USA: Sears Holdings, owner of Kmart and Sears stores, has announced 300 corporate job losses. The redundancies account for 4.3% of its 6,900 office staff and will be made at its headquarters in Illinois and offices in Michigan and New York. The redundancies follow similar moves by competitors Target and Best Buy, despite Sears forecasting quarterly profits above Wall Street estimates this month. The retailer said it has attempted to clamp down on costs over the past year by rebuilding its management team and buying back stock.
INDIA: Wal-Mart’s new Indian chain will not bear the Wal-Mart name. The retailer and its partner Bharti Enterprises have announced the chain of cash & carry stores will be called BestPrice Modern Wholesale. Indian analysts said they were not surprised a new name had been chosen, as the Wal-Mart brand courted controversy. Bharti-Wal-Mart has already opened a distribution centre in the country, and the BestPrice wholesale outlets are due to begin opening this summer.
POLAND: European supermarket chains are looking to invest in Poland as migrant workers return home. Investment in the Polish market by multiple retailers is set to reach £600m over the coming year. The largest spender is reported to be discount chain Biedronka, which is looking to invest €250m and open 150 new stores. E Leclerc, Carrefour, Netto and Intermarché are also planning to open further stores in Poland. These were likely to be in smaller towns, said analysts, as the retail market in larger cities is saturated.
BELGIUM: Discount supermarket chain Colruyt has reported a slowdown in sales growth during the third quarter, despite strong Christmas trading. The retailer reported sales of €1.68bn for October to December, just above analysts’ estimates. Food inflation has had a positive influence on sales and Colruyt continued to gain market share, the retailer said. Colruyt, which competes with Carrefour, Delhaize and discounters Aldi and Lidl, had previously forecasted a full-year net profit of €304m.
US: Wal-Mart has launched a series of TV and radio advertisements to mark Black History Month. Customers will be able to pick up Black History Timeline pamphlets at stores and leaflets that feature African-American cultural events across the country.