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Amazon Launches First ‘Real Life’ Clothing Store For Men And Women

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American multinational technology company, Amazon is launching its first apparel store, ‘Amazon Style’.

Investors King gathered that the clothing store, located in a Southern California mall, later this year will feature women’s and men’s apparel, shoes, and accessories from a mix of well-known and emerging brands, with prices catering to a wide range of shoppers.

According to Amazon, shoppers will get personalized recommendations pushed to their phones as they browse the new Amazon Style store. The company also noted that the clothing store will feature a mix of well-known and emerging brands, adding that every individual’s budget would be met.

The store which will be about 30,000 square feet would be digitalized as shoppers will rely heavily on their smartphones in order to browse the store.

Managing Director of Amazon Style, Simoina Vasen told CNBC that when shoppers walk into the store, they’ll see “display items,” featuring just one size and color of a particular product; the remaining inventory for each product will kept in the back of the store.

He added that after logging into the Amazon app on a smartphone, they’ll scan a QR code on the item to view additional sizes, colors, product ratings and other information, such as personalized recommendations for similar items.

“This allows us to offer more selection without requiring customers to sift through racks to find that right color, size and fit,” he said.

After scanning the QR code on an item, shoppers can click a button in the Amazon app to add the item to a fitting room or send it to a pickup counter.

According to Vasen, shoppers will be able to access their in-store purchase history in the Amazon app.

A recently released research by Wells Fargo analysts shows that Amazon has surpassed Walmart as the No. 1 apparel retailer in the U.S.. This is largely due to the e-commerce boom recorded as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wells Fargo estimates that Amazon’s apparel and footwear sales in the U.S. grew by roughly 15% in 2020 to more than $41 billion, which is 20% to 25% above rival Walmart.

This represents an 11 to 12 percent share of all clothing sold in the U.S. and 34 to 35 percent share of all clothing sold online.

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After 30 Years in Russia, McDonald’s Gets New Buyer, New Owner to Rebrand

Mcdonald’s has found a new buyer for its Russian business after the war in Ukraine made it quit the country

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McDonalds

One of the world’s leading food service brands, Mcdonald’s has found a new buyer for its Russian business after the war in Ukraine made it quit the country, stopping 30 years of operation. 

McDonald’s said Alexander Govor, who currently operates 25 McDonald’s restaurants in Siberia, will take over the firm’s restaurants and staff, operating them under a new brand.

Although the sale price was not revealed, it warned investors it would take a more than $1bn hit from the exit.

Announcing plans for the sale earlier in the week, the chief executive officer of McDonald’s, Chris Kempczinski said the decision was “extremely difficult.

“However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the arches shining there,” Kempczinski said.

Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said the deal was the result of a “long and difficult” negotiation process and the government would provide Mr Govor with all the necessary assistance to set up operations.

“The terms provide for McDonald’s 62,000 staff in Russia to be retained for at least two years, with their existing pay and Mr Govor will pay the salaries of corporate staff in Russia until the deal is completed.

Mr Govor has been a licensee of McDonald’s since 2015. He is also co-founder of a refining company, Neftekhim Service, and a board member of another firm that owns the Park Inn hotel and private clinics in Siberia.

McDonald’s suspended operations at the restaurants it owned in Russia in March, citing the “humanitarian crisis” and “unpredictable operating environment” caused by the Ukraine war.

The move led to an outrage among Russian politicians and prompted threats the business would be seized.

McDonald’s will retain its trademark in the country, it said, while the restaurants will be stripped of their menu, logo and other branding. 

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Nigeria, Others to Benefit from KFC Africa and NBA Africa Partnership 

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KFC Africa - Investors King

Nigeria with other seven African countries will now have opportunities to win tickets to watch live National Basket Association in the United States and enjoy co-branded products and merchandise. 

NBA Africa on Monday announced a marketing partnership with KFC Africa that will see both bodies collaborate on a number of promotions and activations for basketball fans across eight countries on the continent. 

The African countries to benefit from the partnership are Nigeria, Botswana, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Namibia, Senegal and Tanzania.

In a statement released and obtained by Investors King, through the partnership, KFC Africa and NBA Africa will launch co-branded product campaigns, limited-edition merchandise giveaways, and limited-edition KFC x NBA promotions, including the opportunity for basketball fans to win tickets to live NBA games in the U.S. and complimentary access to NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service.  

