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Retailer News

Metro Group Invests in Yoyo Wallet

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Metro Group Invests in Yoyo Wallet

Media Markt and Saturn owner Metro Group leads an investment in Yoyo Wallet, a London-based mobile payment and customer loyalty platform operating in the European market.

Launched in 2013, Yoyo allows customers to do fast and simple mobile ordering via app. It also handles payments and personalised loyalty programs. On the other hand, retailers get analytics and a campaign platfrom, and can also build Yoyo-powered retailer-specific branded apps.

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Dixons Carphone Ends US Sprint Joint Venture

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Dixons Carphone Ends US Sprint Joint Venture

Dixons Carphone announces an end to its US joint venture with mobile network Sprint after less than 2 years, the result of a "changing US mobile market landscape."

As a result, Sprint will acquire the Dixon Carphone share of the distribution joint venture. The team up had Dixons Carphone manage a number of Sprint-branded stores in US while providing consultancy services. Instead, the UK retailer plans to concentrate on the rollout of its Honeybee sales software, which is used under white label by the likes of Apple, across the entire Sprint operation.

“We have enjoyed working with Sprint to accelerate their store opening programme over the last 2 years and have developed an estate and a pipeline to help support their ambitious growth plans," Dixons Carphone CEO Andrew Harrison says. "With the significant shift in the US mobile market, now is the right time to transfer these stores to Sprint, and to concentrate on our exciting software business, Honeybee."

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Media Markt Opens Concept Store

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Media Markt Opens Concept Store

Media Markt plans to open a new store concept in Wilrijk and Eindhoven, adding a snack bar, coffee bar complete with barista and even a beauty salon.

The stores are designed to ensure a longer and more pleasant shopping experience. As such, furnishings are cozy while several seating areas allow customers to test out products. There are even areas where customers can race drones, play games and test out virtual reality hardware.

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Apple Opens Dubai Mall Store

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Apple Opens Dubai Mall Store

Apple announces a 3rd retail store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-- specifically at the Dubai Mall, set to open on 27 April, following the unveiling of a ground mural surrounding the storefront.

The store occupies 2 levels and reportedly offers views of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It will be open 7 days a week, 10am to 11pm Sunday to Wednesday and 10am to midnight Thursday to Saturday.

Like many other Apple retail outlets it should host workshops for customers of all ages, as well as learning camps for kids. The company also promotes "field trips" for students wanting an "unforgettable learning experience" using Apple products.

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Amazon Buys "Amazon of the M. East"

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Amazon Buys

Amazon wants to bolster its presence in the Middle East with the acquisition of Souq, the online retailer often described as "the Amazon of the Arab world."

"Amazon and Souq share the same DNA-- we’re both driven by customers, invention, and long-term thinking,” Amazon says. "Souq pioneered e-commerce in the Middle East, creating a great shopping experience for their customers. We're looking forward to both learning from and supporting them with Amazon technology and global resources. And together, we’ll work hard to provide the best possible service for millions of customers in the M. East."

Souq sells CE, as well as fashion, household items and other goods. It claims to be the largest e-commerce player in the region, and was valued at $1 billion during its last round of funding back in 2016. Last year Souq was reportedly in talks with Amazon to sell a 30% stake, a deal also putting its value at $1bn, but TechCrunch sources claim the final asking price for the deal comes to around $650 million.

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RadioShack Faces Bankruptcy... Again!

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RadioShack Faces Bankruptcy... Again!

RadioShack is in the red for the 2nd time in 2 years, as owner General Wireless Operations (GWO) files for Chapter 11 protection after the failure of a co-branding deal with US mobile carrier Sprint.

GWO bought the RadioShack brand and its best stores in a series of bankruptcy auctions in 2015. It runs 1500 outlets, and plans to close 187 stores, either close or sell to Sprint another 364 stores and evaluate the remaining 1000 locations, with the option to liquidate.

The bankruptcy filing has CEO Dene Rogers claim a number of improvements and sales milestones during the short tenure of GWO. These include a 23% reduction in operating expensive and an 8% increase in gross profit dollars for 2016, the sale over over 1 million private-label headphones and 700000 Hulu login pins, a revamp of its e-commerce site and the integration of FedEx pick-up/drop-off points in 140 stores.

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Apple to Open Schildergasse, Cologne Store

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Apple to Open Schildergasse, Cologne Store

Apple announces a second retail store in Cologne, Germany-- the Store in Schildergasse 1-9, one of the busiest shopping streets in the country, will open on 28 March 2017.

The announcement confirms previous rumours on Apple working on a retail outlet in the German city. Schildergasse spans 500m from Hohe Strasse on the Easern End to Neumarkt on the Western End, and claims foot traffic of around 13000 persons per hour.

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Apple Preps Second Cologne Store?

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Apple Preps Second Cologne Store?

German website iFun.de shares photos of what appears to be a second Apple Store in the city of Cologne, as tarpaulins fail to hide a clearly lit Apple logo.

The Store is located on Schildergrasse, a busy shopping street in the city centre claiming foot traffic of around 13000 per hour. Dubbed "Apple Schildergrasse," it occupies a former retail outlet of the clothing brand Pohland, which vacated the building back in 2015.

According to Macerkopf, renovations have been going on in the building since April 2015. Close-up photos show Apple-style buildings and markings through the typically blacked out windows, and further confirming the existence of the store is the March 2016 posting of Cologne-based Apple retail job listings.

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Mobiles Lead to Merry Dixons Carphone Christmas

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Mobiles Lead to Merry Dixons Carphone Christmas

Dixons Carphone reports strong results for the 2016 Christmas season, with fiscal Q3 2016 (ending 9 January 2017) revenues growing by 5% Y-o-Y thanks to mobile device sales.

The company also points out TVs and domestic appliances and best sellers, as well as record sales seen during the Black Friday and Boxing Day discount periods.

“I am pleased to be reporting another good Christmas period of growth-- our 5th consecutive year," CEO Sebastian James says. "At a time of significant political uncertainty around the world, it was heartening to see that customers were choosing to enjoy the benefits that new technologies could bring to their lives during this holiday season."

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A Bunker for an Apple Store?

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A Bunker for an Apple Store?

According to German tech news site ifun.de Apple is looking for a retail location in Stuttgart, Germany-- a search that led the company to offer a "three-digit million amount" for an underground bunker.

The state capital of Stuttgart lacks an Apple Store, and the nearest official retail outlet is found 12 miles away, in Sindelfingen. Apple has reportedly been looking for a suitable location for a few years, having rejected a number of spots including the Milaneo shopping mall, a location apparently refused in the last minute.

As for the bunker, the series of underground rooms is located under the Stuttgarter Market Square in the centre of Stuttgart. Post-WW2 it was actually used as a hotel (imaginatively named the Bunkerhotel) until 1985, and a 1995 architectural competition was to turn it into a commercial complex complete with a glass prism acting as an entrance pavilion designed by Neugebauer + Roesch Architect. However the project was left on the drawing board after city authorities lost interest.

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Staples Offloads European Business

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Staples Offloads European Business

Staples follows the failure of its attempted merger with office supply rival Office Depot with the offloading of its European business to private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.

Financial details of the deal are not available, but Reuters reports it is worth €50 million. The Staples European unit covers retail, contract and online businesses in 16 countries, and generates annual sales of around €1.7 billion.

“One of our top strategic priorities has been to narrow our geographic focus on N. America, and this is an important step toward simplifying our operations and better positioning Staples for sustainable long-term growth,” the retailer says. “We believe that working with Cerberus will help enable the future success of the Staples Europe business, benefiting our associates and customers in the region.”

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