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04 December 2012
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Global retail industry news

  Global Industry Watch 
  • S. Africa is 37th new market for Topshop
    UK-based fast-fashion retailer Topshop opened a 10,000-square-foot store in South Africa, its first under a franchise agreement with department store operator Edcon. South Africa has become an increasingly attractive market for international apparel retailers, with Topshop rivals Zara and Gap opening stores there in the past year. Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (30 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retail in Europe 
  • Sir Terry Leahy named chairman of discount retail chain
    Liverpool-based B&M Bargains has named former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy as the new chairman of the 315-store discount chain, amid private-equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice's acquisition of the company. The retailer, which sells branded products at discount prices, employs about 10,000 and has annual sales of about £1 billion. The Guardian (London) (03 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: UK holiday shoppers drive slight Nov. uptick
    Like-for-like sales at UK retailers rose 0.4% in November as consumers began their holiday shopping in bargain-hunting mode, according to the British Retail Consortium. The increase was more than the 0.1% reported in October, but fell short of the 0.9% economists predicted. Reuters (04 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retail in Asia 
  • Uniqlo parent to pay $300 million for J Brand stake
    Japan's Fast Retailing will acquire 80.1% of US luxury denim maker J Brand Holdings from private-equity firm Star Avenue Capital, in a deal valued at about $300 million. J Brand's high-end jeans are sold at upscale retailers including Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harvey Nichols. MarketWatch (30 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • India's coffee sales to perk up in 2013
    India's coffee exports are expected to rebound next year as new crops replenish supplies and reverse increases that sent bean prices above global levels for much of 2012, industry executives said. Higher prices drove an 8% decline in exports between January and November, according to the Coffee Board. The Wall Street Journal (03 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-commerce Spotlight 
  • Canada's merchants find free shipping a must
    Online retailers of all sizes say Canadian consumers have come to expect free shipping, and some small merchants say they have to offer the perk despite the bite it takes out of the bottom line. "It’s huge. ... That’s the single largest expense doing business online -- the shipping," said Karla Barton, owner of Langley, B.C.-based jewellery website CharmJunction. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (03 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Taobao, Tmall hit record high sales
    Alibaba-owned e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall did a combined $153 billion in sales in the year that ended Sept. 30, the company said Monday. The sales volume is equal to 2% of the country's 2011 gross domestic product. ZDNet (Asia) (03 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Grocery 
  • India's grocery stores start catering to meat eaters
    Most of the supermarkets in major Indian cities like Mumbai serve a largely vegetarian clientele in a country where meat eaters are referred to as "non-vegetarian." Some are now slowly adding meat, including Aditya Birla’s More hypermarkets, where the addition requires separate receiving bays, utensils, checkout counters and even staff to handle the non-vegetarian products. The Wall Street Journal (03 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bakers struggle as British buy less bread
    Budget-conscious British consumers are buying less bread and increasingly opting for less-pricey store-brand options, putting a squeeze on national bakers including Hovis, which expects to close two baking facilities next year. "Branded players have to make sure they improve their game to offer points of difference to retailers and consumers," said Michael Clarke, CEO of Hovis owner Premier Foods. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (02 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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