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14 January 2013
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Global retail industry news

  Global Industry Watch 
  • Timberland parent leads new bid for Billabong
    Australia-based surfwear brand Billabong has received a $556 million buyout bid from a group including clothing maker VF Corp. and private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners. Billabong had four offers last year that didn't pan out, and the new bid equals an earlier one by Sycamore Partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and ex-Billabong director Paul Naude. The Wall Street Journal (14 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retail in Europe 
  • Selfridges celebrates silence
    London-based Selfridges has launched a "No Noise" campaign complete with quiet rooms in its stores -- workers whisper -- lines of products with their logos removed and a series of Sunday seminars with names like "Poetry of Silence." The concept goes back to the first store in 1909, where a quiet room gave shoppers a place to decompress. MediaPost Communications (11 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Europe's retailers go easy on post-holiday discounts
    Europe's retailers largely planned for a slower holiday season, which means there's less discounting in the post-holiday sales, analysts say. "So I think that even if sales figures and statistics continue to look weak, the goods that have been sold have been sold at a somewhat better profit margin this year," said analyst Stefan Stjernholm. Reuters (11 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Retail in Asia 
  • S. Korea's fashion fans flock to outlet malls
    A growing number of Korea's fashionistas are bypassing full-price department stores, instead frequenting outlet malls for discounted designer brands and fast-fashion specialty stores for everyday wear, industry watchers say. Sales at Lotte Department Stores' outlet stores now account for about 10% of annual sales, the company says. The Korea Herald (Seoul) (13 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Inflation concerns return as China's economy grows
    China's economy is picking up again after last year's slowdown, with retailers reporting brisker business and more empty shelves. While the pace isn't expected to equal the double-digit increases seen in the years before the slowdown, prices rose 2.5% in December, the biggest jump since May, raising concerns about inflation. "You don't have to be in the double digits to get inflation," said economist Stephen Green. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (13 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Retail in Latin America 
  • Wal-Mart names new chief for Latin America
    Wal-Mart has promoted executive Enrique Ostale to the post of president and chief executive officer for Latin America, effective March 1, upon the retirement of Eduardo Solorzano. Ostale joined the company when Wal-Mart acquired Chilean supermarket operator Distribucion y Servicio in 2009, and currently heads Wal-Mart's operations in Chile. Bloomberg Businessweek (11 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-commerce Spotlight 
  • India's e-commerce set to double in 3 years, investor says
    The fragmented nature of India's retail landscape and challenges in secure payment systems and logistics have kept e-commerce in India relatively small compared to the US and Europe, but that's on track to change, says venture capitalist Avnish Bajaj. Online retail is on track to double to $3 billion by 2015 and may hit $15 billion by 2017, he says. Internet Retailer (11 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Chinese go food shopping online
    Sales of farm produce on China's and hit $3.14 billion last year, according to parent Alibaba. Tea was the biggest seller, while fresh fruit and seafood saw annual sales quadruple in 2012, the company said. China Daily (Beijing) (11 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology Solutions 
  • Tech, tradition and the melding of global retail
    The rapid rise of mobile use in Brazil and other emerging markets is likely to speed up the development of retail in those countries, but for merchants the key lesson is to keep focusing on the fundamentals of product, price and service, industry experts said at NRF's BIG Show on Sunday. Retail's BIG Blog (13 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Mass Merchandise 
  • Myanmar's emerging economy appeals to HTC
    Taiwan-based mobile manufacturer HTC will start selling smartphones in Myanmar, a key new market for the company amid growing competition from rivals including Samsung and Apple. Consumer-product and service companies including Coca-Cola and MasterCard are also looking to expand to Myanmar as the country's economy opens up. The Wall Street Journal (13 Jan.), Reuters (13 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Editor's Note 
  • Can’t make it to Retail’s BIG Show '13? Watch keynotes live
    For those who can't be there in person, three keynotes from Retail's BIG Show will be streamed live from the event Jan. 13, 14 and 15. The sessions, which focus on global expansion, conscious leadership and retail's role in the economic renewal feature senior executives from Mango, Starbucks, The Container Store, Whole Foods Market, and Wal-Mart. Viewing is free, but registration is required. Register here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Up-to-the-minute social coverage of Retail's BIG Show 2013
    Whether you're attending Retail's BIG Show in NYC this week or just eager for the latest updates, check out NRF SmartBrief's Storify live feed, which curates the best and most important social content about the event. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
--Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette,
French novelist and performer

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