US-based Target Corporation recently announced that it is closing all its stores in Canada and is about to begin a court-supervised winding down of its Canadian businesses.
Brian Cornell, Target Corporation Chairman and CEO, said the move was a ‘difficult’ decision, but the right one for Target.
“We had great expectations for Canada but our early missteps proved too difficult to overcome,” he said.
China’s economic growth may be slowing, but retail spending in the country is expected to remain stable. In the third quarter of last year, China’s gross domestic product grew at a slower rate than it has in five years, and the country will now probably fall short of its annual growth target of 7.5 percent. However, slowing investment, rather than slowing consumption, has accounted for much of the decline. Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics in Singapore, notes that retail sales in general show little sign of slowing down.
Iconic Swedish furniture retailer Ikea built its biggest store in the world to serve South Korea's shrinking households, targeting millions of people living alone with Korea-only items like super-sized single beds and in-store kimchi rice.
The store opened on Thursday in Gwangmyeong, less than an hour's drive or 14 minutes by train from central Seoul, with a sales space nearly as big as the Louvre museum at 59,000 square metres. The previous record-holder at Ikea, known for its inexpensive, self-assembly products, was in Stockholm spanning 55,200 square metres.
Despite the slowdown in spending and the Chinese government's crackdown on luxury giving, consumer confidence remains high.
According to The China Luxury Forecast, released by Ruder Finn and Ipsos Group, 90 percent of the approximately 2,000 respondents plan to increase or maintain their spending on luxury goods, reports China Daily. However, luxury spending patterns in China are changing.
Automated check-in kiosks are on average 25 percent faster than human interaction while automated bag drop machines process 60 per hour versus 24 per hour the old-fashioned way, according to research by airport technology provider SITA.
The head of Future Group, one of India's largest and most established retailers, admits he can't keep up with web sites like Snapdeal and Flipkart when it comes to spending money to entice shoppers to buy online.
Private investors have poured USD2.3 billion into India's e-commerce companies so far this year, according to consulting firm Technopak, giving them financial firepower to overwhelm shoppers with bargains and deals that brick-and-mortar retailers like Future Group, which runs a host of chains including Future Retail Ltd and Future Lifestyle Fashions, cannot match.
Alibaba Group’s Single’s Day sale (also known as 11.11 online shopping festival) set record breaking sales of USD9.3 billion, up from last year’s USD5.8 billion finish.
“On behalf of our entire ecosystem — from millions of buyers and merchants both here and abroad — we are very happy with the results of this year’s 11.11 shopping festival,” said Jonathan Lu, CEO of Alibaba Group.
“Alibaba is humbled to play a role in making it easy for people to do business anywhere," he added.
Convenience store owners and operators in Australia are preparing to fight hard to stave off the advances of major supermarkets in a land grab for smaller, inner city stores.
Woolworths has thrown down the gauntlet to the corner stores in Sydney with an application to redevelop 302-306 Elizabeth Street in Surry Hills into a two-level convenience-style supermarket complete with an internal coffee shop that can trade 24 hours, seven days a week.
Dick Smith wants 450 stores across Australia and New Zealand by 2017 and a greater online presence.
Dick Smith plans to open 20 new shops each year and for its online business to generate 10 percent of its sales.
It also wants its private label to supply 15 percent of its sales by the 2017 financial year, company chairman Phil Cave told shareholders at its annual general meeting on Wednesday.
Pro-democracy protests paralyzing the center of Hong Kong will deal another blow to retailers already suffering as wealthy mainlanders pare their spending. Hong Kong’s economy relies on spending from rich Chinese to keep it ticking along. But a crackdown on corruption led by President Xi Jinping has led to a slowing in the kind of conspicuous consumption that led to sky-high sales of Gucci bags and Prada shoes in Hong Kong in recent years.