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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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Conspiracy, on-the-job theft, tax affairs, and withhold bonuses - today's RetailUpdate is heavy on legal issues, which a few retailers have to face at the moment. Other stories include a change at the top in the ranking of Australian companies and new strategies in the US. Enjoy the read and don’t forget to share. Subscription to our newsletter is FREE.

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Asia & Australia
Wesfarmers on the fast lane   Australia's largest private employer is now also the country's largest company in revenue terms, kicking Woolworths off the throne +++ Hiring intentions in Australia are at a two-and-a-half-years low, according to a recent survey by ManpowerGroup. ▪
Targeting foreign markets   Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi puts the focus of its global strategy on India. China, in turn, is expected to become a key market for craft beer brewers +++ The largest US drug retailing chain Walgreens is reportedly eyeing to enter Australia, while Australian lingerie retailer, Bras N Things, has opened a first shop in South Africa. ▪
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Another digital wallet   Following last week's move of competitor Flipkart, Amazon India plans to launch a digital wallet. Paytm, the largest player in the mobile payment sector in the country, intends to encourage women sellers on its marketplace. ▪
Europe
Agreements and disagreements   Global player XPO Logistics struck a multi million pound contract with Aldi UK to support the discounter's existing returnable equipment network. Aldi faces a possible investigation by the advertising watchdog in the UK, after Morrisons and other retailers complained about the company's latest advert ▪
Irish legal issues   Tesco Ireland could not convince the Labour Court that they are not in a position to pay staff bonuses +++ Rulings targeting the Irish tax affairs of Apple and Amazon.com are not expected to be rendered speedily.  ▪
Naming new execs   Following the announcement of the resignment of Tony Reed, Tesco has appointed Tracy Clements as Managing Director for Convenience and CEO of One Stop +++ Neil James Ritchie will be Mulberry's future Group Finance Director and a Director of the British lifestyle brand. ▪
USA
Apple's e-book conspiracy   In a ruling by the US Supreme Court, Apple was found to be part of a price-fixing conspiracy for electronic books. An appeal from Apple has been declined and a US$ 450 million settlement is to be paid.  ▪
Amazon's security measures   Taking a U-turn course, the online giant will let customers encrypt locally stored data on their Fire tablets, an option removed from devices in late 2015. In its combat against on-the-job theft, Amazon plays alleged cases of such offences on flatscreen TVs to its workforce each morning. ▪
Implementing reforms   After a successful trial of the format, the US arm of Dutch multinational Ahold will rollout its revamped in-store bakeries nationwide +++ Whole Foods follows the trend of selling 'ugly' vegetables, teaming up with startup Imperfect Produce +++ Targeting Generation Y, Target will invest significantly into signature categories kids, baby, style and wellness. ▪
Developments to watch
Flying high   The future has already begun with the first deliveries through drones performed. However, challenges lie behind the promise of rapid fulfillment. In New York, specialty shop Brooklyn Drones NYC has opened (paywall) last weekend.  ▪
Paying 'hands free'   Google has launched a pilot payment programme which requires only a user's face and a moment's conversation to purchase something.  ▪

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