Non-sponsors face hefty fines for using Olympics in ads | Marks & Spencer rolls out recycling program | UK retailers see drop in April sales, survey says

27 April 2012
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Report: Canada a sweet spot for US retail chains
US retailers looking to grow their international presence are increasingly looking to Canada, where retail spending is on the rise and mall productivity is rising faster than in the US, according to a report from Colliers International Consulting. Canada's mall retailers rang up sales of $600 per square foot last year, compared to an average of $400 at US shopping centers. The Toronto Star (26 Apr.), Calgary Herald (Alberta) (26 Apr.)
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Are You Truly Omnishopper Ready?
80% of consumers say they are better, savvier shoppers than they were two years ago. While brick and mortar is still central to their purchase, they are visiting fewer retailers as they have more access to digital information. Learn how the omnishopper is changing and what you can do about it. View this new report from MasterCard.

Retail in EuropeSponsored By
Non-sponsors face hefty fines for using Olympics in ads
Retailers face fines of up to 20,000 pounds just for combining "games" and "2012" in summer promotions, as the International Olympic Committee and London organizers aggressively protect the Summer Games' 53 sponsors. Many are finding generic ways to allude to the Olympics. "The usage of Olympics in terms of logos et cetera is a very restricted area, and we?re not in that category, but we'll certainly be part of the strong celebrations," said Marks & Spencer CEO Marc Bolland. Bloomberg Businessweek (26 Apr.)
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Marks & Spencer rolls out recycling program
Marks & Spencer stores in the UK will begin accepting used clothing donations to either resell, recycle into new fabric or donate to Oxfam. The retailer launched a campaign starring actress Joanna Lumley to promote the practice, which it has dubbed "shwopping." Bloomberg Businessweek (26 Apr.), Brand Republic (U.K.) (26 Apr.)
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5 Keys to Launching a Killer Website
Because websites serve many functions and have moving parts, it's a serious undertaking to design, build and launch a site. If you want killer results, you need a solid plan. This eBook details five steps to launching a killer website.

Retail in AsiaSponsored By
Tesco to test online shopping in Shanghai
Shoppers in Shanghai will soon be able to order Tesco groceries online for home delivery. The UK-based retailer opened a distribution center in Zhejiang province in 2011 to support expansion in China, where it plans to open 16 stores this year; late last year, Tesco partnered with China's Taobao to launch online sales of non-food items. China Daily (Beijing) (27 Apr.)
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Lower Canton Fair orders foretell export slowdown
China's largest exporter trade fair booked only a 1.1% increase in orders this month compared to the previous session, signaling a slowdown in exports to Europe and the US. Some participants said they plan to shift their focus to developing markets including Russia, India, South America and the Middle East, where demand is growing. China Daily (Beijing) (26 Apr.)
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The Insider's Guide to Starting an E-Commerce Business
Do you have a great idea for a business, but no idea how to get started? We're here to help. We talked to successful small business owners about beginning their companies and compiled their advice into this guide. Interspersed with expert help and actionable steps, it's sure to help.
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Retail in Latin America
Mexico's attorney general launches Wal-Mart investigation
The attorney general in Mexico has reversed course and now plans to investigate allegations that Wal-Mart's Mexican subsidiary paid bribes to local officials to speed up store openings in the country. The Mexican government had initially declined to investigate, saying the matter was a local problem because state and municipal authorities are the ones that issue construction permits. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (26 Apr.)
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E-commerce Spotlight
Report: Italian e-commerce grows at home, not abroad
Italy's online retailers are flourishing with double-digit sales growth at home, but they aren't yet making their mark in international markets, according to a report from Casaleggio Associates and Adobe Systems. ?Compared to the past, there is now a much greater need (for retailers) to expand sales abroad, not only to increase revenues, but also to create economies of scale sufficient to counter the international competition," the report says. Internet Retailer (26 Apr.)
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Spotlight on Fashion
Fall fashions bring back the baggy look
Tunics, big blazers and pants that fit loosely around the hips are back on the racks for fall at stores including H&M and its higher-end sister brand COS. "The silhouette is definitely becoming more voluminous," said Nils Holger Wien of the German fashion institute in Cologne. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)/DPA (25 Apr.)
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Truworths' CEO reveals wish list
South African apparel retailer Truworths has about $231 million in cash on the books, and CEO Michael Mark would like to see the 552-store chain use at least some of the funds to expand, possibly through an acquisition, rather than pay a special dividend, he said this week. Bloomberg (25 Apr.)
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Online fashion brand Menlook adds small shops
Paris-based online menswear retailer Menlook has opened three small brick-and-mortar shops designed largely for order pick-ups and meet-and-greets with customers and VIPs, and plans to expand the network to other major European cities by 2013. The company has also launched a biannual newspaper focused on men's fashion. ?Our client likes to have a paper in the hand, shop in stores and buy online,? said founder Marc Ménasé. Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (25 Apr.)
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NRF News
The proof is in the packaging when shipping internationally
E-retailers are constantly walking the fine line of providing reliable shipments to international customers while not compromising their bottom line. In a recent addition to the white paper library, Bongo International analyzed how 16 U.S. retailers managed packaging inefficiencies and refined their strategies. Learn from their results and grow your international customer base. Download the white paper.
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Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
-- John Steinbeck,
American writer
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