JAPAN: Japanese consumers are increasingly turning to own-label goods, according to the country's second biggest retailer, Aeon, which has predicted sales of its Top Valu private-label goods will be up 40% for the full year ending 28 February. According to reports, chief merchandising officer Kunihiko Hisaki said Aeon would replace 1,700 own-label products with cheaper lines and add 500 new own-label products starting in March. The new products would be 30% to 50% cheaper than big name brands, he added.
RUSSIA: Carrefour is seeking to buy Russia's oldest retailer, Seventh Continent, according to reports. Carrefour is understood to have sent letters to owner Alexander Zanadvorov and his bank Deutsche Bank, offering to buy the retailer.
"Carrefour is talking to Deutsche Bank about buying the entire stake of Zanadvorov, which the bank has as collateral against a loan," according to a banking source.
ROMANIA: Unilever has announced plans to take the likes of Magnum and Carte d'Or to Romania, as it revealed it was to launch an ice-cream business in the country. The fmcg giant has also agreed to acquire Romanian ice-cream brand Napoca for an undisclosed sum, subject to approval from the Romanian Competition Council.
Unilever will market its ice-cream products under the Algida name, the trademark used in Italy, and the products are expected to become available through retailers in March.