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Today’s news in brief-17/5/24

Asos is set to enter the Indian market through a new long-term partnership with Reliance Retail, marking Asos’ first country-wide exclusive retail partnership. Reliance Retail will manage the exclusive retail presence of Asos’s brands both online and offline across India, utilising various retail formats including exclusive brand stores and digital platforms. Isha Ambani, director of Reliance Retail Ventures, expressed excitement about integrating Asos into their fashion portfolio, highlighting the partnership’s role in bringing global fashion trends to India.

Supermarket giant Asda has launched a new brand identity as part of its “Serious About Summer” campaign. The initiative, spearheaded by chief customer officer David Hills and VP Marketing Adam Zavalis, features a refreshed logo, typography, and colour palette, incorporating a new dark green tone alongside the iconic Asda green. The rebranding is based on extensive customer research, aiming to highlight Asda’s unique traits such as its northern humour and warmth. The new identity will be visible across various platforms including TV, social media, and in-store displays, and will be gradually rolled out to stores, vehicles, and colleague uniforms.

Sainsbury’s has partnered with Microsoft to integrate AI and machine learning into its operations, aiming to enhance store efficiency and customer service. The five-year strategic partnership will leverage AI to improve processes like shelf replenishment through real-time data insights. Additionally, Sainsbury’s plans to use generative AI to enhance the online shopping experience and improve search functionalities.

Under Armour reported a 3% decline in revenues to $5.7bn for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, with North American revenue dropping by 8% but international revenue rising by 8%. Wholesale revenue fell by 7%, while direct-to-consumer revenue saw a 3% increase, driven by growth in owned stores and eCommerce. The company’s operating income reached $230m, with adjusted income at $310m excluding litigation expenses. Under Armour has approved a restructuring plan to enhance financial and operational efficiencies, anticipating charges of $70m to $90m.

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Walmart reported a significant 38% increase in sales during the 13 weeks to April 26, attributing the rise to higher-income customers and a 21% leap in global eCommerce sales driven by store-fulfilled services and its marketplace. The retail giant’s consolidated revenues for the quarter rose by 6% to $161.5bn, with operating income increasing by 9.6%. Walmart raised its annual guidance, now expecting revenue growth between 3.5% and 4.5%, and operating income growth between 3% and 4.5%.

Currys announced an investment plan to refurbish 65 UK stores to improve customer experience, starting with stores in Aberdeen Garthdee, Bristol Winterstoke, and Grantham. The refurbishments will revamp around 90% of the existing store space to make it more navigable and to showcase a wider range of the latest technology. The initiative will extend throughout 2025, featuring increased product ranges, enhanced layouts, and improved in-store mobile areas. The refit will incorporate recycled fixtures and fittings from Currys’ Asset Reclaim Centre, promoting sustainability.

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