Politics

Lawson to launch Thai business

Source: 
The Japan Times Online

Lawson Inc. is in final stages of negotiations on setting up a joint venture with the Saha Pathanapibul group, a major Thai retailer, to open convenience stores in the Southeast Asian nation, according to sources.

The plan is part of the major convenience store chain's strategy to expand its businesses in Southeast Asia, where demand is expected to increase in line with rapid economic growth.

Chinese firms wave the flag to cash in on Japan tension

Source: 
The Malaysian Insider

Chinese internet giant Baidu and companies across the country are tapping a frenzy of nationalist sentiment, launching patriotic promotional campaigns as thousands take to the streets to protest against the Japanese government's purchase last week of some disputed islands from a private owner, islands China claims as its own.

Be it to drive traffic to websites or garner customer loyalty, companies have rushed to wave the Chinese flag to try to cash in on the worst anti-Japan protests in decades surrounding the islands, called the Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China.

Groupon HK opens new concept store

Groupon is opening of a new concept store at Windsor House in Causeway Bay. The store will serve as a redemption center of products purchased from the company’s vast online and mobile marketplace.

Upon customers’ arrival, purchased items are instantly dispatched via an in-store conveyor system ready for pick up within moments. The new process reduces the wait time for Groupon customers by half.

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Indonesia to revise rules on modern retail shops, franchises

Source: 
The Jakarta Post

The Indonesian government plans to revise two trade ministry regulations on modern retail shops and franchises, which it claims will improve the business climate in the domestic retail industry.

The changes in both rules may include removing the trade minister's requirements on the sourcing of goods and scrapping the maximum number of retail shops and franchises permitted for business owners, according to Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi.

Health costs, weak store traffic hinder Walmart

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal Online

The world's largest retailer is having a hard time returning to growth and doesn't expect sales to improve in the US for much of the rest of the year. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its earnings guidance for the year after it posted its seventh straight quarterly decline in US store traffic and said growth in online sales would slow.

To view the full article (note: you must be a Wall Street Journal Online subscriber), visit The Wall Street Journal Online.

 

New Zealand shoppers watch their spending as economic growth eases

Source: 
Shanghai Daily

Spending by New Zealanders on their credit and debit cards levelled off last month, the government statistics agency announced on Wednesday, in the latest sign that the country's economic growth was slowing.

Retail spending with electronic cards was unchanged in June, following a rise of 1.2 percent in May, according to Statistics New Zealand. "Spending rose in three retail industries and fell in three during June," business indicators manager Neil Kelly said in a statement.

Retail rents in Singapore to hold up despite supply

Source: 
The Business Times

Retail rents in Singapore may either hold or inch up over the next few years despite new supply coming on stream. This is supported by a healthy demand for retail space and the fact that rents tend to be "sticky" in nature, property analysts say.

This projection provides cold comfort to retailers looking for a breather from rising business costs. It also goes against the government's hopes of easing rents with its estimated 600,000 gross square metres of retail space supply from 2014 to 2016.

HK retail sales dip slightly in March

Hong Kong's total retail sales in March 2014, provisionally estimated at USD39.6 billion, decreased by 1.3 percent over a year earlier, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) reported on Friday,

However, for the first quarter of 2014, total retail sales increased by 4.2 percent in value over the same period a year earlier.

Indonesia's cell phone tax: Double-edged sword for industry

Source: 
The Jakarta Post

The government’s plan to impose a 20 percent luxury-goods sales tax on cell phones is designed to accelerate growth in the fledgling industry.

But, it also carries the risk of increased cell phone smuggling — a problem that particularly haunts foreign investors interested in establishing local manufacturing facilities, due to unfair competition.

 

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