“We are proud to announce this exciting partnership between our iconic KFC brand and one of the most epic sports brands in the world,” said KFC Marketing Director, Rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, Emmanuel Kasambala. 

 “As a brand that has been on the continent for 50 years, we are passionate about connecting with the youth at the touchpoints that really mean something to them. So, beyond the extremely cool products and merchandise we will offer, we have longer-term plans to inspire the youth to achieve more in life through basketball.  We are exploring various grassroots basketball initiatives, like the refurbishment of courts, and basketball clinics in communities.  It is about inspiring and enabling the youth to reach for, and achieve, their dreams.”

“We are excited to partner with KFC Africa to launch a series of fan-centric activities and promotions as part of our efforts to provide compelling ways for basketball fans across the continent to engage with the NBA,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.  “We want to meet our fans where they are and make the game of basketball more accessible, and through this partnership with one of the world’s most iconic food brands, we look forward to reaching new and existing fans and providing them with more opportunities to experience the NBA.”

Additional details about the promotions will be announced at a later date. 

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Guinness, Johnnie Walker Maker, Diageo Records 16% Rise in H2 2021 Global Sales

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Diageo

Maker of Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff Vodka and other alcoholic beverages, Diageo has recorded a 16 percent rise in sales in the second half (H2) of 2021, with earnings totaling £8 billion.

The sales of the beverages soared in the last six months of 2021, thanks to the reopening of bars, pubs and restaurants across countries easing COVID-19 restrictions.

It should be recalled that many during the lockdown in Europe, North America and other parts of the world stocked up liquor in their homes. This, however, did not help sales of alcoholic beverages due to the closure of bars, restaurants and other entertainment services.

Diageo in the H2 of 2021, noted that it witnessed a recovery in its ‘on-trade’ business, which refers to sales to hotels and bars and restaurants. This is because these relaxation centres had to restock and buy more than the previous year.

The company also continued to receive high demands in its ‘off-trade business’ – or sales to supermarkets and food retailers.

According to the liquor company, sales of its premium alcohol, which include its scotch, tequila and beer, brought in more than half of the percentage of its H2 revenue, as the ‘pandemic trend for finer booze’ continued.

Diageo products sales in Britain alone, during the last six months rose to 19 percent, with Guinness particularly strong, up more than 30 percent compared to the second half of 2020.

The London-based company further noted that all its drink categories recorded growth, with its tequila, Don Julio and Casamigos sales rising 56 percent globally. These brands are enjoying rising popularity, Diageo stated. Its Whiskey sales also witnessed a 27 percent rise, including a 31 percent rise for Johnnie Walker.

Although Diageo recorded high sales in more than 200 brands it owns in 180 countries, its gin products appear to have fallen out of public favour, with sales dipping in the last six months. Some of its popular gin brands include Gordon’s Gin, Tanqueray gin, Captain Morgan rum, Baileys and Talisker whisky.

The spirits sales were however strong in Britain, rising 13 percent thanks to booming demand for vodka, in which sales shot up by 21 percent, driven mostly by Smirnoff.

Despite the boost in sales, Diageo has not been immune to rising inflation in all aspects of its business, due to the surge in fees from shipping to acquiring raw materials and higher energy bills.

According to the liquor company’s finance chief, Lavanya Chandrashekar said that the inflation has led to price rises in some categories.

“We don’t do pricing action across the board. We have taken price (rises) in tequila in the US by 4.5 per cent.” She also said the company has taken some price in emerging markets such as Nigeria and Turkey. “we’ve taken several rounds of pricing in these markets. It’s really on a case-by-base basis and it is done selectively in a very disciplined manner,” Chandrashekar added.

With its brands having differing range in prices, Diageo is well equipped to weather these price pressures, as customers who choose to go for an affordable liquor will still likely opt for an alternative Diageo product.

“Cost inflation has been the subject of much debate in corporate boardrooms, but Diageo benefits from the nature of the sector in which it operates. Its ability to pass on price increases, as well as ongoing productivity savings, has more than offset such inflation, with its move towards “premiumisation” providing additional insurance,” Head of Markets at Interactive Investor, Richard Hunter explained.

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