* South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun will resign from the Samsung Group unit amid the "unprecedented crisis" surrounding the company, Bloomberg News reported, citing a statement from the executive. Kwon added that it is time for the company to "start anew" and have "young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry," the report said.
* U.S. retailer Target Corp. became the latest company to employ voice-activated shopping on Alphabet Inc.'s Google Express for thousands of items found in Target stores, according to a company press release. The partnership will also include the addition of the Target REDcard as a payment option on Google Express beginning in 2018 and the promise to "explore and develop future digital experiences focused on Target's signature style categories."
APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS
* Michael Ying, former chairman of lifestyle brand Esprit Holdings Ltd., transferred his entire stock in the fashion group — 211.8 million shares worth HK$900 million — to a company owned by his two daughters, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a regulatory disclosure on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Ying's daughters reportedly have become Esprit's second-largest shareholder with a 10.97% ownership of the company.
* Fashion designer Donna Karan received criticism for comments she made in relation to the sexual assault allegations against Weinstein Co. LLC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, The Washington Post reported. An online petition reportedly asked Nordstrom Inc. to discontinue Donna Karan-branded products. Apparel and luxury goods seller G-III Apparel Group, which owns Karan's brands, did not respond to the Post's request for comment, while a Nordstrom spokeswoman said it will "continue to listen" to customers' feedback.
* South Korean retail giant Lotte Shopping Co. Ltd.'s Lotte Mart stores in China recorded a 64.7% year-over-year drop in sales during the first eight months of 2017 as the ongoing tensions between the two countries affected its business, Yonhap News Agency reported. Sales for the first eight months ended August reportedly fell to 410 billion won from 1.16 trillion won.
* Amazon.com Inc. suspended Roy Price, head of its entertainment studio unit Amazon Studios, over allegations of mismanagement and sexual harassment, The Wall Street Journal reported. Amazon spokesman Craig Berman reportedly said, "Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately." However, the reason for the suspension was not explained, the newspaper added.
* Amazon.com Inc. on Oct. 13 announced plans to open a new fulfillment center in northwest England, which will create 1,200 full-time permanent jobs as the online retail giant seeks to expand its U.K. network to meet increasing customer demand. The new center in Bolton will be Amazon's third in the region, and it will be equipped with robotic technology.
* U.K. consumer co-operative society Co-operative Group Ltd. named Matt Atkinson to be its chief membership officer, or CMO, to lead the company's membership, brand marketing and communications strategies. Atkinson worked as CMO of Saga Plc and also held senior roles at Tesco Plc and Procter & Gamble Co. Co-op noted that he will join the company on a full-time basis in January 2018.
* Andy Clarke, a former CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.-owned ASDA Stores Ltd., called on supermarket chains to avoid plastic packaging and use more sustainable alternatives instead, The Guardian reported. Clarke reportedly said supermarkets could create plastic-free aisles to raise greater awareness among customers.
* Singapore's total retail sales in August grew 3.5% year over year to S$3.7 billion, with most sectors posting positive results, according to the city-state's Department of Statistics. On a seasonally adjusted basis, total retail sales edged down 0.3% from the previous month.
* The average retail footfall across stores in the U.K. in September fell 6.9% from August, the fourth consecutive month of decline, as customers became more cautious on discretionary spending, a report by retail-focused consulting firm Ipsos Retail Performance said. However, the demand for essential items such as clothing and footwear remains robust, the report added.
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