* The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. reported that adjusted diluted EPS for fiscal 2019 grew to $5.34 from $4.51 a year ago as net sales for the year ended June 30 grew 9% in reported terms, or 11% at constant currency. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for the period was $5.24. For fiscal 2020, the cosmetics company expects diluted net EPS, excluding restructuring and other charges and adjustments, to grow between 10% and 12% to $5.90 to $5.98, while net sales are projected to grow between 7% and 8% year over year.
* Amazon.com Inc. will raise seller fees in France by 3% after the local government passed a new digital tax aimed at leveling competition between large technology companies and small and medium-sized businesses, CNBC reported, citing merchants on the company's platform. "This tax is aimed squarely at the marketplace services we provide to businesses, so we had no choice but to pass it down to Selling Partners," Amazon reportedly said in a statement.
TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS
* Gap Inc.'s Banana Republic apparel will roll out Style Passport, an online subscription service for women's clothing, by the end of September, with plans of adding menswear at a later date. Banana Republic also will offer a buy online, pick up in store service by the fall of 2019.
* Germany's Adidas AG and Zalando SE will run a pilot in which the online fashion retailer will provide same-day or next-day delivery on orders placed by the sportswear company's customers in Paris. The test phase will initially run for six to 12 months, after which results will be evaluated.
* Philip Green, chairman of Topshop owner Arcadia Group Ltd., is close to reaching out-of-court settlements to legal challenges filed by real estate investment trust Vornado Realty Trust and real estate operator Caruso against its restructuring plan, The Sunday Times reported. Arcadia did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's email seeking comment.
* Avenue Stores LLC, which manufactures and sells plus-size women's clothing and accessories, filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 16. It disclosed a plan to close all of its 222 stores across the U.S. In its bankruptcy filing, the company said its estimated assets range between $50 million and $100 million. Its estimated liabilities are $100 million to $500 million.
* More than 600 employees of JD Sports Fashion PLC are likely to protest against reduced breaks for workers on 12-hour night shifts at one of its distribution centers in England, Retail Gazette reported. "We are now looking to meet with them as soon as possible to provide feedback and agree next steps," a JD Sports spokesperson reportedly said.
* Lidl's Irish business asked British suppliers in a letter if they would be "delivery duty paid-ready," signaling that the German discount store chain expects them to shoulder EU import tariffs imposed on goods crossing borders in case of a no-deal Brexit, The Sunday Times reported. The company told BBC News that it is "communicating proactively" with suppliers "to resolve any potential barriers to supply."
* Hotel-booking startup Reddoorz PT raised $70 million in a series C funding round from investors including Rakuten Inc., the Nikkei Asian Review reported. Founder and CEO Amit Saberwal reportedly said the company will use the financing for "a bit of everything," including expansion. It has operations in Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam.
* Amazon.com Inc.'s Japanese unit is looking to hire freelance drivers connected to a network like Uber Technologies Inc. to deliver packages for its Prime Now service, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The move is in line with the Amazon Flex program and will enable such drivers to earn between $3,700 and $4,000 a month for 50 hours of work per week.
* Airbnb Inc. recorded $9.4 billion in total booking value, up 31% year over year, with 91 million nights booked through its platform during the first quarter of 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing multiple people familiar with Airbnb's finances. The company had about $3.5 billion in cash on its balance sheet as of March 31, sources said.
* Amazon.com Inc. won against an appeal by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service over a $1.5 billion tax dispute concerning the intangible properties that the e-commerce company transferred to its Luxembourg subsidiary in 2005-2006, Reuters reported. Amazon and the U.S. Department of Justice, which represented the IRS, did not immediately respond to the news agency's requests for comment.
FOOD AND STAPLES RETAILING
* J Sainsbury PLC began a search to replace CEO Mike Coupe after the British grocer's failed merger attempt with Walmart Inc.-owned Asda Stores, The Telegraph reported. "We are not talking to internal candidates about succession planning for Mike and have been clear he has the full support of shareholders and the [board]," the company reportedly said in a statement.
HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL
* Investor Phoenix Asset Management Partners Ltd. increased its shareholding in Sports Direct International PLC to 7.09% from its previous 6.008%. The British asset manager did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment on its plans after the transaction.
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The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng grew 2.17% to 26,291.84, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.71% to 20,563.16.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1% to 7,188.07, and Euronext 100 had climbed 1.11% to 1,042.75.
On the macro front
The E-Commerce Retail Sales report is due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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