European Retail Correspondent
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Jul 14, 2011

Overseas demand bails out struggling UK retailers

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

Discount clothing chain Primark said it had managed to combine the two, reporting a pick up in sales growth in its fiscal third-quarter at a time when most rivals are struggling to grow at all.

Jul 13, 2011

Carrefour warns on profit as Brazil deal flops

LONDON/PARIS, July 13 (Reuters) – Carrefour , the
world’s No.2 retailer, warned on profits for the fourth time in
a year after a plan to raise prices backfired, and said a
potentially lucrative merger in Brazil was off, at least for
now.

Shares in the French group dropped to a two-year low after
it said in a second-quarter sales update that it expected
operating profit in the first six months to fall 23 percent and
acknowledged it made a mistake in raising prices earlier this
year, before some rivals.

Jul 13, 2011

Carrefour working on a plan after first half profit slide

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Carrefour (CARR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s No.2 retailer, said it was working on a plan to deliver its goal of growing profit this year as it flagged a 23 percent fall in first-half earnings.

The French group, hit this week by the collapse of a merger plan in Brazil, said on Wednesday it made a first-half operating profit of around 760 million euros (668 million pounds) as lagging performance in France and weak western European markets outweighed strong sales in Asia and Latin America.

Jul 13, 2011

Carrefour working on a plan after H1 profit slide

LONDON/PARIS, July 13 (Reuters) – Carrefour , the
world’s No.2 retailer, said it was working on a plan to deliver
its goal of growing profit this year as it flagged a 23 percent
fall in first-half earnings.

The French group, hit this week by the collapse of a merger
plan in Brazil, said on Wednesday it made a first-half operating
profit of around 760 million euros ($1 billion) as lagging
performance in France and weak western European markets
outweighed strong sales in Asia and Latin America.

Jul 12, 2011

Brazil retail merger plan in tatters

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Tycoon Abilio Diniz’s plan to merge Carrefour’s (CARR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Brazilian arm with local retailer Pao de Acucar (GPA) seemed in tatters on Tuesday after Brazil officially withdrew its backing and his partner Casino (CASP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) officially voted against the deal.

French retailers Casino and Carrefour and Diniz are settling in for a potentially long battle for control of Brazil’s largest retailer, which both French groups covet as a way to offset slower growth at home.

Jul 12, 2011

Casino set for showdown with Brazilian partner

LONDON/PARIS, July 12 (Reuters) – Brazilian tycoon Abilio
Diniz is set for a showdown in Paris with French retailer Casino
(CASP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday as his plans to merge their Brazilian
venture with Casino’s arch-rival Carrefour (CARR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) appear to
lie in tatters.

The Brazilian government, which initially backed the deal to
merge Grupo Pao de Acucar (GPA) with Carrefour’s Brazilian unit,
on Monday withdrew its support following criticism from
opposition politicians and the public.

Jul 8, 2011

Morrisons enters UK convenience store war

ILKLEY, England, July 8 (Reuters) – Britain’s Wm Morrison
Supermarkets opened its first convenience store on
Friday, hoping a focus on fresh produce will help it stand out
as grocers dash to tap the trend towards more local shopping.

Britain’s fourth-biggest grocer said on a media trip to its
new 3,000 square feet M Local store in Ilkley, northern England,
that its neighbourhood outlets would sell fresh meat and fish,
delivered every day, as well as fresh bread, cakes, pastries,
salads, coffee and juices.

Jul 8, 2011

Morrisons enters convenience store war with fresh focus

ILKLEY, England, July 8 (Reuters) – Britain’s Wm Morrison
Supermarkets opened its first convenience store on
Friday, hoping a focus on fresh produce will help it stand out
as grocers dash to tap the trend for more shopping locally.

Britain’s fourth-biggest grocer said on a media trip to its
new 3,000 square feet M Local store in Ilkley, northern England,
that its new neighbourhood outlets would sell fresh meat and
fish, delivered every day, as well as fresh bread, cakes,
pastries, salad, coffee and juices.

Jul 8, 2011

M&S seen beating retail gloom with sales rise

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is set to report a seventh consecutive rise in underlying quarterly sales as its older and more affluent customers cope better than most with a squeeze in disposable incomes.

M&S, Britain’s biggest clothing retailer which also sells upmarket foods and homewares, is forecast to report on Wednesday that sales at UK stores open over a year rose 1-2 percent in its fiscal first quarter to end-June, according to a poll of seven analysts provided by the company.

Jul 4, 2011

French retail bosses battle for Brazil jackpot

PARIS/LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) – The future shape of
Brazil’s retail industry could depend on the negotiating skills
of a Swedish marketing executive and a French financier.

Lars Olofsson, head of retailer Carrefour and
Jean-Charles Naouri, his counterpart at Casino are
battling for Brazil’s top grocer Grupo Pao de Acucar (GPA) and a
slice of the world’s seventh-biggest economy.

    • 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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