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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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In India, the high-profile relationship between Amazon and Future Group appears to be in trouble over a disagreement about online discounts; in Europe, both Casino and Lidl are embroiled in litigation, and two US retailers use technology to create the ultimate omnichannel shopping experience. All these stories and more feature in today’s RetailUpdate. If you enjoy the read, please remember to share.

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Asia & australia
Wesfarmers to buy Homebase   The company, which owns Coles and Bunnings in Australia, is planning its first foray away from Australian soil to Europe and has offered Home Retail Group AUS$ 705.61 million for Homebase. Analysts consider how this will affect Sainsbury’s plans to purchase Home Retail Group. ▪
Amazon and Future Group at odds   The once solid relationship between the online giant and Mumbai-based conglomerate appears to be on shaky ground over the funding of discounts. Meanwhile, Amazon stirs up the food industry in the country with the announcement that it will launch its online grocery service in Bengaluru in February. ▪
Developments in India   Under Armour, the number-two sportswear brand in the USA, is planning to enter the country and has been in talks with a number of large e-tailers +++ Also, Taiwanese electronics major Foxconn plans to make India a key global manufacturing hub. ▪
europe
Kesko acquires supplier   The Finnish retailing conglomerate has purchased building and electrical products supplier Onninen in an all-share deal worth EUR 369 million. The move will bolster Kesko’s non-food operations. ▪
Retailers in court   Casino’s accounting practices are under attack by Carson Block. It is claimed that the company's net debt was understated +++ In the UK, Lidl is being sued by UK-based property developer Generator Developments. The discounter is accused of "exploiting" a joint venture arrangement to secure a site in Essex. ▪
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Latest results   Footwear discount retailer Shoe Zone’s sales fell by 3.5% in the year to 3 October 2015, despite expanding into hats and bags +++ Thanks to a full-price strategy and multi-channel focus, fashion retailer FatFace's online sales grew 43% for the five weeks to 2 January. ▪
usa
More Kmart stores to close   Sears Holding Corp has confirmed it will close more Kmart stores across the United States. They haven’t stated how many stores will close but say it will be “a small percentage” of the overall store base. ▪
Improving omnichannel shopping   Walgreens, and several other retailers, opted into Visa’s Visa Checkout, which enables online shoppers to log in and then click a button to make a purchase without needing to re-enter payment information +++ Outdoor retailer Timberland is working with in-store technology provider CloudTags to enable customers to engage digitally and socially with every product in the store. ▪
Senior appointments   In an effort to improve its corporate governance practices, The Vitamin Shoppe is changing the structure of its board of directors +++ Lynn Gust, president of Kroger’s Fred Meyer division, is retiring and will be replaced by Jeff Burt, who is currently president of Kroger's Central division in Indianapolis. ▪
survey results
Instore experience disappoints   According to new research from TimeTrade, there is a growing gap between shoppers’ instore expectations and what retailers are delivering. Over 5,000 consumers were asked about their shopping habits and perceptions; this was compared to the retail experience plans of 100 senior retail executives. ▪
New York is the best   According to a report by Expedia.co.uk, New York City is the best city in the world to shop. The report cited “unlimited shopping options, and called it the place to “shop until you drop.” The next best cities were Berlin and Los Angeles. ▪

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