Australian retailer Woolworths has hired Tesco executive Claire Peters as its new supermarket managing director. Peters, who is the UK grocer's operating chief in Thailand, will start her new post in July.
France-based lensmaker Essilor International has sealed a deal to acquire high-end Italian eyewear maker and retailer Luxottica Group in a stock deal valued at around €22.8 billion, the companies said. The new company, to be called EssilorLuxottica, will command over €15 billion in revenue from its operations, including Luxottica-owned retailers Sunglass Hut and Lenscrafters.
UK e-commerce operator Shop Direct booked a 9% jump in holiday sales, fueled by a 19% increase at its growth site, Very.co.uk, as consumers continued to shift their shopping to mobile devices, the company said. Very's sales via smartphones rose 45% over the same period last year.
India's jewellery retailers operate largely on cash, and the practice has become a problem since the government invalidated two large bills. Jewellery store sales have fallen sharply, gold sales are expected to decline further this year and some couples don't have the cash to buy wedding rings.
Duty-free shops in South Korea are promoting their products in mainland China by inviting popular Chinese social media celebrities to shop and show off their purchases to millions of followers on social sites such as Weibo. The goal is to woo Chinese consumers to travel to South Korea to shop during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.
Five Below has grown to operate more than 500 stores since its founding in 2002, and its 2016 sales are expected to reach $1 billion. The discount retailer has built its business to be a place where its target preteen customers would want to spend their allowance and has aimed to create a retail concept that President and CEO Joel Anderson calls "universally appealing."
NRF has teamed with more than 20 retailers including Neiman Marcus, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, HSNi and Ashley Stewart to launch RISE Up, a new program aimed at helping retail workers advance their careers. Through the initiative, workers will have access to training and credential programs covering retail skills such as sales, inventory, customer service and using in-store technology.
Wal-Mart has created a new Global Business Services division and named GE Power's Chief Information Officer Clay Johnson as executive vice president for global business services to handle the retailer's cybersecurity, back-office solutions and global shared-services operations. The move is part of a larger plan to revamp the retailer's technology and e-commerce efforts to better serve customers across channels, according to a company memo from Wal-Mart executive Marc Lore.
Amazon India will hire more than 7,500 seasonal staffers in advance of its "Great Indian Sale" planned for Jan. 20-22, the company said. The e-commerce company added six fulfillment centers in India in 2016, ending the year with 27 across the country.
Starbucks has installed video screens in the drive-thru lane at 64 shops in Canada to give customers a face-to-face interaction with the person taking their orders. "Research has shown people connect better with live people than a voice in a box," said University of Alberta professor Kyle Murray.
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