Sweden-based furniture retailer IKEA recently began giving out how-to kits with its classic blue Frakta shopping bags in Dubai. The instructions, along with dotted lines printed on the bags, show consumers how to turn them into new items such as an apron and baby bib.
UK-based Sainsbury's is preparing a bid to buy British tobacco supplier Palmer & Harvey, sources said. P&H does about 40% of its sales to Sainsbury's competitor, supermarket Tesco, which could change after Tesco closes on its planned £3.7 billion acquisition of tobacco wholesaler Booker.
Australian department stores Myer and David Jones are launching major clearance sales this week, with discounts of up to 50% on fall and winter fashions and accessories. A warm autumn got the season off to a slow start, and several specialty retailers including Portmans and Country Road began their sales last month.
Textile and fashion manufacturer Raymond will make significant investments in new facilities, including a suit factory in Ethiopia. The company is also beefing up its retail presence, with plans to open as many as 200 stores this year and grow to around 1,500 in three years.
Japan's household spending dipped further than expected in April, but the country's strong labor market should eventually raise consumer spending, said economist Hiroshi Miyazaki. Japan's unemployment rate remained at 2.8% in April, a 20-year low.
United Parcel Service and China's S.F. Holding will create a joint venture to expand cross-border e-commerce beginning with a focus on shipping goods from China to the US. China was one of the fastest-growing markets in 2016 for UPS, which has around 6,400 employees based in the country.
Being situated near a major supermarket can add almost £22,000 to the value of a home in Wales and England, according to research by Lloyds Bank. Waitrose adds the most value at more than £36,000, the report found, and Sainsbury's and Tesco also ranked high.
Amazon's two Seattle AmazonFresh Pickup spots are now open to Amazon Prime members. The stores, which previously were only available to Amazon employees, let online grocery shoppers set a time to pick up their purchases via curbside delivery.
Athleta CEO Nancy Green runs a nearly all-woman team and uses her position to create an environment of female empowerment and acknowledgment. "I can be very demanding and I have extremely high standards, but I understand that people are human," she says.
Staples has turned down a buyout offer from Cerberus Capital Management, saying the bid that valued the company at more than $5.8 billion was too low, sources said. Sycamore Partners is reportedly still considering a bid to buy the office supply retailer.
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