Alibaba netted $14.3 billion in sales during this year's Singles' Day, an annual Chinese retail event loosely equivalent to Cyber Monday. Some of Singles' Day's innovations, such as alleged government-enforced discounting, would be hard to replicate in the US, says Marshall Meyer. Other strategies, such as selling directly through social networks or using thematic marketing, might be easier for Western businesses to borrow from.
Mall developers in the Philippines are investing billions to build modern shopping centers, as global retailers including H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Lawson and FamilyMart enter the country's retail market. The Philippines was the only country in Southeast Asia to see volume growth last year. The rise of malls is changing the face of retail in the country, where traditional sari-sari variety stores have consistently served the market.
The International Monetary Fund named China's renminbi as one of the world's best currencies, a decision that required China to give up some of its tight control of the currency in exchange for broader use of the renminbi in international trade and finance. The dollar, euro, pound and yen are the only other currencies to have the designation.
Sales of European retail properties this year reached $67.8 billion as of Nov. 30, according to Real Capital Analytics, and the year is shaping up to be the best since the firm began tracking the data in 2007. EU retail sales were up 3.3% in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, according to Eurostat, and rising demand for space from retailers including Apple, Victoria's Secret, Forever 21 and Uniqlo is pushing up retail rents.
India's economy grew 7.4% in the third quarter, beating economists' forecast for a 7.3% increase and positioning the country to outpace China as the fastest growing major economy this year. India's population is on track to exceed China's by 2022, according to the United Nations.
Germans will spend 4% less on Christmas gifts and give more to charities helping the flood of migrants this year, said GfK trade expert Wolfgang Adlwarth.
South Korean cosmetics firms including Amore Pacific and The Face Shop are expanding their presence in the Middle East and Latin America to serve middle-class women. "We are planning to open shops in large cities in South America and the Middle East where Korean pop culture is popular among young people," a spokeswoman for Amore Pacific said.
Spain's grocery store landscape includes five major players that control only 50% of the market, dozens of small players and the growing presence of German discounters ALDI and Lidl. A lingering down economy has put increasing pressure on many of the retailers to sell or merge to stay competitive, according to industry experts.
Sezane, France's first pure-play online retailer, has expanded to the UK, with fashion collections designed to sell different interpretations of the Parisian style at budget prices. Shoppers have helped spur the site's growth by sharing their finds on social media, said founder Morgane Sezalory.
Canadian prices for cattle and calves dipped 7.6% in October, according to Statistics Canada, and retail beef prices are expected to drop from the current 20-year high. Beef prices in Canada surged this year after a decade that included floods, droughts and mad cow disease. "Expansion is occurring and looking forward to 2016, 2017, we're looking at a fairly big increase in beef supplies," said Canfax Senior Analyst Brian Perillat.
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