Tag Archives: Stores
The summer of 2018 has been another tough period for Sears, but there’s one thing that has reliably helped lift the retailer’s share price: Amazon.
On Tuesday, Sears Holdings announced that it’s expanding a pilot program with Amazon to install and balance automobile tires that consumers buy through Amazon. Under the partnership, Amazon shoppers who buy tires, including the Die-Hard brand made by Sears, can ship the tires to a nearby Sears Auto Center for installation.
Amazon also offers similar ship-to-store programs with, for example, local bike shops. In May, when Sears announced it would service tires bought on Amazon, its shares shot up 38% during the following week.
Sears’ stock more than gave up those gains in June, however, after the company said sales fell 31% in its most-recent quarter and announced it would close 72 more stores. That was on top of hundreds of stores that Sears had closed in the previous couple of years. Last week, Sears said it would close yet another 46 stores, dragging its share price down even further to a record low of $ 1.08 a share.
News that Amazon and Sears were expanding the ship-to-store program from 47 initial stores to all Sears Auto Centers in the U.S. offered Sears a reprieve from the weeks of a declining share price. Sears shares surged as much as 23% to $ 1.37 a share Tuesday. While Sears’ stock price drifted down Wednesday, they were trading about 3% higher in afterhours trading at $ 1.26 a share.
Sears has been undergoing a long, painful restructuring for several years, with the stock now down 96% from its high point in 2013. Sears, K-Mart, and other onetime powerful retail brands have been struggling in the era of Amazon retailing. Amazon, meanwhile, has been working with brick-and-mortar retailers, including partnerships with Sears and Kohl’s and the purchase of Whole Foods Market.
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Apple Inc will accept Chinese mobile payment app Alipay in its local stores, boosting its ties with giant e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd amid a push by the iPhone maker to revive growth in the world’s No.2 economy.
The tie-up will make Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, the first third-party mobile payment system to be accepted at any physical Apple store worldwide, Ant Financial said in a statement on Wednesday. Apple’s own payment system has had a lukewarm reception in China.
The Cupertino-based firm will accept Alipay payment across its 41 brick-and-mortar retail stores in China, said Ant Financial, which was valued at $ 60 billion in 2016.
Apple, whose China website, iTunes store and App Store have been accepting Alipay for more than a year, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The deal comes as Apple is doubling down on the market and looking to strengthen ties with local Chinese partners and government bodies. The firm’s CEO Tim Cook has made regular recent visits to the country.
Apple is also shifting user data to China-based servers later this month to meet local rules and last year removed dozens of local and foreign VPN apps from its Chinese app store.
Alipay is China’s top mobile payment platform, but faces stiff competition from rival internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd’s payment system that is embedded within its hugely-popular chat app WeChat.
China’s official Xinhua news agency said late on Tuesday that Apple would build its second data center in China in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region after it set up a data center in the southern province of Guizhou last year.
Reporting by Pei Li in BEIJNG and Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI; Editing by Himani Sarkar
Microsoft’s Skype may still be functioning in China, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a way to download it in that country.
According to a New York Times report on Tuesday, Skype has been unavailable on Apple’s Chinese App Store and on various Android app repositories for almost a month now.
Apple (aapl) told the publication that it had been “notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law,” so it had removed those apps in its Chinese store.
Android app stores run by local web giants such as Huawei and Xiaomi also don’t carry Skype anymore—Google (googl) doesn’t run its Play Store in the country because of local laws, so Android users have to turn to third-party services such as these for their app downloads.
Microsoft (msft) told the Times that Skype’s removal from Apple’s App Store was only temporary, and it was “working to reinstate the app as soon as possible.”
It’s not clear which law Skype is breaking. It doesn’t provide end-to-end encryption, though it might be that the Chinese authorities don’t like its encryption of messages in transit between people’s computing devices and Skype’s servers. It’s also possible that Skype is falling foul of a recently introduced Chinese rule that demands the use of verified real names on online platforms.
China has recently been particularly restrictive of online speech, due to the high-stakes Communist Party meeting that took place last month. However, Skype’s disappearance from the app stores seems to have taken place after that event.
Apple took flak from digital rights activists earlier this year when it removed from its Chinese App Store apps that could be used to bypass state censorship in the country.