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  • Writer's pictureBindu Sharma

Weekly News Roundup: Top Retail Industry News from India & Abroad (Week of May 6th, 2024)

Retail Industry News India and Global

Stay informed about the ever-changing retail landscape! This week's blog dives into the hottest retail industry news from India and around the world, keeping you up to date on everything from market trends to brand strategies.

Retail Industry News from India:

Summer Sizzles for E-commerce:

Platforms see scorching summer sending ecommerce sales soaring. Early summer heatwave boosts online demand for cooling products, driving significant growth in ecommerce sales. The surge in appliance sales leads to concerns of supply shortage. Offline markets also witness substantial growth in cooling-related appliance sales. Sales on quick-commerce platforms too have benefitted, as the purchase of products like ice creams and beverages has shot up, and as the extremely hot weather kept people indoors and away from stepping out to shop at offline stores. Demand for ACs, fans and coolers grew by 80%, 20% and 45%, respectively, during March and April from a year earlier on Amazon India, a spokesperson for the ecommerce platform said. At rival Flipkart, AC demand rose 50-60% in March on-year. (Source: ET Retail)

Fintech on the Move:

Fintech startup moves domicile to India from the US. Groww has completed the process of domiciling itself to India from the US. (Source: Inc42)

Digit Dives into IPO:

New-generation insurance company Digit IPO opens on May 15, looks to raise Rs 1,125 crore through a fresh issue of shares and an offer for sale of 54 million equity shares. The initial public offering (IPO), which will close on May 17, comes almost two years after the firm filed its draft prospectus with the markets regulator in August 2022. (Source: The Economic Times)

Tata Digital Shakes Up Leadership:

Tata Digital undergoes significant senior management changes under CEO Naveen Tahilyani, impacting the team behind Tata Neu superapp. Several executives from the original team that launched supperapp have now left. Tata Digital is witnessing an organisational rehaul in its senior management under new chief executive Naveen Tahilyani, with several exits from the old crop that launched the Tata Neu superapp two years ago, people aware of the matter said. Modan Saha is moving back to the company’s parent, Tata Sons, after leading Tata Digital's fintech business as its CEO for two-and-a-half years. Bhanu Pathak, Shoumyan Biswas and Gaurav Porwal — all senior executives hired by former president Mukesh Bansal — have resigned and will leave after serving notice period, which will coincide with the end of the IPL tournament where the Tata Group is the title sponsor. Amit Golia, a senior vice president at the financial service vertical, has left, the people said. (Source: Moneycontrol)

Bajaj Consumer Care Profit Dips:

FMCG firm Bajaj Consumer Care Ltd Q4 net profit slips 12 pc to Rs 35.58 cr. The company had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 40.46 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal, Bajaj Consumer Care said in a regulatory filing. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Uber Gears Up for Quick Commerce:

Ride-hailing platform Uber ups hyperlocal deliveries as quick commerce takes off. Delivers prepaid items from kirana stores; offers service in NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati and Ludhiana. Uber is strengthening its hyperlocal deliveries from neighbourhood stores, people aware of the matter said, amid a growing demand for quick commerce in India. The company has launched this service in nine Indian cities through two-wheelers and the customer orders are picked up from local stores. Currently, Uber offers only the delivery of items; the customer has to make payments directly to the store. Going forward, it plans to also collect payments from the customer on behalf of the stores, one of the people said. The launch of Uber India's store pickup service, which is already live in the US, comes on the back of the decline of Reliance Retail-backed Dunzo, which offered similar services. Last month, Walmart-backed PhonePe exited delivery of non-food categories it had offered via the ONDC network, while Ola restarted some of these services. (Source: The Economic Times)

Westlife CFO Makes an Exit:

McDonald’s South and West operator Westlife Foodworld CFO quits; company ropes in Hrushit Shah to take over. Shah will take over the role from Saurabh Bhudolia who is transitioning out of the company to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. (Source: Business Standard)

Mumbai, Delhi among 50 wealthiest cities, Asia Pacific gains:

The report which tracks millionaires and the richer, reported a rise of the Asia Pacific, with 5 out of the top 10 wealthiest cities being in this region. Two Indian cities — Mumbai (#24) and Delhi (#37) — made it to the top-50 of the world wealthiest cities in 2024, according to the latest rankings in this respect by the Henley & Partners and New World Health. While the US still dominated the list with 11 of its cities securing slots among top 50, an imminent slowdown in growth of the west’s wealth hubs was evident. The report which tracks millionaires and the richer, reported a rise of the Asia Pacific, with 5 out of the top 10 wealthiest cities being in this region. (Source: Financial Express)

Bollywood Reigns Supreme in Cricket Ads:

