently operating 25 branches mostly in the North and Midlands, it is looking to open up to 20 new sites a year.
Tools and machinery supplier, Machine Mart, is looking to further expand its store network across the UK. The Nottingham-headquartered retailer, which operates from 65 locations with another opening in Northampton in April, is also looking to acquire other companies that could create synergies within the existing product offering.
EG Group, the Blackburn-headquartered petrol forecourt giant, has acquired the largest KFC franchise in the UK and Ireland. The group, who trade as Euro Garages, bought 146 of the fast food restaurants as well as one Pizza Hut, a development pipeline and a small number of non-trading sites from The Herbert Group.
Flybe, the Exeter-based airline went into administration putting 2,000 jobs at risk after a last-ditch attempt for fresh financial support failed. Loganair will take on the route from Isle of Man to Liverpool, British Airways have won back 12 Heathrow slots that had been reserved for its rivals on Scottish routes that were relinquished as part of the CMA agreement when it took over BMI 8 years ago.
The cult London coffee brand Grind has announced an agreement to become the exclusive UK coffee supplier to the international hotel group and private members club Soho House & Co. The partnership will also see Grind’s compostable Nespresso® pods in a bespoke Grind x Soho House tin in all Soho House hotel rooms worldwide for guests to use in their rooms or to purchase to take home.
Causeway Capital Partners, the Irish private equity firm that bought Patisserie Valerie out of administration last year, have combined the café chain with its Bakers + Baristas business creating a 125 strong portfolio. Both brands will keep their own identity and in-store offering but will benefit from the shared ‘baking, coffee and customer service resources’ and new product development.
Following the launch of YO! To GO kiosks in 50 Tesco stores nationwide and the partnership with Sainsbury’s introducing a range of grab and go products in fridges in more than 300 of their supermarkets, the YO! Group is now launching a pan-Asian brand Panku which will trial concession stands in Asda stores across the UK. Starting with 20 stores Panku will serve dishes such as katsu curry, hand-rolled sushi, Korean bulgogi and vegan tofu Thai curry.
Casual dining chain Côte, which currently operate 96 French-inspired restaurants is planning to expand further following an increase in revenue and pre-tax profits. Launched in 2007, the group has opened five new restaurants since as well as closing two underperforming sites.
The Olympia Project, that will see Olympia transformed into a leisure and entertainment destination with an arthouse cinema, performing arts theatre, music venue, restaurant, shops, two hotels and 2.5 acres of public space, has seen Deutsche Finance International and Yoo Capital agree an £865m loan with Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division that completes the funding for the £1.3bn project.
Reading Borough Council have approved the new mixed-use development that will consist of 1,500 sqm of retail space and 422 residential accommodation units. Moorgarth Group, who manage Reading’s Broad Street Mall have gained planning for this major regeneration within and above the existing shopping centre.
Grain House, in Drury Lane, London has been sold by corporate pension fund clients of Savills Investment Management to Hines for its Hines European Value Fund 2. The 91,000 sq ft property, which is currently vacant, has planning permission to combine four interlinked period buildings into office space with street-level restaurants and retail spaces.
British property group Hammerson has revealed the next stage of the transformation of Grand Central’s New Street Mall in Birmingham. A £2m investment will see the second phase upgrade the key link to New Street and Stephenson Place with a new double-height atrium to complement the first phase.
in other news...
Supermarket giant Tesco have launched the Aldi Price Match slashing prices on a huge selection of their own-label and branded goods to ensure their customers are “saving themselves a trip” to Aldi or Lidl. John Lewis has introduced new labelling encouraging customers to hand down children’s clothing “Wear it, Love it, Hand it down” labels are being attached to their own brand babywear and childrenswear items in an attempt to reduce the disproportionate amount of childrenswear in landfill. Restaurant group Corbin and King are to open two new sites in the City and Notting Hill in London, taking on the former House of Fraser site on King William Street and the old Royal Bank of Scotland building which will join their pescatarian restaurant Manzi’s opening in Soho in Spring.