RETAIL

No Picture

Retail traditions hit a wall at Wal-Mart China

BEIJING | By Li Xuena via Caixin | Zhong Shidan started climbing the Wal-Mart career ladder 18 years ago after she joined the U.S. retail giant’s Shenzhen outlet as a shop assistant. Today, Zhong holds a high-level operations department position and oversees the company’s more than 80,000 employees in China. She goes by the English name Grace and works hard to reflect well on Wal-Mart as an executive who is persistent, smart and focused.


No Picture

El Corte Inglés & the business model that looks set to be consigned to history

MADRID | J.P. Marín Arrese | Chairman Isidoro Alvarez’s death this week has commanded widespread emotion. He embodied El Corte Inglés’ soul, leading it to become Europe’s largest department store.  Thanks to formidable growth, coupled with a unique business model, Alvarez sought and implemented widespread changes to company practice from the 90,000 strong work force, thorough his personal commitment to the firm. In exchange, he preserved full employment even when faced with dwindling sales during the crisis. He also drove a fully self-financed expansion, ruling out indebtedness and support from capital markets. 


El Corte Ingles, a succession filled with uncertainty

MADRID | By Fernando G. Urbaneja | The death of Isidoro Álvarez, the legendary Spanish retailer and  El Corte Inglés chairman, comes at a moment of critical importance to the company. Urgent strategic decisions are required at one of Europe’s most peculiar and inimitable businesses. El Corte Inglés’ model is unique with those with extensive knowledge of the firm concluding that is has its own defining characteristics.


No Picture

These are UBS’ rental growth forecasts for retail and office by country

MADRID | By The Corner | Real estate values are a function of cap rates (property yields) and income growth. In the tables following UBS illustrates their team’s rental growth forecasts for retail and office by country. The majority of markets are showing a modest improvement in rental growth with estimates more optimistic for San Franscisco and London office.


Market chatter: Repsol, Gas Natural and much more

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | Repsol could sell its 30% participation in Gas Natural before the summer. 20 % of it would go for sovereign wealth funds (yet unidentified) and 10 % through quick placement of shares. RENTA 4 believes the company will monetize the operation if other worthy investment opportunities are identified. SABADELL finds the move logical within negotiations with La Caixa (which controlls 1/3 of Repsol’s capital). ACF highlights that Gas Natural shares are turning out very profitable in dividend for Repsol (4.5%), making this sale not that attractive for that firm.


Black Friday: Engineered Illusions of Unbeatable Deals

NEW YORK | By Ana Fuentes | Black Friday is not about retailers getting rid of their goods stock nor the savviest customers obtaining the best bargains. This buying frenzy that has spread from the U.S. to many other countries is more of a retail theater in which buyers ‘feel’ they are paying a low price and brands design their products with the discount built in. They don’t make a river of money. Still, this is the busiest shopping day of the year. If you need to run errands, buckle up.



No Picture

Zara launches online shopping in China

MADRID | After its first shop opening in China in 2006, Zara has this month started online retail activity with a dedicated website. Inditex, the parent company, expands towards emerging economies to avoid the European recession.