European Retail Correspondent
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Sep 1, 2011

Tesco taps Goldman to advise on Japan store sale-sources

TOKYO/LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Tesco Plc , the
world’s third-biggest retailer, has hired Goldman Sachs
to advise it on the sale of its Japan stores, sources with
knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The British supermarket group put its loss-making Japanese
business up for sale on Wednesday, ending an eight-year attempt
to break into a retail market that has proven tough for foreign
retailers to crack.

Aug 31, 2011

Tesco to quit Japan after eight-year struggle

LONDON/TOKYO, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Tesco Plc , the
world’s third-biggest retailer, put its loss-making Japanese
business up for sale, abandoning an eight-year attempt to break
into a tough retail market and underscoring its new boss’s
commitment to investor returns.

The move is a rare admission of defeat by the British
supermarket group and raised speculation it could be prepared to
exit its much larger loss-making business in the United States
if its current recovery plan fails to deliver.

Aug 30, 2011

Emerging markets help DIA cope with tough Europe

LONDON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Strong growth in emerging markets
and expansion of its most profitable store formats helped DIA
, the world’s No.3 hard discount grocer, to post a 10
percent rise in first-half earnings, despite tough trading in
Europe.

The Spanish group, spun off by French retailer Carrefour
last month, said on Tuesday it made underlying
earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) of 233.8 million euros in the first six months of the
year, towards the top end of analysts’ expectations.

Aug 25, 2011

Europeans cut back on basics as recession fears grow

LONDON (Reuters) – Europeans are cutting spending and feeling gloomier about the future as fears of a double-dip recession rise and stock markets wobble.

Dutch grocer Ahold (AHLN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday shoppers were hunting out goods on promotion and switching to cheaper own-brands as they try to offset rising food prices.

Aug 25, 2011

Ahold accelerates buyback as Q2 falls short

LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Dutch grocer Ahold said
it was accelerating its share buyback programme as it missed
second-quarter profit forecasts, due in part to the difficulty
of passing on higher food costs to cash-strapped shoppers.

Ahold, which runs Dutch market leader Albert Heijn but makes
about 60 percent of its sales in the United States, said on
Thursday it would complete its 1 billion euro ($1.4 billion)
buyback programme by March 2012, a year ahead of schedule.

Aug 5, 2011

Carrefour edges closer to break up as shares slide

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Carrefour (CARR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s second-biggest retailer, moves ever closer to being broken up as its shares plumb 16-year lows and shareholder Blue Capital tightens its grip on the business.

A management rejig this week suggests Blue Capital, an alliance of French tycoon Bernard Arnault and U.S. private equity firm Colony Capital, could be preparing to sell or spin off the French group’s fast-growing emerging market businesses as it seeks to recoup heavy losses on its investment.

Jul 28, 2011

French weakness clouds overseas strength for Casino

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) – French retailer Casino
posted a steep fall in first-half profit in its home market as
it cut prices to lure cash-strapped shoppers, overshadowing a
strong performance overseas that helped to lift earnings
overall.

The group, which this month saw off an attempt by its
Brazilian partner to merge their local business with that of
rival Carrefour , said on Thursday trading profit
dropped 22 percent in France over the six months to June 30.

Jul 27, 2011

Smartphones and tablets keep Carphone confident

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Strong demand for smartphones
and tablet computers is helping Carphone Warehouse ,
Europe’s biggest independent mobile phone retailer, to cope with
generally subdued consumer spending, it said on Wednesday.

The British group, which owns 50 percent of a venture with
U.S. electricals group Best Buy , said sales at European
stores open more than a year fell 3.3 percent in the first
quarter of its financial year.

Jul 21, 2011

Kingfisher Q2 sales hit by weak UK

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – Kingfisher , Europe’s
biggest home improvement retailer, posted a small fall in
underlying second-quarter sales as a hit to its British business
from the closing down sale of a rival outweighed solid growth in
France.

The group, which runs market leader B&Q in Britain as well
as the Castorama and Brico Depot chains in France and elsewhere,
said on Thursday sales at stores open over a year fell 0.5
percent in the 11 weeks to July 16.

Jul 14, 2011

Overseas growth offsets UK retail pain

LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) – Overseas growth and market share
gains are helping British retailers cope with sluggish consumer
spending at home and rising raw material costs, updates from
chains including Primark , Mothercare and ASOS
showed.

Discount clothing chain Primark said on Thursday it had
managed to combine the two, reporting a pick-up in sales growth
in its fiscal third-quarter at a time when most high street
rivals are struggling to grow at all, sending its shares 3
percent higher.

    • About Mark

      "Based in London, UK. Responsible for ThomsonReuters coverage of European retail companies. Previously worked as Chief Correspondent of UK Equities and before that as reporter on the UK company news desk."
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