Bollywood superstars, top players share ad spoils as cricket frenzy sweeps India over. Cricket mania may be sweeping India over, but the biggest money-makers in the accompanying ad frenzy are not cricketers, but Bollywood superstars. When it comes to TV advertisements, those who seem to have the most firepower are, in fact, two of India's favourites for all seasons -- B-Town big guns Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn. Laughing all the way to the bank with the fattest endorsement cheques is Shah Rukh Khan, who has emerged as the most prominent celebrity this IPL season, commanding a 12% share of ad volumes across the first 37 matches, as per data from TAM Sports. Following closely behind is Ajay Devgn, who secured a 7% share in the overall ad volume. Cricketing celebrity endorsers are not doing badly too. Virendra Sehwag, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardik Pandya each has a 4% share. In the previous season, Bollywood star Aamir Khan led the list with a 10% share. (Source: India Today)

Zoomcar Aims for Massive Fleet Expansion:

Car sharing platform eyes onboarding 20,000 cars by end of FY25. Zoomcar, is set to expand its fleet by over 5000 cars by the end of FY24 and 20,000 cars by FY25. The expansion aims to meet the growing demand for self-drive car rentals, promote economic stability, and foster entrepreneurial spirit in communities. Zoomcar has partnered with industry leaders like Cars24, ACKO Drive, Spinny, and Droom to make car sharing more accessible and cost-effective. With over 10 million verified guests, hosts can earn up to Rs. 7 lakhs per year on average. (Source: Press Release from Zoomcar)

Retail Industry News from Around the Globe:

Shopify Stock Slumps:

The e-commerce platform stock slumps to record drop as revenue outlook weakens. The co also expects narrower margins in current quarter. The outlook, following a better-than-expected first quarter, comes as the online-shopping platform navigates an environment of shaky consumer spending across parts of the globe. Meanwhile, low-price e-commerce players such as Temu and Shein are ramping up their push for online shopping dollars. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

Gap Names New CMO:

Gap names new global chief marketing officer amid push to revitalize brand. Fabiola Torres joins the retailer from PepsiCo and was lauded for her ability to connect with globally diverse consumers. (Source: Marketing Dive)

TikTok Sues US Government:

Co sues the US government over law that could ban the app. TikTok is suing the United States government in an effort to block a law that would ban TikTok if its parent company, ByteDance, fails to sell it within a year. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, argues that the bill violates the U.S. Constitution. TikTok argues that the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s commitment to “both free speech and individual liberty.” “For the first time in history, Congress has enacted a law that subjects a single, named speech platform to a permanent, nationwide ban, and bars every American from participating in a unique online community with more than 1 billion people worldwide,” the lawsuit reads. “That law — the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act (the “Act”) — is unconstitutional.” The lawsuit comes two weeks after President Biden signed the bill, which included aid for Ukraine and Israel. The bill gives ByteDance until January 19 to sell the app or face a ban, bringing the possibility of a TikTok ban closer to reality than ever before. TikTok argues that the U.S. government has not offered evidence to support its claims that the app poses risks to national security. (Source: The New York Times)

Estee Lauder Embraces Generative AI:

Beauty co develops generative AI with Microsoft. The companies will work together to develop solutions for Estee Lauder’s more than 20 beauty brands. This expanded global strategic relationship, which also includes a jointly developed voice-enabled makeup assistant app rolling out to new markets this year, will focus on generative AI use cases. (Source: press release from Estee Lauder Companies)

Kiko Milano Acquired by L Catterton:

L Catterton acquires majority stake in Kiko Milano as it bolsters global growth strategy. L Catterton, the private equity fund backed by LVMH, has acquired a majority stake in Italian cosmetics brand Kiko Milano. Kiko Milano was established by Antonio and Stefano Percassi in 1997. The founding family will continue to retain a minority stake in the company, according to WWD, with Antonio Percassi remaining as President and Simone Dominici as CEO at the firm. (Source: WWD)

Qurate Retail Group Experiences Net Loss:

Co swings to a net loss as revenue falls 11% in Q1 as QVC and HSN unit saw sales decrease 4% during the period, citing declines in home and apparel. (Source: CNBC)

Space NK Up for Sale:

Co hires bankers to sell high street beauty chain. Manzanita Capital has picked Raymond James, the investment bank, to handle an auction of Space NK that could fetch more than £300m, Sky News learns. One said that based on Space NK's financial performance, it could be worth between £300m and £400m. (Source: Sky News)

The Vitamin Shoppe Launches Telehealth Service:

Whole Health launches telehealth service. Whole Health Rx connects users with licensed healthcare providers in real time and will initially focus on weight management solutions. (Source: PR Newswire)

Olaplex Sales Drop:

