Retail news from around the globe

GameStop profit crashes

US videogame retailer GameStop has reported a 13.3 per cent fall in first-quarter profit and halted its quarterly dividend, immediately sending its shares down 26 per cent to US$5.88, their lowest level since 2003.

Net sales fell US$1.55 billion from US$1.79 billion in the same period last year, and the company expects its full-year sales to fall between 5 and 10 per cent.

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The Dallas-based company has been struggling with shrinking profits as consumers shift to downloadable videogames or streaming instead of buying physical versions from stores.

GameStop is the owner of Brisbane-based EB Games.

Walmart unit sued in India over pricing

Indian startup GOQii, a seller of smartwatch-type health devices, has begun a legal challenge against Walmart’s Flipkart unit, claiming losses caused by sharp discounting of its products.

GOQii sued Flipkart last month in a Mumbai court, alleging its devices were discounted by around 70 per cent to the retail price.

The case comes just months after India imposed stricter rules for foreign investment in e-commerce that were aimed at deterring such sharp discounts.

The battle is being watched closely by other online retailers, and is shaping as a key test of how Walmart, and other large international retailers, operate in the country.

Chinese tourists fail Tiffany

Luxury jeweller Tiffany has cut its profit outlook for the year and blamed dramatically lower spending by tourists at its stores around the world. The New York-based company said tourist-related sales in the Americas were down about 25 per cent from year ago, with sharper declines among Chinese tourists.

Chinese tourists, who account for more than a third of global sales of luxury products, are spending more at home, encouraged in part by government efforts to fuel consumption by cutting consumption taxes and import duties.

At the same time, the number of visitors from China to the US fell in 2018 for the first time since 2003.

Tiffany said, however, that it expected stronger second-half results as year-over-year comparisons get easier, foreign exchange pressures ease and more new products and associated marketing reach the market.

Arcadia in talks with landlords

British multinational fashion conglomerate Arcadia Group is seeking more time to win over disgruntled landlords and avoid a collapse into administration. Creditor meetings have been adjourned until June 12 while discussions with landlords and other creditors continue.

Philip Green, the company’s chairman and majority shareholder, needs his complex restructuring proposals for each of Arcadia’s brands – Topshop, Topman, Burton Menswear, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge and Wallis – to be approved. Otherwise the group, which employs 18,000, will likely be placed into administration.

Carrefour to expand product tracking

French retailer Carrefour has seen sales boosted by the use of blockchain ledger technology to track meat, milk and fruit from farms to stores and says it will extend the process to more products.

Blockchain’s digital tracking technology allows customers to see detailed information on products – like when they were harvested or packed – reassuring them on the quality and freshness of items they buy and allowing them to avoid products with genetically modified organisms, antibiotics or pesticides if they want.

Carrefour has launched blockchain information for 20 items including chicken, eggs, raw milk, oranges, pork and cheese, and will add 100 more this year with a focus on areas where consumers want reassurance, like baby food and organic products.

Amazon launches pop-ups in UK

Online retail giant Amazon said it would has opened pop-up shops in Britain to give more than 100 small online businesses an opportunity to sell on the high street. for the first time.

The first of the 10 stores – which are branded “Clicks and Mortar” and will sell homewares, health and beauty, food and drink and electronics – was to have has already opened in Manchester.

Amazon is working with small business support group Enterprise Nation on the project. It said it would submit independent research on the success of the pilot stores to help develop the government’s “Future High Street” strategy.

The Iconic’s parent eyes Frankfurt listing

The Iconic’s parent company, Global Fashion Group (GFG), is looking to raise €300 million ($483 million) through an initial public offering that could see it list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as early as next month.

The company will use the net proceeds from the IPO to invest in its technology platform, customer acquisition and fulfilment and delivery infrastructure, including automation, as well as other general corporate purposes.

GFG runs four fashion websites in what it considers to be emerging e-commerce markets, including The Iconic in Australia and New Zealand, Zalora in Southeast Asia, Dafiti in Latin America and La Moda in Russia and former Soviet Union states.

It is majority-owned by Kinnevik, a Swedish company which reportedly has around a 35 per cent stake, and Rocket Internet, a German tech incubator, which reportedly has around a 21 per cent stake.

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