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In India, Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal are accused of engaging in business-to-consumer activity. In the US, documents filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission state the Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid merger must be completed by October 27, 2016. And in the UK, High Street fears a global downturn. All these stories and more are in today’s RetailUpdate. Oh, and if you enjoy this issue, don’t forget to share.


E-commerce giants under investigation   India’s commerce ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of India and the Enforcement Directorate to investigate whether e-commerce leaders Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart violated foreign direct investment rules by engaging in business-to-consumer activity. This is in response to a recent complaint filed by traders’ body, CAIT +++ Meanwhile, a deal has been signed for Marks & Spencer’s products to be sold on Flipkart and Myntra platforms. ▪
China leads the world in e-commerce   Overtaking the US, China has become the world’s largest e-commerce market. China’s e-commerce earnings grossed US$ 439 million in 2014, which was 7% of the country’s GDP. ▪
Third Point acquires stake in Seven & I Holdings   Third Point LLC has acquired a stake in Seven and I Holdings, Japan’s second-largest grocery and retail group. The New York-based company, owned by activist investor Daniel Loeb, proposes that the Japanese Company’s Ito-Yokado Co be restructured as a standalone company. ▪
Wine website for Tesco   In order to help customers choose wines, the British supermarket chain is trialling a new website: Tesco is also targeting computer gaming fans; for the first time, they have extended their Clubcard Boost promotion to games and technology. ▪
Latest results   Pets at Home Group has reported revenue growth of 6%, which equates to GBP 404.5 million for the 28-week period ending 8 October 2015 +++ In France, L’Oréal has reported lower-than-expected sales figures for its third quarter. However, they say year-to-date growth is strong. ▪
High Street fears downturn   Consumer confidence is low and retail  sales have lost momentum, according to research from GfK and CBI. Consumers are concerned about a downturn in the global economy as well as rises in interest rates and cuts in government spending. ▪
Amazon to slash Local   The e-commerce behemoth has announced it will close down daily deals site Amazon Local on December 18. Until then, the site will operate as normal.  Meanwhile, Amazon is moving into mobile payments and will launch a mobile “pay with Amazon” button. ▪
WBA may divest up to 1,000 stores   According to documents filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the merger between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid must be completed by October 27, 2016. To assure they get approval, Walgreens is willing to divest up to 1000 locations. According to a report by International Business Times, the merger is likely to go ahead, despite the concerns of smaller pharmacies. ▪
Changes at the top   In order to acquire more digital expertise, Costco has appointed telecommunications veteran industry John W Stanton to its board of directors +++ In a cost-cutting measure, Mondelez International has announced two management changes. Current Chief Growth Officer, Mark Clouse, will fill the newly created Chief Commercial Officer role. Mr Clouse will be succeeded by current President of Mondelez’s Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe-Middle East-Africa division, Tim Cofer. ▪
developments to watch
Consumers accept social commerce   Consumers are rapidly accepting social commerce, according to a survey from Citi Retail Services. In fact, of the more than 1,500 US respondents, 58% said they follow retailers on social media, particularly Facebook. ▪
Omni-channels are best   Why sell through one channel when there are many?  And today's consumers want to buy any time and from anywhere. So, retailers mustn’t limit themselves to just one channel. And, all touch-points for online, brick and mortar and social media, etc. must be consistent. ▪

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