British retail brands to continue operating in the Middle East, despite UK troubles

British retail brands to continue operating in the Middle East, despite UK troubles
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Updated 01 December 2020

British retail brands to continue operating in the Middle East, despite UK troubles

British retail brands to continue operating in the Middle East, despite UK troubles
  • Fashion conglomerate Arcadia, which owns popular British high street brands such as Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton and Outfit, announced on Tuesday it is to go into administration
  • Deloitte has been appointed administrator and said all Arcadia’s physical stores and online platforms would remain open and supplies to its partners would continue as normal

DUBAI: Kuwaiti’s Alshaya Group, the franchise partner of department store Debenhams and fashion retailer Arcadia, said its stores in the Middle East will continue to operate as normal, despite the financial challenges announced by the British retailers on Tuesday.

Fashion conglomerate Arcadia, which owns popular British high street brands such as Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton and Outfit, announced on Tuesday it is to go into administration.

Deloitte has been appointed administrator and said all Arcadia’s physical stores and online platforms would remain open and supplies to its partners would continue as normal.

The accountancy firm also added that it is looking to sell Arcadia’s list of popular brands. Owned by British tycoon Philip Green, the retailer operates 444 leased sites in the UK and 22 overseas, with a total of around 13,000 employees.

At the same time, British department store Debenhams also announced on Tuesday it was to start liquidating proceedings, putting at risk another 12,000 retail jobs in the UK, as the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to take hold.

Debenhams operates 124 stores in the UK and is currently seeking a buyer for the 242-year-old brand as part of the formal liquidation process. “On conclusion of this process, if no alternative offers have been received, the U.K. operations will close,” the company said in statement, according to the AP newswire.

While the future of the British retailers remains uncertain, its Middle East partner – Kuwait’s Alshaya Group – said the stores in the region will continue to operate as normal.

“Whilst the UK high street faces ongoing challenges, Alshaya Group confirms that today’s UK news announcements about Arcadia Group and Debenhams do not affect its Middle East business operations and our stores will continue to welcome customers as normal,” an Alshaya Group spokesperson told Arab News on Tuesday.

Alshaya opened its first international franchise business in 1983. It manages over 70 different brands across 2,800 stores in the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, Turkey and Europe, with a total of more than 44,000 employees.


Intel avoids outsourcing embrace, investigates hack of results

Intel avoids outsourcing embrace, investigates hack of results
Updated 56 min 7 sec ago

Intel avoids outsourcing embrace, investigates hack of results

Intel avoids outsourcing embrace, investigates hack of results

The incoming chief executive of Intel Corp. said on Thursday that most of the company’s 2023 products will be made in Intel factories but he sketched a dual-track future in which it will lean more heavily on outside factories.
The lack of a strong embrace of outsourcing from new CEO Pat Gelsinger drove shares down 4.7% after hours. Shares rose 6.5% during regular trade, when the results were released ahead of the close. The company said it was investigating “non-authorized” access to some of the results, with the Financial Times quoting its chief financial officer as saying the microchip maker had been hacked.
Intel also forecast first-quarter revenue and profit above Wall Street expectations, continuing to benefit from pandemic demand for laptops and PCs that have powered the shift to working and playing from home.
Gelsinger said he was “confident that the majority of our 2023 products will be manufactured internally” though he also said the use of outside chip factories is likely to increase “for certain technologies and products.”
Intel has been considering since last July whether to drop its decades-old strategy of both designing and making chips by turning for help on its central processing units, or CPUS, to “foundry” manufacturers. Those partners could be Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics. Intel’s manufacturing technology, called a 7-nanometer process, is expected in 2023.
“We didn’t get our answer on which foundries and when,” said Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. “They pushed the can down the road.”
Kinngai Chan, analyst at Summit Insights Group, said Intel is not likely to outsource its flagship chips.
“Intel’s 14-nanometer chip transistor speed has always been faster than what any foundry can offer even at 7-nanometer,” Chan said. “We believe it will increase its use of external foundries over-time — just not for its large-core CPUs.”
Keeping manufacturing in-house means higher investments. Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon questioned whether Gelsinger, currently the chief executive of VMware Inc. who previously spent 30 years at Intel and announced his intention to return just last week, has had sufficient time to dig into the issue.
“It was pretty obvious they were trying to borrow his credibility” when Gelsinger endorsed Intel’s delayed 7-naonmeter technology, Rasgon said.
Intel’s decision coincides with US lawmakers having passed bipartisan legislation to fund US chip manufacturing. But the new law has yet to specify funding levels or recipients, and Forrester Research analyst Glenn O’Donnell said Intel might take the opportunity to solicit US government support for domestic manufacturing.
Boosted by a new high-end PC processor, Intel regained some momentum in the PC market, with volumes of PC chips rising 33%, faster than the 26% rise for the overall PC market, according to data from IDC.
Data center group sales, which powered Intel’s growth over the past several years, were $6.1 billion compared with analyst estimates of $5.48 billion, according to FactSet data.
But sales to cloud computing customers, some of the largest and fastest-growing purchasers of data center chips, were down 15% in the fourth quarter. Data center chip operating margins were 34% in the quarter, down from 48% a year earlier.
“We think (data center) operating margins are going to improve as we get toward the second half of the year, when we expect to see a rebound in cloud” chip sales, Intel Chief Financial Officer George Davis said.
The company also raised its dividend by 5%.
The chipmaker said it expects fiscal first-quarter adjusted sales of $17.5 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $1.10, both ahead of analyst consensus, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Fourth-quarter revenue of $20 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $1.52 also beat Wall Street targets.