Co's Sales Dropped 13.1 Percent in Q1. By channel, sales in the professional channel fell 19.9 percent to $38.7 million; specialty retail slid 1.2 percent to $34.4 million, and direct-to-consumer dropped 15.7 percent to $25.7 million. In the U.S., sales rose 2.5 percent, while the international business slid 24.3 percent. Olaplex is maintaining its guidance for fiscal 2024, anticipating between $435 million and $463 million in net sales. (Source: Securities and Exchange Commission filing)

Lululemon Partners with LifeTime for Pickleball:

The athletic apparel retailer leans into pickleball with LifeTime partnership. The tie-up, which makes the athletics retailer the official apparel partner of Life Time pickleball and tennis, also involves event collaborations. (Source: press release from Lululemon)

Adidas Denied New Trial in Thom Browne Lawsuit:

Co’s request for new trial in Thom Browne stripes lawsuit denied. The athleticwear company and the Zegna-owned brand have been involved in various legal disputes since 2021. (Source: Reuters)

Coty Exceeds Q3 Revenue Expectations:

Co posts Q3 revenue beat, aims for upper end of 2024 targets on strong demand. Beauty company Coty beat Wall Street expectations for third-quarter revenue on Monday and said it expects to achieve the high end of its annual targets, riding on steady global demand for its luxury and mass-market products. Shares of the company were up about 3% in aftermarket trading. The CoverGirl parent has been investing heavily in new product launches and collaborations with influencers and e-retail partners to drive demand at a time when higher prices of necessities force customers to rethink luxury purchases. (Source: Bloomberg)

Kellogg Beats Estimates Despite Lower Demand:

Froot Loops maker WK Kellogg beats revenue estimates on higher prices. WK Kellogg Co (KLG.N) beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales on Tuesday, as higher product prices offset pressure from slowing demand for the Froot Loops maker's ready-to-eat breakfast items and snacks. Like other major brands in the packaged food market, the spun-off North American cereal business of Kellanova (K.N) has been ramping up prices to shield its margins from an inflation-induced slowdown in consumer spending. Its pricing rose by 6.3% in the reported quarter, driving volumes down 7%. (Source: CNBC)

Rue21 to Close All Stores:

The apparel retailer, Rue21 plans to shutter all locations. The co massively downsized as it emerged from Chapter 11 in 2017. This time more than 540 stores will close for good. (Source: Fox Business)

Gen Z & Millennial Women Rethink Spending:

Gen Z and Millennial Women Are Checking the Price Tag on Major Milestones. Credit Karma’s latest consumer surveys reveal the added cost of being single and plans to delay family planning given the current cost of living. In the midst of the ongoing financial crisis, women are rethinking how they do everything from celebrating friends’ milestones to planning families. In two separate consumer surveys, Credit Karma digs into the key changes women are making to adjust for the rise in cost of living and the nuanced shifts in behavior. (Source: Credit Karma)

Beyond Inc. Focuses on Differentiation:

Co focuses on brand differentiation as losses widen in Q1. The company is expected to relaunch Zulily in Q3 as it looks to build out sister brands Bed Bath & Beyond and Overstock. (Source: Beyond Inc. earnings call)

French Cosmetics Sector Seeks Relief from China:

French cosmetics sector eyes Xi visit for reprieve on Chinese import rules. France's world-leading cosmetics sector is counting on talks between Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron next week to help minimize the impact on French companies of tough new Chinese import rules requiring the sharing of formulas and manufacturing know-how. President Xi's first visit to Europe in five years comes amid a backdrop of tense trade relations, with the European Union threatening China's electric vehicle and green energy industries with tariffs. (Source: Reuters)

California Bill Targets Self-Checkout Lanes:

California bill could remove self-checkout lanes at grocers, certain retailers. A newly proposed bill in California could ban grocery stores and certain retailers from offering self-checkout options for customers in an effort to cut down on theft. Senate Bill 1446 would "prohibit a grocery or retail drug establishment from providing a self-service checkout option for customers unless specified conditions are met," according to a summary of the proposed legislation. Some of these conditions are that no more than two self-service checkout stations can be monitored by any one employee and the employee has to be relieved of all other duties, according to the bill summary. It would also make grocers and certain retailers assess the potential impact of using certain artificial intelligence or other technology that "significantly affects the essential job functions of its employees" or completely eliminates their jobs. (Source: Supermarket News)

UPS's Happy Returns Now Powers Shein Returns at Forever 21 Stores:

Co's Happy Returns now powers Shein returns at Forever 21 stores. The company launched a cross-brand capability for online orders returned at stores as it pursues deals with more enterprise retailers. E-commerce giant Shein is one of the first brands to use the solution, with its customers able to make a box-free return of their online orders at Forever 21’s more than 300 stores in the continental U.S. (Source: press release from UPS)

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