The sale of Littlewoods for £750m last October made the Moores family the 14th richest in Britain, worth £1.3 billion according to The Sunday Times Rich List. After months of speculation, the 40-strong family sold to the secretive Barclay brothers, who also own the Ritz and are themselves valued at £650m. Since it was founded in 1923 as a football pools business by Sir John Moores, the Liverpool company has moved into retailing and mail order. Sales have fallen steadily in recent years, totalling £1,907m in 2002, but the previous year’s operating loss was turned into a £43m profit, despite £17m of exceptional items. In 2002 the firm had 16,608 staff. The new owners said they would not sell the ailing stores, but they have embarked on a rationalisation programme.
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