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Retailer News

Judge Decides: Staples-Office Depot Merger No More

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Judge Decides: Staples-Office Depot Merger No More

The $6.3 billion Staples-Office Depot acquisition is no more-- a federal judge agrees with objections raised by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and brings the merger to an end, saying it would create an unrivaled giant.

"There is a reasonable probability that the proposed merger will substantially impair competition in the sale and distribution of consumable office supplies to large business-to-business customers,” US district judge Emmet Sullivan writes in a 3-page order.

In turn, Office Depot states “while we are respectful of the Court’s decision to grant the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent our merger with Staples, we are disappointed by this outcome and strongly believe that a merger would have benefited all of our customers in the long term."

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RadioShack Names Dene Rogers CEO

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RadioShack Names Dene Rogers CEO

RadioShack finds a 10th CEO in as many years in retail veteran Dene Rogers, former managing director of Target Australia and president/CEO of Sears Canada, with tenure starting from 9 May 2016.

As the anachronistically named retailer puts it, "Dene Rogers has a long and consistent record of business success... Dene shares our commitment to RadioShack's legacy as the nation's leading neighborhood electronics convenience store and has an impressive vision for how to expand the business into other segments of the market across a variety of platforms."

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Fnac Wins Battle for Darty?

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Fnac Wins Battle for Darty?

After a week of intense bidding-- one that saw 6 bids entered in a single day-- Fnac appears to win the battle for Dary, since the Steinhoff-owned Conforama throws the towel with a final offer for the retailer.

“Our final offer of 160p [per share] for each Darty share reflects the evaluation criteria we use for all acquisitions, including return on investment and value creation,” Conforama says. "We remain of the opinion that, at this price, the Darty business would have been a good addition to the Steinhoff group of businesses but, at an increased price, it would no longer create sufficient value for Steinhoff shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.”

The "final" Fnac bid offers 170p a share, bringing the price for Darty to around £900 million. While the bidding was going on Fnac was also busy snapping up Darty shares, and as such it already owns over 10% of the company.

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Who Win Darty: Fnac or Steinhoff?

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Who Win Darty: Fnac or Steinhoff?

Darty finds itself in the middle of a bidding war as ia rival buyer appears to quash Fnac's ambitions to own the CE chain-- Conforama, the French furniture chained owned by S. African conglomerate Steinhoff.

Fnac announced its plan to buy Darty for £558 million back in November 2015. The acquisition, the companies hoped back then, would create a mega CE retailer with sales reaching more than €7 billion and earnings of around €270m (after an estimated annual savings of around €85m).

However such plans were dashed in March 2016, as Steinhoff (via Conforama, the 2nd largest furniture chain in France) made a surprise offer worth £673m for Darty. Previously Steinhoff was going fighting for Home Retail, the UK retailer behind Argos, against supermarket chain Sainsbury's before deciding it was not going to make a firm offer after all.

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Kantar Retail: Ugly Stores Make Successful Stores

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Kantar Retail: Ugly Stores Make Successful Stores

Some of the most successful retail chains have one thing in common, Kantar Retail tells Business Insider-- outlets best described as "ugly," lacking in soft lighting and elaborate displays.

The analyst gives the examples of the likes of Aldi, Dollar General and Costco. All offer "no-frills shopping experiences," and this allows them to invest the low prices customers really care about. And as a result, such retailers are booming.

"These retailers have very clear value positions that stand out in the marketplace-- that's whats driving their growth," Kantar Retail says.

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Metro Splits in Two

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Metro Splits in Two

The Metro Group announces a split into two independent companies-- one covering the German retailer's wholesale and food business and the other (more relevant to our interests) the consumer electronics business.

According to the retailer, the result should improve focus, flexibility and operational efficiency, as well as lead to quicker decision making. Or, as CEO Olaf Koch puts it, "the creation of two independent companies would be the logical next step in the transformation of our business towards more growth, customer centricity and entrepreneurship."

For the curious, the wholesale and food group consists of Metro, Makro and Real, and will be run by Metro CEO Olaf Koch. Meanwhile the CE group consists of the Metro-Saturn and its format/brand portfolio, and retains Media-Saturn CEO Pieter Haas as boss.

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Copenhagen Gets First Virtual Reality Store

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Copenhagen Gets First Virtual Reality Store

The Kødbyen district in Copenhagen gets something of a world first in the shape of Khora Lab, a store offering customers the chance to sample virtual reality experiences.

Opened by VR developer Khora, the store both sells and rents VR hardware, specifically low-cost smartphone-powered headsets. It also offers a "menu" of in-store VR experiences, including "Enter a Van Gogh Painting," "Visit Mars" and "Shoot Zombies."

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Smartphone Slump Hurts Best Buy

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Smartphone Slump Hurts Best Buy

The decline of smartphone sales leads to softer-than-expected holiday season growth for Best Buy, as the retailer reports a -0.8% Y-o-Y drop in domestic revenues during the 9-week period ending 2 January 2016.

Computing and mobile phone comparable store sales for the retailer are down by -7.2% Y-o-Y, while CE revenues are up by 4.3% Y-o-Y. In comparison, the previous year had computing and mobile phones decline by -1.8% Y-o-Y and CE revenues grow by 11.1% Y-o-Y. Such results only confirm recent analyst forecasts on the decline of mobile phones and tablets, while Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly points out a lack of smartphone innovation leading to fewer device upgrades.

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Currency Woes Affect Dixons Carphone

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Currency Woes Affect Dixons Carphone

Dixons Carphone announces fairly positive results for the 6 months ending 31 October 2015, with group profits after tax growing by 19% Y-o-Y to £86 million on sales reaching £4.4 billion with 5% growth.

“This has been a very good first half for Dixons Carphone," CEO Sebastian James says. "Against a broadly flat market overall and a very strong comparative period we have seen continued like-for-like growth driven by market share gains across all territories."

The retailer reports best fiscal H1 2015 results in its home UK, with sales growing by 7% Y-o-Y to £2.9bn and EBIT showing impressive 31% Y-o-Y growth to £101m. The same cannot be said on the Nordics, where EBIT is down by 21% Y-o-Y to £30m on essentially flat (1% Y-o-Y growth) revenues worth £1.2bn.

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