* Amazon.com Inc. announced Oct. 12 that it is creating more than 120,000 positions over the holiday season across its U.S. network of fulfillment centers, sorting centers and customer service sites to help pick, pack and ship customers' holiday orders. The online retail giant said thousands of holiday positions in 2016 transitioned to regular, full-time roles, and it expects the trend to continue in 2017. It currently employs more than 125,000 workers at its fulfillment centers.
* U.S. food retailer Kroger Co. said it will look into selling its convenience store business. In a statement, Kroger Executive Vice President and CFO Mike Schlotman said the company will consider several options for the stores, including a sale, "to ensure this part of the business is meeting its full potential."
APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS
* U.S. luxury goods company Coach Inc. said it is changing its name to Tapestry Inc. to reflect its transformation into a multibrand group that includes not only the Coach label but also Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade & Co. The company added that the change will become effective Oct. 31.
* Kering SA's luxury fashion brand Gucci said it will discontinue using animal fur in its products beginning with its spring-summer 2018 collection, according to animal protection group the Humane Society of the United States. The organization said Gucci joins other fashion brands and retailers including Armani, Hugo Boss AG, YOOX Net-A-Porter Group SpA and Stella McCartney in going fur-free.
* Japan's Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., owner of the Uniqlo and GU apparel chains, saw a surge in profit for fiscal 2017 and forecast income growth for the current financial year. For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, the Japanese retail giant's profit attributable to owners of the parent surged 148.2% year over year to ¥119.2 billion from ¥48.0 billion, thanks to brisk business at Uniqlo's overseas stores.
* Indonesia's PT Matahari Department Store Tbk announced a four-year partnership with Walt Disney Co. to sell its merchandise, including clothes, shoes, household goods and toys featuring Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The products reportedly will be available across all 155 Matahari stores in over 70 Indonesian cities by November.
* South Korean retail giant Lotte Shopping Co. Ltd. is aiming to sell its Lotte Mart stores in China by the end of 2017, Reuters reported, citing comments made by a Lotte Corp. executive vice president. The retailer has been mulling an exit strategy in China since early 2017, seeking potential buyers for its 99 Lotte Mart stores and 13 Lotte Super stores in the country.
* Amazon.com Inc. rolled out a new service that allows teens from 13 to 17 to have their own logins to the e-commerce giant's online platform. Teen shoppers will be able to choose products through their independent accounts, with parents kept informed of potential purchases through email or text message.
* U.S. e-commerce startup Brandless, which sells everyday essentials at $3 apiece, introduced its own line of personal care products as it aims to tap into the beauty market, CNBC reported, citing Brandless co-founder Ido Leffler. The company's beauty line reportedly includes items such as lotion, mouthwash, shampoo and facial cleanser that are "natural and organic."
* Chinese tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. led the increase in mobile payments in China as the rapidly growing market roughly tripled to 23.04 trillion Chinese yuan year over year in the second quarter, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing data from research firm Analysys International. Alibaba's payment service, Alipay, reportedly had a 53% market share, while Tencent followed with 39%.
* Andrew Left, a short-seller at Citron Research, said he would "most likely" publish a follow-up report about the business of e-commerce platform provider Shopify Inc., Reuters reported. The company reportedly has lost over $2 billion in market value since Left released his initial investigative report. Shopify declined to comment to Reuters.
* Japanese convenience store chain operator Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. reported that its net income attributable to owners of the parent jumped 167.1% year over year to ¥89.42 billion from ¥33.48 billion for the first half of fiscal 2018. For the six months ended Aug. 31, diluted EPS came in at ¥101.00, up from ¥37.82 a year ago.
* Ajinomoto AGF, a subsidiary of Japanese food giant Ajinomoto Co. Inc., is "making final arrangements" to enter the Chinese e-commerce market, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The food retailer reportedly will sell its 10 coffee products in late October on Chinese online platforms Kaola, owned by NetEase, Inc., and Tmall Global, owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
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