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Amazon to launch its own sportswear line, report says; Carrefour appoints CFO

TOP NEWS

* Amazon.com Inc. is adding sportswear to its growing fashion business, reportedly working with some of the largest athletic-apparel vendors to produce private-label apparel items, according to a Bloomberg News report, citing a person familiar with the venture. The e-commerce giant is reportedly working with Makalot Industrial Co., a Taiwanese athletic-apparel supplier.

* French retail group Carrefour SA on Oct. 16 said it had appointed Matthieu Malige as CFO with immediate effect, the company said in a statement. He replaces Pierre Jean Sivignon, who, "faced with personal difficulties," had asked CEO Alexandre Bompard to be relieved of his duties, Carrefour said. Malige was recruited from Groupe Fnac SA, where he served as CFO.

MULTILINE RETAIL

* Sears Canada Inc. has received approval from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to liquidate its remaining stores, which must be completed by Jan. 21, according to documents filed with the court Oct. 13. The department store chain will begin its liquidation Oct. 19.

* At least seven stores of U.S. retailer Macy's Inc. will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, a day before Black Friday sales start, BestBlackFriday.com reported. The retailer has not officially announced the news, the website added. Macy's did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and other major retailers have not publicly announced their holiday hours, CNBC reported.

E-COMMERCE

* Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said it will concentrate its voice-activated technology growth in the retail, hotel and airline travel industries, the South China Morning Post reported. The company also expects its Mandarin-speaking smart speaker Tianmao Jingling, called Tmall Genie in English, to reach 10 million units in sales faster than Amazon.com Inc.'s Echo range of smart speakers, the newspaper added.

PERSONAL PRODUCTS

* India's Hindustan Unilever Ltd., a subsidiary of consumer goods giant Unilever Plc, said on Oct. 13 that Srinivas Phatak has been appointed CFO and executive director of finance and IT, effective Dec. 1. Phatak will succeed P.B. Balaji, who resigned from the company Aug. 14.

FOOD RETAILING

* Amazon.com Inc.-owned grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. closed a 365 by Whole Foods smaller-format store in Bellevue, Wash., The Wall Street Journal reported. A Whole Foods spokeswoman reportedly said affected workers would be offered positions at other locations and that Whole Foods remained "committed to the 365 format."

* A workers' union alleged that truck drivers of ALDI Australia, a subsidiary of German grocery store chain ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG, are forced to skip breaks, drive for long hours and disregard vehicle maintenance, The Australian reported. Aldi truck drivers affiliated with the union reportedly demonstrated outside its stores in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. A company spokesman reportedly said that ALDI is "open to dialogue" with the union regarding the concerns.

* U.S. chocolate maker The Hershey Co. is preparing to submit an initial bid for Swiss food group Nestlé SA's U.S. confectionery business, CNBC reported Oct. 13, citing sources familiar with the situation. Candymaker Ferrara Candy Co. and Nutella owner Ferrero SpA also are reportedly keen on the business. Hershey, Nestle and Ferrara's owner L Catterton declined to comment to CNBC.

* A franchisee association representing nearly 7,000 U.S. store owners filed a lawsuit against 7-Eleven Inc., owned by Japan's Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd., alleging the company's failure to treat the franchises as independent contractors and business owners, Convenience Store News reported. The company could not be reached for comment by the news site.

* Russian grocery retailer X5 Retail Group NV said its small-format convenience stores operating under the Perekrestok Express brand, which represents less than 1% of X5's revenue, will be put up for sale. The company added that it plans to concentrate on three of its major store formats, including Pyaterochka proximity stores, Perekrestok supermarkets and Karusel hypermarkets.

SPECIALTY RETAIL

* U.K. sports retailer JD Sports Fashion Plc will list its streetwear brand Footasylum on the London Stock Exchange's junior market in November to fund growth, the Financial Times reported. The company reportedly did not disclose how much it plans to raise or how much its existing shareholders are selling. JD will also complete a share placing with institutional and professional investors alongside the listing, the report added.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Overall footfall across shops in the U.K. fell 1.2% year over year in September, the third consecutive monthly decline, as customers cut back on spending, the British Retail Consortium said. High street outlets reported a year-over-year decline of 2.2% in September, while shopping centers' footfall decreased 1% in the same period.

* Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted in 1.6% in September, driven by strong gas and motor vehicle sales, as well as sales at building materials and supplies stores, according to a report released by the U.S. Commerce Department on Oct. 13. The increase in overall sales to $483.9 billion month over month was likely driven in part by recovery efforts related to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

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