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21 January 2013
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Global retail industry news

  Global Industry Watch 
  • Pricing to prove a hot topic as Target debuts in Canada
    Pricing may quickly become an issue as Target opens its first stores in Canada in the coming weeks and consumers familiar with the chain's US stores find the same merchandise at higher prices, retail experts say. "We've built our business model to be incredibly competitive with the lowest-priced leaders in Canada," said Target Canada President Tony Fisher. "We’re not building our business model as compared to the U.S." The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (19 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retail in Europe 
  • Can Europe's music stores survive in a digital age?: HMV is the latest of Europe's music retailers to feel pain as consumers increasingly shift to digital music and media. Officials and consumers worry that the continent will lose both cultural traditions and revenue as music buyers shift more of their spending to largely US-based online sellers. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (20 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: UK retail crime's price tag jumps 15.6%
    The cost of UK retail crime rose to £1.6 billion in 2012, with customer thefts accounting for 83% of the total and 1 in 20 stores reporting robberies, according to a survey from the British Retail Consortium. The report also found that retailers reported fewer crimes to the police, while spending 7% more to protect their employees, stock and customers. The Guardian (London) (20 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CBI: UK visa rules hamper growth with China
    UK businesses looking to expand their trade with China are often hampered by rules that make it difficult for Chinese citizens to obtain the visas they need, according to the CBI. "British businesses thinking about expanding in China will need to recruit someone [in China] who understands the product and that means getting them over to the UK for six months," said CBI employment director Neil Carberry. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (18 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retail in Asia 
  • Reliance Industries may consolidate operations
    India's Reliance Industries has reportedly petitioned the high court for approval to bring its eight companies together under its Reliance Fresh grocery chain, to eliminate administrative glitches and achieve increased efficiency. Reliance started as a single company, but in 2007 it divided the company into specialty retail operations focused in several areas including fashion, footwear and consumer electronics. The Economic Times (India) (21 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Subway maps 22% expansion plan for Malaysia
    Subway plans to grow to 150 units in Malaysia and expand in more states this year, as part of a bigger Asia growth strategy, said president and co-founder Fred DeLuca. "Now, we are pretty well-known in Malaysia, so I think there will be good reception almost everywhere." Star Publications (Malaysia) (21 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-commerce Spotlight 
  • China's small towns see big online shopping boost
    Online payment service Alipay saw its user base in China's small cities rise 64% last year, as residents turned to the Web to find goods that weren't available in their local shops. "The demand has always been there, and online shopping has activated such demand for its convenience, fashion and cheaper prices," said Jiang Qiping, secretary-general at the Information Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. China Daily (Beijing) (18 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Mass Merchandise 
  • High-end brands tout more "Made in America" labels
    Luxury fashion retailers and brands are looking to make more of their goods at US factories, citing greater demand from customers concerned with both national loyalty and conditions in factories overseas. The decisions also make sense from a business perspective, as manufacturing in China gets more expensive and sourcing from American factories means a quicker turnaround. "There's something intangible and valuable. It's more about craftsmanship and authenticity than margin and profit," said Rag & Bone designer Marcus Wainwright. The Wall Street Journal (18 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • S. African farms mechanize amid higher wage demands
    South African farm workers striking for higher minimum wages may actually be putting themselves out of jobs in the long term, as farms turn to machinery to do more of the work. The farms supply 11% of table grapes and pears worldwide, according to the US Agriculture Department, under contracts with retailers including ASDA in the UK. Bloomberg Businessweek (18 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  NRF News 
  • A trip around the world of retail store trends
    Shoppers aren’t one-size-fits-all, and the closer a retailer can get in matching their store to their consumer the better. WSL Strategic Retail CEO, Founder and Chief Shopper Wendy Liebmann took attendees at Retail’s BIG Show on a safari to explore what’s working on Main Street, including Burberry’s new London store based on their website, and how Walgreens’ new flagship store in Chicago caters to the “daily living” of the 21st century urbanite. Read more. Retail's BIG Blog (16 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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