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Thanks to an ease in government restrictions, it is now easier for foreign retailers to operate in India; in the UK, Sainsbury’s has reported a disappointing third-quarter result and so did Macy's in the US. All these stories and more feature in today’s RetailUpdate. Oh, and this is still a free publication, so please share with your colleagues. Enjoy the read.


Indian government relaxes restrictions   It has become easier for foreign retailers to operate in India as India's government is now allowing single-brand overseas retailers to sell directly online. ▪ to close C2C marketplace   In an effort to combat fakes, the Chinese online retailer will close customer-to-customer online marketplace The decision comes after numerous efforts to fight counterfeits failed. ▪
United Biscuits targets Chinese consumers   Through Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global platform, the British food manufacturer has opened a flagship store for Chinese consumers. The launch was timed to happen just before Alibaba’s annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. ▪
Sainsbury’s records drop in profits   Against a “particularly challenging” market, Britain’s third-largest supermarket has recorded a fall in half-year profits of 18%. Find out what the analysts say (paywall). ▪
Lidl invests in future   To hasten UK expansion plans, the German discounter will invest GBP 1.5 billion over the next three years. The new outlets, dubbed 'stores of the future', feature self-checkouts and customer toilets. Meanwhile, Lidl Italia has been voted retailer of the year for the third time straight. ▪
John Lewis to debut in Europe   Having partnered with Dutch department store de Bijenkorf, the high street giant is poised to debut in the European market. John Lewis plans to open three shop-in-shops by April 2016. ▪
Mega merger finally agreed  Beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev formalised the deal to acquire rival Sabmiller for about US$107 billion, which brings an end to two months of negotiations. Meanwhile, Danish brewing company Carlsberg plans to cut about 2,000 jobs as the world’s fourth-largest brewer seeks to reverse a profit decline. ▪
Poor third quarter for Macy’s   Citing poor sales over the holiday season, USA’s largest department store has reported disappointing third-quarter earnings prompting a cut in its profit forecast for 2015. Macy's CEO, Terry Lundgren, says markdowns are likely. ▪
Better-than-expected result for J.C. Penney   Despite paying US$ 50 million to settle a false advertising law suit, the US department store says third-quarter results will “exceed expectations.” CEO, Marvin Ellison says the majority of the settlement was accrued prior to the third quarter, and since then, comparable store sales have increased 6.4%. ▪
Kroger to acquire Roundy’s   The US supermarket chain will acquire Roundy’s for about US$ 800. The purchase will enable Kroger to expand in Wisconsin and add 34 Mariano’s locations in Chicago. ▪
Spar Group enjoys increased profit   While opening more stores in its home market and Ireland, the South African food and liquor retailer’s full-year profits grew 5.6%, and net income grew to US$ 99.9 million. ▪
Twenty years for McDonald’s   On Wednesday, the fast-food giant celebrated 20 years in South Africa. Since their debut, about 20 new McDonald’s restaurants have opened each year, and there are currently 234 in the country. ▪
Woolworths unclear over labelling error   Woolworths South Africa is unable to determine how many ice cream and sorbet products have been affected by a peanut allergen labelling error, according to The National Consumer Commission (NCC). Though Woolworths was proactive and recalled the affected products, they were reluctant to provide details. ▪

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