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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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In reaction to slowing smartphone sales and increased competition, Samsung and Sony have each laid off 150 staff in India; in Britain, it has been revealed that Asda customers’ personal information may have been exposed to hackers, and in the US, retailers experiment with store formats. Have a great day, and don’t forget to share.

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asia
Apple stores coming to India   Following the easing of foreign investment rules in India, the US technology giant has filed an application to open Apple branded stores in the country. The tech giant also seeks approval to sell products online. Check out why Apple’s expansion plans in India matter. ▪
Smartphone company layoffs   Sony Corporation and Samsung Electronics have each laid off about 150 executives in India. The move comes amid increased competition from Chinese companies and falling demand. ▪
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Swisse targets China online   Australia’s largest vitamins company plans to bypass the middlemen and sell directly to China through its own Tmall e-commerce website. Swisse chief executive, Radek Sali​, says the move should happen mid-way through this year. ▪
europe & the middle east
Asda open to hackers   Britain’s third largest supermarket chain could have exposed customers' personal information to hackers and risked millions of transactions due to a fault in its website. Meanwhile, after confirming hundreds of layoffs, Asda will no longer provide their staff free morning coffee and toast. ▪
Bloomingdales heads to Kuwait   Through a licencing agreement with the Al Tayer Group, Macy’s. will open its first Bloomingdale’s store in Kuwait in the spring of 2017. The store will occupy three levels in a shopping mall in Al Zahra. ▪
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Waitrose offers “pick your own”   In an effort to reclaim market share from Lidl and Aldi, the British supermarket chain has launched a new TV advertising campaign promoting “Pick Your Own Offers”, which is part MyWaitrose loyalty scheme. ▪
Encouraging sales figures  Pets at Home, UK’s largest pet store chain, has reported solid overall sales and announced the acquisition of Anderson Moores, a specialist veterinary hospital +++ With strong demand for adult colouring-in books, stationery and seasonal categories, WH Smith expects their full-year profit to exceed expectations. ▪
 usa
Walmart to raise wages   On Feb. 20, over 1.2 million Walmart US and Sam’s Club employees will receive a pay rise, the largest ever private sector pay increase on a single day. This is the second part of Walmart’s two-year investment in its workers. Meanwhile, minimum wage has been blamed for the cancellation of plans to build two Walmarts in the District of Columbia. ▪
Testing store formats   Specialty retailer Brookstone has launched a new format called Carry On. The store, located at Salt Lake City, will offer travel-friendly clothing and gear +++ In San Antonio, Texas, grocery company H-E-B is planning to open a new convenience store operation. ▪
Innovations in technology   A partnership between Starbucks and Spotify will enable Starbucks customers to locate songs playing at their cafes and even control the playlist +++ Drugstore chain Rite Aid has installed proximity beacons in over 4,500 stores across the U.S., which will enable stores to push promotions to customers’ smartphones +++ 78% of consumers surveyed favour stores that are up to date with in-store mobile technology, according to a new study by SOTI (paywall). ▪
africa
Uchumi seeks turnaround   Kenya’s only publicly traded retail chain is about to launch a new franchise arrangement with 200 mini shops spread across the country as part of its turnaround strategy. This comes amid some bad news for investors as its recent audit report revealed that the retailer has lost a lot of money to thieving managers. Meanwhile, the Ugandan government is addressing the issue of unpaid suppliers. ▪

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