Marks & Spencer to open 250 new stores in 3 years

Marks & Spencer is pursuing an aggressive international growth strategy and is set to open 250 new stores in three years.

The plan is to grow its food business and increase franchise operations with the end goal of growing its international revenues by 25 percent and international profits by 40 percent.

“We are focusing on flagship stores to deliver brand presence and stand-out. We also see great opportunities in fresh food and lingerie and beauty concepts," Marc Bolland, M&S’s Chief Executive.

Australia's omni-channel retailers cashing in

The Sydney Morning Herald Online

Omni-channel retailers in Australia who enable consumers to shop across their bricks and mortar, online and mobile stores are winning the war against pure-play online retailers.

Online sales at Australian omni-channel retailers such as David Jones, Myer, Woolworths and Coles rose 22 percent over the last 12 months, according to Commonwealth Bank credit card data, while sales growth at pure-play online retailers slowed to just 13 percent.

Thailand's Mall Group tempers Q1 sales outlook

Bangkok Post

The Mall Group expects first-quarter sales to drop slightly from an earlier forecast because of poor consumer sentiment caused by political tensions.

Chamnarn Maytaprechakul, the group's executive vice-president, said the decline stems mainly from the prolonged Pathumwan and Ratchaprasong rallies, which hurt business at nearby Siam Paragon, the group's biggest sales driver.

Supermarkets and SportsMalls are the only two categories showing strong demand, as food is a necessity and the number of health-conscious people continues to rise in good times and bad.

inProjects announces merger with EC Harris, part of the EUR2.5 billion global ARCADIS group

EC Harris, the leading global built asset consultancy, has joined forces with inProjects, one of Asia’s foremost project management firms. The addition of inProjects strengthens EC Harris’s presence in Asia and creates the region’s leading programme and project management delivery organisation.

Bossini 1H sales down, closed 47 stores in mainland China

Hong Kong-based casualwear retailer Bossini on Tuesday said revenue for the six months ended on 31 December 2013 dropped 5 percent to HKD1.27b (USD163.7m) from HKD1.33 billion in the same period of previous year, even though its Hong Kong and mainland China retail operations reported double-digit increase in same-store sales. Gross profit dropped 1 percent from HKD636 million to HKD628m.

HK cosmetics chain Sa Sa's sales up 14.8pc in 3Q

Hong Kong's biggest cosmetics chain Sa Sa International posted strong growth in revenue for the third quarter of financial year 2013–14.

The beauty retailer said on Thursday group turnover rose 14.8 percent from a year earlier to HKD2.52 billion (USD325 million) in the three months ended on 31 December 2013. Same store sales at its Hong Kong and Macau operations surged 15.8 percent. The number of transactions and average sales per transaction in Hong Kong and Macau grew 15.4 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.

Zara's fast fashion finds its shopaholics in India

Business Standard

Even before Zara launched its first store in 2010 in India, the web traffic for online purchase from India was one of its highest in the world, according to Devanshu Dutta, CEO of retail consultant Third Eyesight. "It is highly possible that Zara shoppers buy once in five-six weeks, if not once in two weeks as they do in western markets. Most of the other brands would be lucky if they got the same shopper once in two months," Dutta adds.

Indian e-tailers rake it in as shoppers log in, drive out of malls

The Hindu Business Line

Online retailers in India have stolen the thunder from big malls and jazzy retail outlets this holiday season.

Offering discounts from 10 to 60 percent, and sometimes even more, e-commerce players such as Snapdeal, Flipkart, Jabong and Yebhi have reported more business in December than they did in any other month. Big malls are feeling the heat though, for people are eating and watching movies, but are not shopping.

Coffee Bean eyes 12 more outlets in Malaysia next year

The Malaysian Insider

Specialty coffee and tea retailer, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL), is looking at adding 12 more outlets in Malaysia next year.

Its Director of Marketing & Development, Fiona Rodrigues, said the company currently has 50 outlets nationwide, employing over 800 workers.

"We're now looking at new towns. Economic spending in Malaysia is not confined to the urban areas anymore. The next locations for us are Ipoh and Cyberjaya," she said in an interview with Bernama.

Dick Smith's IPO to open opportunities for investors in Australian electronics business

Australia's largest retailer of consumer electronics products announced plans of listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Dick Smith Holdings Limited (Dick Smith) lodged the prosecutes for the Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Thursday.

Based on a share price of AUD2.20 per share, the company expects the offering to raise AUS344.5 million (USD).

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