Western Europe

egy, Consider This IKEA has applied to the Indian government for permission to invest $1.98 billion to open 25 stores in that country over the next 15-20 years. After a meeting last month between IKEA CEO Mikael Ohlsson and India trade minister Anand Sharma, the retailer’s concerns over the government’s stipulation that a percentage of products must be sourced from local enterprises seem to have eased. IKEA is intent on driving its business in emerging markets to offset its high level of dependency for top-line growth in Western Europe, a region where IKEA is finding it increasingly difficult to

As opportunities for store growth in the U.S. have dwindled, many retailers have set their sights overseas. But the latest headlines featuring teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch prove that in today’s precarious environment, even that strategy is no guarantee of success. Hit hard during the recession, Abercrombie & Fitch made plans to close 15 percent of its U.S. stores and concentrate on Europe as its next expansion stage. 

London -- Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive retail destination, with retail rents at $3,864 per square foot, according to the quarterly rankings of global retail rents from global property advisor CBRE Group. CBRE cited the city’s significant inbound tourist traffic and continued increases in domestic wealth as fueling demand from international fashion and luxury retailers. The CBRE rankings saw little change in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the previous quarter. New York retained the number two position, at $2,475 per square foot. Both New York and Hong Kong experienced significant increases in retail rents quarter-over-quarter.

Australian swimwear and surfing goods maker Billabong rejected a $766 million takeover proposal from TPG Capital and countered by announcing the sale of part of its youth brand Nixon, among other moves to cut debt and boost its performance. 

Redemption rates for mobile coupons are projected to rise to an average of 8% by 2016, an eightfold increase over rates for the most successful paper coupon campaigns, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The study projects that by 2016 there will be 600 million regular mobile coupon users worldwide, with total mobile coupon redemption values exceeding $43 billion, compared to $5 billion in 2011. Mobile coupons offer compelling advantages over paper and online coupons, particularly for brick-and-mortar retailers, because they bridge the gap between online and physical retailing and can be individually targeted to drive traffic

Western businesses can't just assume that the same old dot-com model that has worked so well in the U.S. and Europe will enjoy similar success in other marketplaces. They need to be reminded that even Western markets are unique, so the challenge is really nothing new.

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