Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

As China's stock market turmoil continues, Beijing-based Wanda Group plans to close 40 unprofitable department stores. In the UK, Tesco sends head-office staff to work in-store in an effort to improve customer service. And in the US, Home Depot finally acquires Interline Brands. All these stories and more are in today’s RetailUpdate.

asia & australia
Chinese worries   Beijing-based property developer Wanda Group plans to close 40 department stores in a bid to get rid of unprofitable business. The stores have been struggling with weak sales of luxury items, affected by the country's slowing economy. ▪
Indian decisions   Top online retailer Flipkart has decided to put on hold its plans to go app-only. The company wants to assess first how the move will impact sales in big-ticket categories such as large appliances and furniture. ▪
Australian earnings   Clothing manufacturer Pacific Brands is debt free for the first time in its history and forecasts return to growth +++ Apparel retailer Specialty Fashion hopes for a better year in 2016 after losses at budget clothing chain Rivers +++ Cleaning and catering company Spotless Group has posted a surge in sales and net profit. ▪
Acquisitions strategies   In a bid to boost its nonfood online business, Carrefour has started negotiations to acquire e-commerce company Rue du Commerce +++ Menkind, UK’s leading multi-channel niche gifts and gadgets retailer, has bought consumer gadgets brand Red5 +++ Retail Acquisitions, which took over department store company BHS recently, is hoping to secure GBP 70 million in funding. ▪
Tesco continues streamlining   CEO, Dave Lewis, wants to improve customer service and sends head office staff to work in-store. His decision to axe the Tesco Wine Community is seen as part of streamlining product lines. The plan to sell the company's South Korean business, however, may fall short of expectations after a slide in the local currency. ▪
Apps for the check-out   Swiss retailer Migros has launched a 'pioneering' mobile payment initiative, which enables customers to pay via smartphone in all of its stores +++ Portuguese start-up Xhockware has introduced an application that reduces check-out times at supermarkets. ▪
Target will pay big to settle claim   The US retailer will pay a whopping US$ 2.8 million to settle a hiring discrimination claim. Meanwhile, Target has begun using RangeMe — a new product sourcing service that gives its buyers an online shopping-like experience. Also, starting in October, the company will roll out a new café concept. ▪
Lean access with mobile app   For office workers too busy to buy a healthy lunch, start-up online retailer LeanBox has a solution: high-tech fridges containing healthy food placed in offices that workers can access using a mobile app or credit card +++ Due to recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome and settings of other existing browsers, Amazon will no longer accept ads using Adobe Flash. ▪
Home Depot completes acquisition   The home improvements giant has completed its acquisition of Interline Brands for US$ 1.625 billion. Home Depot’s CEO, Craig Menear, says that joining forces with Interline will allow them to provide a better service to their trade customers. ▪
Uchumi appoints new COO   Willy King'ara, head of business development and marketing for Naivas supermarket, has been appointed as chief operating officer for struggling retailer Uchumi Supermarkets. He is the first to join Uchumi since an on-going overhaul of management began. ▪
Massmart takes a slide   The Walmart-controlled retailer took a slide on the JSE on Wednesday after releasing a poorer-than-expected trading update with shares dropping more than 13% on the previous day. ▪
Cheaper tablets more popular   Sales of tablets have grown 56% in South Africa. However, it is the lower priced devices that are most popular, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).  Brands such as Apple, Sony and Samsung are suffering because of lower disposable income. ▪

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