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Flipkart is in talks to acquire digital mapping company Mapmyindia, shop prices in Britain continue to slide and Facebook and Apple have made it even easier to shop online. All these stories and more feature in today’s RetailUpdate. Enjoy the read.


Amazon opens new fulfilment centres   In preparation for the upcoming festive season, the e-commerce behemoth has set up seven new fulfilment centres in India taking that number to 20 fulfilment centres across the country +++ Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal expect to spend big on marketing during Diwali. ▪
Flipkart eyes stake in Mapmyindia   India's largest e-tailer is in talks to acquire a stake in digital mapping company Mapmyindia. The deal would bolster Flipkart’s logistics and customer analytics. ▪
Alibaba continues to evolve   Despite recently reported weak sales, the e-commerce giant continues to evolve. Global manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment AGCO has partnered with Alibaba to extend its reach into China’s rural areas. Also, as it seeks business beyond e-commerce, Alibaba has set up, Alibaba Sports Group, which will be active in business such as sports media, events and ticketing. ▪
Retail veteran to acquire Morrisons   Backed by private-equity firm Greybull Capital, Mike Greene is set to buy 140 M Local stores. The deal is said to be worth about GBP 25 million +++ According to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), the UK convenience store market has increased by 5% during the past year, and an average of two new stores open in Britain every day. ▪
British shop prices continue to slide   The British Retail Consortium has revealed that for the 28th consecutive month, British shop prices declined in August—this time by 1.4% year-on-year. ▪
Waitrose succeedes with loyalty scheme   Since its launch, 700,000 customers have signed up to the grocer’s “Pick Your Own Offers” scheme. Waitrose will now be adding 250 new products to the scheme. ▪
Petsmart offers overnight delivery   Thanks to a partnership with Google Express, the retailer is providing overnight deliveries in Chicagoland and a five-state Midwest region. Shoppers can buy items for direct delivery through the Petsmart-branded store on the Google Express website or Google Express mobile apps. ▪
Haggen files for bankruptcy   Just a week after announcing it is suing Albertsons for US$ 1 billion, grocery store operator Haggen has filed for bankruptcy. The grocer maintains that Albertsons is to blame for its difficulties and says filing for bankruptcy is necessary in order to reorganise its profitable stores. ▪
Tech titans make buying online easier   Since testing shopping in July, Facebook now plans to make it easier for small businesses by launching two new sections, Shopping and Services. There will also be three new call-to-action buttons: Call Now, Send Message and Contact Us +++ Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Apple unveiled the latest Apple TV, which will come with an App Store for things such as  video viewing and shopping. ▪
French retailer enters Ivory Coast   In an effort to capitalise on burgeoning customer demand, French books and electronics retailer Fnac will open two new stores in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Due to rising income and an underdeveloped retail sector, Africa has become an important destination for retailers wishing to expand. ▪
Uchumi supermarkets to be refurbished   Competition and inadequate supplies, have seen the struggling supermarket chain lose customers. In an effort to strike back, new CEO, Dr Julius Kipng'etich, has launched a refurbishment programme of Uchumi stores, starting with flagship Sarit Centre Hyper in Nairobi's Westlands area. ▪

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