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19 November 2012
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Global retail industry news

  Global Industry Watch 
  • Major retailers take French sign order to court
    Retail chains including Wal-Mart, Costco and Best Buy are expected to appear in a Quebec court on Thursday to challenge an order by the Office Quebecois de la Langue Francaise. The retailers are asking the court to determine whether the agency has the right to enforce an order that the stores amend their signage to include either a generic French name or descriptive slogan in French. Calgary Herald (Alberta)/The Canadian Press (18 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Billabong's US president ponders buyout
    Billabong board member and president of the company's US operations Paul Naude is exploring the possibility of taking over the company through a leveraged buyout, the struggling surf wear retailer said in a statement. "Mr Naude has advised that he is seeking to hold discussions with potential financiers, both debt and equity, to gain their support for a potential change of control transaction of Billabong." The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Australia) (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retail in Europe 
  • Report: UK high streets see record vacancies
    Vacancy rates at UK high streets topped 11% in October, with Northern Ireland, Wales and areas in the north struggling the most to fill space, according to the British Retail Consortium. Temporary holiday shops may ease the situation in the short term, but the BRC says a 2013 rate freeze is needed to provide longer-term relief. The Guardian (London) (18 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retail in Asia 
  • China's department stores gear up to fight online rivals
    E-commerce in China is growing fast, spurring the country's department store operators to get more promotional to remain competitive. Brick-and-mortar retailers including Hong Kong-based New World Department Store China and Shanghai's Pacific Department Store have launched traditional promotions a month early, and they're offering deeper-than-usual discounts on some items. China Daily (Beijing) (17 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Rakuten puts Kobo e-readers on bookstore shelves
    Rakuten now offers its Kobo e-readers at nine brick-and-mortar bookstores operated by Top Culture in eastern and central Japan. Previously, the gadgets including the new Kobo Glo had been available only online and at electronics stores. The Japan Times (16 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-commerce Spotlight 
  • Ocado to fund expansion with £35.8 million share sale
    Online grocer Ocado has negotiated an extension on its £100 million in loans and announced plans to raise £35.8 million for expansion by selling new shares in the company. The retailer reported an 11% increase in sales in the 14-week period ending Nov. 11. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Spotlight on Mass Merchandise 
  • American-made goods find fans in China
    American consumers aren't the only ones seeking out "Made in the USA" labels these days -- some 60% of Chinese consumers surveyed recently said they were willing to pay more for American-made goods, according to Boston Consulting Group. People in both countries agree products made in the US tend to be of higher quality, while 93% of US consumers also say buying American keeps jobs at home. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (16 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • IKEA apologizes to E. German prisoners
    The head of IKEA's operations in Germany apologized Friday for the company's practice of using political prisoners in East Germany as a source of cheap labour in the 1970s and '80s. "It is not and never was acceptable to IKEA that it should be selling products made by political prisoners and I would like to express my deepest regret for this to the victims and their families," said Peter Betzel. The Guardian (London) (16 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NRF News 
  • 10 ways to improve your company's communication
    Streamlining communications is often easier said than done, but it's imperative to retaining both customers and employees. In a recent addition to the white paper library, Magic Logix provides the ten essentials all retailers need to help improve communication both internally and externally, while also making businesses more accessible and accountable. Download the white paper. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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