* Nike Inc.'s results for the fiscal second quarter beat analysts' expectations, although sales in its largest geographic market of North America decreased. Nike reported net income of $767 million, down 9% from the $842 million reported in the same quarter last year. This quarter's figure beat GAAP analyst expectations of $661.79 million, according to the mean consensus estimate compiled by S&P Capital IQ.
* U.S. home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc. said Dec. 21 that it has acquired online home decor retailer The Company Store from Hanover Direct Inc. The deal closed Dec. 19 for an undisclosed sum, Home Depot said. The Company Store's five brick-and-mortar sites were not included in the deal, Home Depot added.
TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS
* Nike CEO, Chairman and President Mark Parker said the athletic footwear and apparel company will extend its pilot on Amazon.com Inc. after seeing positive sales results on the limited number of products the company has offered on the e-commerce giant's platform.
* U.S. athletic footwear and apparel retailer Foot Locker Inc. will launch an augmented reality feature on Snap Inc.'s Snapchat app at Christmas to promote Nike's Gatorade AJ1 sneakers, Business Insider reported. Prospective customers reportedly can use the social multimedia messaging platform's Snapchat Lens function to virtually try on the sneakers and walk around in them.
* The founder of South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group, Shin Kyuk-ho, was convicted of embezzlement and breach of trust, the Financial Times reported. The conglomerate is the holding company of department store operator Lotte Shopping Co. Ltd. The 95-year-old will not be arrested and will not serve his four-year sentence due to his age and poor health, the newspaper added.
* Chinese online retailer JD.com Inc. officially launched Paipai Secondhand, an e-commerce marketplace for pre-owned products that will compete with similar platforms including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Xianyu and Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed Zhuanzhuan. Paipai Secondhand allows both individual users and merchants to list items. The platform has been operating quietly for more than a year, JD Vice President Hu Shengli said at a launch event.
* Amazon.com Inc.'s Indian unit unveiled a new smartphone model called 10.or D, which will go on sale on the e-commerce giant's portal on Jan. 5, 2018. The 10.or smartphone range is a brand exclusive to Amazon India as part of its Crafted for Amazon program, which offers products made and designed in the country.
* U.K. consumer cooperative society Co-operative Group Ltd. sold its remaining stake in a Manchester, England-based real estate partnership called Noma to co-owner and asset manager Hermes Investment Management to reduce debt, the Financial Times reported. Financial terms were not disclosed. However, Co-op reportedly valued its share at £22 million, according to its accounting reports from July.
* The U.K. arm of toy retailer Toys R Us averted immediate collapse on Dec. 21 after it reached an agreement with a pension bailout fund that threatened to scuttle its restructuring effort unless it put up more cash. The Pension Protection Fund, a statutory fund that provides compensation to members of eligible defined pension plans when employers suffer insolvency, said in a statement that it had secured a deal with Toys R Us U.K. and its advisers that paved the way for the retailer to reduce its obligations and to pursue a new business model.
* Swiss food and drink company Nestlé SA anticipates the sale of its U.S. confectionery business in the first quarter of 2018, Reuters reported Dec. 21. "Our strategic review has led to us deciding to divest the business and a robust sale process is currently underway, which we expect to conclude in Q1 2018," a company spokesperson was quoted as saying.
* U.S. household appliances company Whirlpool Corp. plans to increase its market share and expand its product portfolio through inorganic growth opportunities, including acquisitions in India in the next two years, The Hindu reported. Whirlpool India's marketing vice president said the company is "seeking acquisitions" as it seeks to enter new categories, such as air conditioners and dishwashers, the report added.
* Three executives of Japanese consumer electronics company Sharp Corp. are expected to be named co-CEOs with President Tai Jeng-wu, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The company's executive vice presidents Katsuaki Nomura, head of corporate strategy planning, and Yoshihisa Ishida, head of the company's artificial intelligence business, as well as Sharp China chief Toshiaki Takayama, are expected to be named co-CEOs with Tai on Jan. 1, 2018.
* High street retail footfall across the U.K. fell 9.9% year over year in the first three weeks of December due to snowfall and subdued demand immediately following Black Friday sales, Retail Gazette reported, citing a report by consultancy firm Ipsos Retail Performance. The trend was corroborated by another monthly survey by Springboard and the British Retail Consortium, which reported a 3.7% week-over-week fall in high street traffic in the first few weeks of December.
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