To follow is a brief review of retail news from around the world:
Bloomberg says that the performance of the Australian dollar may be a positive indicator for the global economy. The currency is the top performer in developed markets since mid-year, and Australia’s ties to China and commodities makes it an economic barometer. The nation’s terms of trade, local economic conditions and Asian export growth go some way in pointing to the health of the global economy. Additional detail available on Bloomberg.
November 1 – German Retail Sales
Reuters reports that “German retail sales fell the most in two years in September, data showed on Monday, dampening hopes that private consumption will continue to support growth in Europe’s biggest economy after consumer morale deteriorated slightly.” For additional data please visit Reuters.
November 2 – Alibaba, China
The Wall Street Journal said today that China e-retailer Alibaba’s “annual active buyers rise 14% from a year ago to 439 million.” In addition, “revenue rose 55% to 34.29 billion yuan ($5.14 billion).” For more details, visit The Wall Street Journal.
The Conference Board of Canada says its consumer confidence index in October posted its largest drop since the price of oil first dropped below US$30 a barrel in January. The Ottawa-based think-tank says the national index fell 6.3 points last month, to 96.7. Details at The Globe and Mail.
According to Reuters, Amazon.com Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as expenses rose and the company provided a disappointing fourth-quarter revenue forecast. Amazon, whose shares were down 6.8% in after-hours trading, said its net income rose to US$252 million, or 52 cents per share, from US$79 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. It was the company’s sixth straight profitable quarter, but earnings per share were far short of the average estimate of 78 cents. More at the Financial Post.
Sales at John Lewis last week (to October 29) topped £100m for the first time this year, finishing at £102.8m: an increase of 7.2% on last year. The department store chain’s Director of National Distribution Operations Terry Murphy said Home had a good week, reporting a sales increase of 5.5%. Halloween was the standout story for the category, with Halloween products rocketing by 116.7%. – See more at Housewares Live
Hudson’s Bay Company (TSX:HBC) today unveiled a new state-of-the-art robotic fulfillment system, which propels HBC’s Scarborough Distribution Center to the forefront of e-commerce distribution technology. The highly innovative distribution center is the first of its kind in Canada and showcases some of the most advanced automated distribution technology in the retail sector. This distribution center will contribute to a seamless experience for customers and further support Hudson’s Bay’s all-channel retail capabilities. Further detail at Business Wire.
Supermarket giant Tesco has suspended some parts of its online banking system after it detected attempts to steal cash from customers’ accounts. It said it spotted “suspicious transactions” on 40,000 accounts over the weekend, with money reportedly taken from about half of them. Security expert Troy Hunt said that the incident was unprecedented in its scale. He added that the shutdown was “embarrassing” for Tesco and indicated how serious it was. More at BBC.com.
November 7 – 54% of Colombians compare prices on Internet before buying
The latest Nielsen Global Survey on shopping, banking and mobile payments reveals that 94% of Colombian citizens surveyed have a mobile device with internet access, above the average in Latin America (90%). In Colombia, 63% look for information about a product on their mobile device, 54% compare prices, 48% make better buying decisions, 33% search for coupons and offers and 29% use mobile internet to make purchasing trips faster. Additional detail (in Spanish) at America Retail.
Grupo Éxito, Falabella, Homecenter, Home Sentry and even shopping centers wheeled out the Christmas offerings in October. Costumes and sweets began to blend in the windows of the main retailers together with trees and Christmas lights. The key merchants did not wait for Halloween to be over and put the items on sale to be ready for the December holiday season. To read more (in Spanish), go to America Retail.
The International Business Council is a special interest group of IHA members, dedicated to helping its membership market and sell their products internationally by sharing information, providing networking opportunities and offering programs to assist, support, and educate. Membership is free to all regular, IHA members – visit the IBC website to learn more.