According to the GfK Retail Report, Belgian non-food is still on the slide, for the fourth quarter in a row. 2014 too had quite the bad start, but the consumer electronics sector is hoping for a lift with the world championship football, even though decreased tablet and smartphone prices have led to lower turnover.
GfK Retail Report: bad start to 2014
Ceconomy, MediaMarkt's parent company, has sold its onerous Russian division to local electronics chain M.video. The German electronics giant does not quit Russia altogether however, as it continues as shareholder of M.video.
BackMarket, a French start-up that wants to be a marketplace for refurbished smart phones, tablets and laptops, has secured a 41 million euro investment. The most famous new investor is Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury group LVMH.
Dutch e-commerce group Coolblue has terminated hundreds of its web shops, instead preferring one central web shop at coolblue.be/nl. This may be the precursor to an international expansion, the company says.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi just opened a physical store in Paris, part of its ambitious European expansion plan. The brand is also dreaming of an American launch.
French electronics retailer Fnac Darty has set up a purchase alliance with competitor MediaMarkt Saturn. Both companies will buy together when it comes to the European retail market.
The battle for dominance on the Indian e-commerce market seems to be stepping up a notch: Amazon may be looking to buy a majority stake in Flipkart, trying to better Walmart which already started negociations with the Indian online retailer.