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US retailer Gap will launch 10 new stores in China within two months, UK’s Iceland Foods continues its expansion in Ireland with another store, and Apple puts its online TV plans on hold in favour of its App store. Also, find out what Tesco and Aldi are planning for Christmas. All these stories and more feature in today’s edition. If you enjoy the read, please share  — RetailUpdate is still FREE.

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asia
Flipkart offers easy loans   To encourage loyalty, the online marketplace is offering easy working capital loans to all of its 80,000 merchants. This follows an initial trial of offering loans to just 250 merchants. ▪
Nasscom calls for uniformity   The IT industry body has called for Karnataka government, in South West India, to adopt a uniform tax policy with e-commerce companies. Taxation currently varies from state to state, resulting in inappropriate tax levels, according to Nasscom. ▪
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Gap expands in China   The US retailer plans to open 10 new stores in China over the next two months, making the country Gap’s most significant growth market +++ Meanwhile, Hong Kong retailer Metrobooks plans to open new stores over the next few years. ▪
europe
Steinhoff on a high   Since Monday’s listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the South African-based furniture and household goods company has realised a market capitalisation of €19 billion — one of the biggest German listings this year. ▪
Iceland Foods expands in Ireland   The UK supermarket chain is continuing its Irish expansion and opened a store on Talbot Street in Dublin. This is the second new store in two weeks, bringing the total number of stores in Ireland to 10. The move will create 40 jobs. ▪
Supermarkets prepare for Xmas   In preparation for Christmas, Tesco has launched its Duck Éclair, a sweet and savoury twist on the classic chocolate éclair. Aldi, on the other hand, has increased its stocks of private-label champagne by 50%. According to analysts, Christmas spending is set to rise to GBP 16 billion this year (paywall). ▪
usa
Costco disappoints   US’s largest warehouse-club chain has reported disappointing first-quarter earnings. Net income was US$ 480 million, down 3.2%. However, some analysts say Costco’s first quarter isn’t as weak as it appears. ▪
Apple suspends online TV   Amid resistance from media companies wanting more money for programming, the technology giant will suspend its live Internet-based television service. Instead, Apple will focus on enabling media companies to sell through its App Store. Meanwhile, Apple has released an Arabic-speaking version of its virtual personal assistant, Siri. ▪
Ollie's continues to grow   Pennsylvania-based retailer Ollie's Bargain Outlet has beaten analysts' expectations. The company's same-store sales grew by 3.2% in the third quarter ending October 31. Ollie’s says the growth can be attributed to their recent IPO. ▪
recent surveys
Cyber risks for retailers   Retailers may want to think again if they believe their digital security is under control. A new study from risk predictive firm Bay Dynamics says a significant number of retailers give the same login details to employees and have no idea whether employees have leaked confidential information. ▪
Mobile purchases growing   The use of mobile devices to make in-store payments has almost quadrupled over the past year, according to a Deloitte 2015 Global Mobile Consumer Survey. Mobile payments are most commonly used for parking, service stations, cafes and fast food. ▪

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