China is set to become the world's largest online retail market this year, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, but this isn't stopping China's e-tailers from expanding to all corners of the globe.
India was home to the fastest growing online market among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations last year, growth that is fuelling a booming e-commerce market.
The number of unique online visitors in India grew 50 percent in the 12 months to November 2012, according to internet analytics firm comScore, outpacing the likes of China and Brazil, which grew just 2 to 3 percent each.
Retailers in Australia are bracing for an even more challenging year as the doors open on another flood of high-profile international labels and consumers search for online bargains.
The European group H&M is tipped to secure a site in Sydney within the next few months, while Finnish retailer Marimekko took over 66 King Street last year as its Sydney flagship store.
And a number of new developments are aimed at providing the appropriate flagship stores for international retailers, all of whom want to open with a flourish.
While e-commerce companies have plunged into ever-increasing competition in the Chinese domestic market, some are trying their luck outside China to find other ways to fuel growth. A number of Chinese e-commerce players, including Jingdong Mall, dubbed China's amazon.com, and online clothing retailer Vancl (Beijing) Technology Co., have already stretched their reach globally with different approaches.
Australia is being invaded by a swathe of foreign retailers, piling pressure on a local industry already battered by weak consumer spending and ruthless internet competition.
Bosideng International Holdings, China's largest maker and distributor of down clothing, last week said gross profit surged 30 percent from CNY1.08b to CNY1.4 billion (USD224.8 million) for the six months ended on 30 September 2012. Gross profit margin increased to 45.6 percent from 39.4 percent in last corresponding period, representing an increase of 6.2 percentage points. Revenue increased 12.4 percent to CNY3.08b.
Singapore's home-grown German restaurant franchise, Brotzeit International Pte Ltd, is set to penetrate China's booming F&B market with 13 outlets scheduled to open in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong over the next five years.
About a year before the opening of Brotzeit's first outlet at the Shanghai World Financial Centre in Pudong on 26 October, Letter of Intents were already signed with franchisees for 13 unit development deals in all of the three cities.
Philippine property development company Ayala Land Inc. and its partners, Store Specialists Inc. and Itochu Corporation of Japan, are investing about PHP300 million (USD7.3m) for the roll out of its first foray into the convenience store business.
In an interview, ALI chief finance officer Jaime Ysmael said they will need about PHP80m for the first year and less than PHP300m over the next five years to open FamilyMart Convenience Stores nationwide.
Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF), having established a strong manufacturing base, is now developing new retail formats to reduce dependence on hypermarkets such as Big C and Tesco Lotus.
CPF on Wednesday officially introduced CP Food World, its first food court, in Siriraj Hospital. The format is the company's third after CP Fresh Marts near housing developments and CP Food Markets in office buildings and petrol stations.
India's BIBA Apparels, promoted by Future Ventures, is planning to take its ethnic brand overseas. New markets in countries such as the UK, South Africa, Dubai, Singapore and even Bangladesh are likely to emerge as future destinations for India's first ethnic wear brand.