News 

Feds take over pensions for Sears, Kmart workers

“The agency plans to terminate the pension plans as of the end of the month and will assume responsibility for their obligations when either Sears agrees or a court orders it” reports washingtonexaminer.com. The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, the federal agency charged with protecting retirement income, announced Friday that it would take over the pension programs for workers for the Sears Holding Corporation, which includes the iconic retailer and its subsidiaries like Kmart.”PBGC is stepping in to become responsible for the company’s two pension plans because it is clear that…

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Carrefour to audit slaughterhouses, seeks cameras

“Carrefour SA (CA.FR) said Wednesday that it is launching an independent audit of all slaughterhouses that supply products under some of its brands, while the company becomes the first French retailer to ask for cameras to be installed inside its abattoirs” writes Anthony Shevlin for marketwatch.com. “As of today, Carrefour becomes the first French retailer to ask all of its suppliers to install cameras in their slaughterhouses,” the company said. Source: marketwatch.com

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Sears chairman’s takeover proposal faces moment of truth

“After two days of haggling, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain set a Wednesday deadline to complete the bankruptcy auction for the 126-year-old retailer, the people said” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Last week Lampert, through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc, made an improved $5 billion offer for Sears after the company turned away his earlier $4.4 billion bid.The bankruptcy auction for Sears began on Monday morning in Manhattan at the offices of law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, which is representing the retailer.On Tuesday, representatives for Sears…

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Shoe retailer Payless to explore options, including sale: sources

“As part of the bankruptcy, a group of creditors, including hedge fund Alden Global Capital LLC, took over ownership, according to bankruptcy court records” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. The retailer may also consider filing for bankruptcy, the sources said, cautioning that no decisions on the company’s future have been made.Payless is not the first retailer to face bankruptcy for the second time in almost as many years.(Reuters) – U.S. discount retailer Payless ShoeSource Inc has hired an adviser to help evaluate strategic alternatives, including a sale or restructuring,…

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Survival of Sears hangs by a thread as ruling on bid for bankrupt retailer is delayed

“Two groups submitted offers to do just that – one from Tiger Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC, and another from Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC and a unit of Hilco Global, people with knowledge of the bids said” writes Nabila Ahmed for sun-sentinel.com. Eddie Lampert is struggling to convince bankers for Sears Holdings Corp. that his bid to keep the retailer alive is adequate.The hedge-fund manager came up short Friday in meeting Sears’ conditions for what it considers a qualified bid to rescue the department-store chain from bankruptcy,…

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Malaysia’s biggest home improvement retailer could be going public with an initial offering of US$500 million

“D.I.Y. is Malaysia’s biggest home improvement retailer and for that very reason, it makes sense rumours are suggesting that the company is exploring the possibility of going public” writes John Lim for mashable.com. D.I.Y. will join the company of other private equity-backed firms looking to sell shares in Malaysia. Fast forward a decade later, the company is looking for a place in the share market. Source: mashable.com

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Next trims profit forecast despite steady Christmas sales

“Clothing retailer Next has downgraded its profit forecast for the year despite sales holding up over the crucial Christmas trading period” writes Adam Marshall for telegraph.co.uk. The FTSE 100 fashion chain now expects full-year profit to be £723m, compared to previous guidance of £727m, as the sale of more seasonal products, such as personalised gifts and beauty items, reduced margins by £1.5m. Next confirmed that full-price sales rose 1.5pc between Oct 28 and Dec 29, in line with guidance given in September, as a strong October half-term saved disappointing performance in November. Source:…

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Amazon dominated retail in 2018 — and no one else even came close to touching it

“Amazon will generate $258.22 billion in online retail sales in the US by the end of the year, a staggering increase of almost 30% from the year prior” writes Dennis Green for businessinsider.com. In the US, Amazon will close out the year nabbing nearly half of all online sales, according to analysis by Emarketer, up from a 43.5% in 2017.For retail in 2018, there was really only one word that was on everybody’s lips: Amazon.Amazon Web Services and Amazon Advertising are both also experiencing phenomenal growth, and its Alexa-enabled products…

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GBP News 

British music retailer HMV reportedly set to enter administration

“More traditional players in the music industry have been hit by the growing popularity of online streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, which this year became the recording industry’s single biggest revenue source” writes unknown author for cnbc.com. HMV Retail Ltd, Britain’s most high-profile entertainment retailer, could enter administration for the second time in six years and cut 2,200 jobs, Sky News reported on Friday, citing sources.The report also said that the company, which has more than 120 stores across the UK, had been in talks with leading names…

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Markets News 

Britain’s HMV faces the music as retailer calls in administrators

“(Reuters) – Music retailer HMV said it was calling in the administrators, blaming a worsening market for CDs and DVDs, to become the latest victim of brutal trading conditions in Britain’s retail sector” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. The retailer, one of Britain’s best-known high street stores, went into administration in 2013 before its rescue by restructuring specialist Hilco, but it has since been hit by competition from online rivals and music streaming services.Weakening consumer spending, uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union, rising labor costs and higher…

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