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The vendors’ complaint alleges that Flipkart favours some vendors on their site over others, and uses deep discounting to drive rivals out of business, an allegation Flipkart has denied.
It was not revealed how soon the CCI would begin its investigation.
John Lewis tips more store sales
John Lewis’s new chairman has warned that a turnaround in the company’s fortunes may take up to five years, and that more store closures are on the cards.
Sharon White, the former head of UK telecoms and media regulator Ofcom who succeeded Charlie Mayfield last month, has been doing a strategic review of the group, which also includes supermarket chain Waitrose.
The retailer’s profits in the year to January 25 slumped 23 per cent to £123 million. Three years ago, it made £360 million. Sales were hit hard by the switch to online shopping, and according to the Guardian, by a lacklustre market in fashion and homewares.
The group’s 80,000 staff, who own the business as a partnership, will receive a bonus of just 2 per cent of their salary, its lowest offer since 1953. In 2008, just before the financial crash, the Guardian reports, workers received a 20 per cent bonus.
White ruled out the sale of either John Lewis or Waitrose and recommitted to the employee-ownership model. She said, however, that the company motto, ‘Never knowingly undersold’, could be modernised.
Hugo Boss results hit by coronavirus
Designer fashion brand Hugo Boss has announced that coronavirus will have a significant impact on its first-quarter results, with sales falling particularly in Asia, but also in other key markets.
Asia-Pacific contributed 15 per cent of the retailer’s sales in 2019, making Hugo Boss less exposed than other luxury brands such as Burberry, but the region was its fastest growing, expanding 5 per cent and at double-digit rates in mainland China, Reuters reports.
Profit may fall this year from the €333 million ($564.5 million) it earned in 2020, with the company forecasting that it may fall as low as €320 million. Bloomberg reports that the company is taking a hit as its turnaround plan was banking on annual sales growth of at least 10 per cent from Asia through 2022, which now looks unlikely.
Since late January, many of the company’s stores in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau have either closed or operated at limited hours, Bloomberg reports.
A&F makeover brings sales bounce
The makeover of US lifestyle retailer Abercrombie and Fitch appears to be bearing fruit, as its remodelled, smaller stores attracted more shoppers over the holiday season.
Same-store sales for the Abercrombie brand rose 8 per cent in the fourth quarter, exceeding estimates of a 3.3 per cent increase, Reuters reports. Its revenue rose 3 per cent to US$1.18 billion ($1.78 billion), beating estimates by US$10 million, according to a Motley Fool analysis.
Under the leadership of CEO Fran Horowitz, who took the helm in 2017, the brand underwent some significant changes. In a bid to distance itself from its hypersexualised image from the 2000s, the stores were recently remodelled with brighter interiors and larger fitting rooms.
Dozens of its sprawling flagship stores were either shut or downsized while the focus shifted to opening cost-efficient smaller shops and pop-ups.
“Abercrombie stores were just outdated. They were dark, loud and the fragrance was all over the place,” Gabriella Santaniello, founder of retail research firm A-Line Partners, told Reuters.
“The new store format is a much more modern representation of the brand and draws the customer’s attention to products.”
JD.com dominates Chinese market
Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has taken the lead in China’s online appliances market, with a 22.39 per cent share.
The finding was part of an industry report prepared by the China Electronic and Information Industry Development Research Institute.
The sector earned RMB891 billion ($194 billion) last year with a 41.17 per cent of sales online.
Air conditioners were the overwhelming favourite purchase, with RMB216 billion in total sales and taking up nearly a quarter of all household appliances traded via the internet. Other popular goods include TVs, fridges, washing machines, kitchen appliances and household appliances.