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Report: Amazon approaches E. Leclerc; Sears Canada's credit protection extended

TOP NEWS

* Amazon.com Inc. has spoken to French retailer E. Leclerc SA about a potential logistics deal, Reuters reported. Michel-Edouard Leclerc, the company's CEO and executive chairman, told Reuters the e-commerce giant had contacted his company. The statement comes after Reuters reported that Amazon had approached multiple grocery store operators and distributors about potential deals.

* A Canadian court extended Sears Canada Inc.'s credit protection to Nov. 7, Reuters reported. However, Executive Chairman Brandon Stranzl's bid to prevent the company from going into liquidation would still have to be finalized by Oct. 7. Reuters was not immediately able to reach Stranzl for comment, while a lawyer for Sears Canada and a company spokesman declined its requests for comments.

LUXURY GOODS

* French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has received the go-ahead to open its own stores in India, Reuters reported, citing the country's Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion. The government previously eased a local sourcing mandate for overseas retailers by three years in a bid to attract more investments, Reuters added.

E-COMMERCE

* Amazon.com Inc. said Oct. 4 it will open its fourth and largest fashion studio in Tokyo to shoot photographs and videos of products offered by its rapidly growing fashion business. The new studio, to be in central Tokyo, will be used to shoot and produce photography and videos for Amazon Fashion, the company said in a press release.

* U.K. luxury fashion website Farfetch has been named as the fastest growing retailer in the country with 70% year-over-year revenue growth in 2016, Retail Gazette reported, citing a survey by OC&C Strategy Consultants and Financo. Health and beauty retailer The Hut Group reportedly ranked second, followed by sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion Plc in third place.

* Amazon.com Inc. said its voice assistant Alexa and its range of Echo smart speakers can now be ordered in India. The smart devices will start shipping in the country by the end of October. The e-commerce giant added that Alexa and Echo will be released in Japan by the end of 2017.

FOOD RETAILING

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it delayed its decision on BP plc's proposed acquisition of Woolworths Ltd.'s network of retail service station sites, as more time is needed for "data analysis." The ACCC moved its proposed date for the announcement of its findings to Nov. 30 from Oct. 26.

* Dutch food retailer Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV said it had agreed to sell its supermarket in Antwerp, Belgium, to Retail Partners Colruyt Group. The store represents the last sale in the mandatory store divestment program in Belgium, which follows the merger of Ahold and Delhaize Group in 2016. The food retailer added that the deal still was subject to customary closing conditions.

SPECIALTY RETAIL

* Indian startup Zefo, which sells pre-owned furniture and appliances, received 600 million rupees in funding from Sequoia Capital India, Helion Venture Partners and Beenext Pvt. Ltd., Livemint reported. The firm will reportedly use the amount to expand operations, raise inventory levels, hire more workers and improve customer service.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Retail sales in Australia dropped 0.6% in August from July, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Financial Times reported that this marked the largest decline in the country's retail sales since March 2013. Sales related to household goods saw a 1% decrease in the same period, while food retailing also fell 0.6%, the country's statistics department added.