0NPH.L - Carrefour SA

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77,453,000,704.00
+11.76 (+0.00%)
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  • Amazon, Walmart Face the Ire of 70 Million India Shopkeepers
    Bloomberg

    Amazon, Walmart Face the Ire of 70 Million India Shopkeepers

    (Bloomberg) -- In the heart of New Delhi’s largest wholesale bazaar, merchants who normally compete with each other have united against a common enemy.“Amazon, Flipkart!” one merchant after another shouts into a microphone from a small stage in Sadar Bazaar’s central traffic circle. Some 50 other shopkeepers gathered around shout back in unison: “Go back! Go back!”The sit-in, which created more chaos than usual among the rickshaws, motorbikes and ox-carts plying the market road, was one of as many as 700 protests against Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. -- owner of local e-commerce leader Flipkart -- that organizers say took place at bazaars across India on a recent Wednesday.Predatory PricingIndia’s shopkeepers are mobilizing against the global e-commerce giants, alleging they are engaged in predatory pricing in violation of new rules meant to protect local businesses. At stake is the future of retailing in a country with 1.3 billion consumers, where Walmart and Amazon have sunk billions of dollars trying the crack the market and capture its growth potential.“Amazon and Flipkart are a second version of the East India company,” said Praveen Khandelwal, national secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders at the Delhi protest, referring to the British trading house whose arrival in India kicked off nearly 200 years of colonial rule. “The motive of Amazon and Flipkart is not to do business, but to monopolize and control.”India’s government in October announced an investigation into the allegations of predatory pricing. Amazon and Walmart said in statements to Bloomberg News last week that their operations comply with Indian laws, and that they act only as a third-party marketplace.The conflict comes amid a broader global backlash against the breakneck expansion of tech firms -- from protests by taxi drivers against an Uber-clone in Jakarta, to couriers for a Softbank-backed delivery startup creating a bonfire of their backpacks in Bogota in protest of low wages and poor benefits.Worsening PainIndia’s slowing economy -- it expanded at the slowest pace in more than six years last quarter -- and the accompanying consumption slowdown has worsened the pain of these neighborhood stores.Representing about 70 million small merchants who collectively control almost 90% of India’s retail trade, India’s shopkeepers union has shown itself to be a strong political force. The traders are an important part of the voter base of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.“For a government, especially a government of the BJP, which has the support of small businessmen, it may not be prudent or politically advisable to totally ignore such demands,” said Sandeep Shastri, a political scientist at Jain University in Bangalore. “They would have to be seen taking some steps at least.”The union’s power is a significant reason the government has placed such onerous restrictions on foreign retailers -- including a minimum $100 million investment and strict local sourcing rules. Because of the hurdles, the likes of Walmart and Carrefour SA have all but given up on opening their eponymous stores in the country.The shopkeepers won a key victory against the foreign e-commerce players last year when the government tightened regulations on how the platforms are allowed to sell goods. The rules, aimed at creating a level playing field on pricing, forced Amazon and Flipkart to pull thousands of items from their virtual shelves and restructure large parts of their local operations.The changes, coming after Walmart announced its acquisition of Flipkart, threw the foreign companies into chaos and prompted analysts to question their India investments. With Amazon shut out of China and Walmart’s e-commerce performance in the U.S. decidedly mixed, both companies have settled on India as key to growth. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has pledged to spend $5.5 billion to win India, while Walmart’s $16 billion Flipkart deal was the retailer’s biggest ever.Now the shopkeepers are alleging Amazon and Flipkart are circumventing the rules with predatory pricing and deep discounting. They are demanding the government shut down the companies’ online marketplaces until they are in compliance.Amazon said its sellers have complete discretion on what price to sell their products. Flipkart said it provides sellers with data to help determine what product offerings will sell best at what price, but business decisions are ultimately the sellers’ to make.The flash point for the latest escalation was Diwali, a Hindu festival that’s occasion for a gift-giving bonanza akin to Christmas in Western countries. This year’s festival in October came amid a slowdown in consumer spending that’s hit everyone from carmakers to shampoo sellers. But while the shopkeepers union said its members saw as much as a 60% drop in Diwali sales, Amazon and Flipkart managed to report record revenue from the six-day festival.The shopkeepers union argued that the online holiday deals must be in violation of the new rules, prompting Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to announce an investigation.“E-commerce companies have no right to offer discounts or adopt predatory prices,” Goyal said in October. “Selling products cheaper and resulting the retail sector to incur losses is not allowed.” Another government official said policy makers are looking at setting up a dedicated e-commerce regulator.A spokesperson for the commerce and industry ministry didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.Vinod Kumar, a 35-year-old shopkeeper selling women’s cosmetics in the Delhi bazaar, is looking for relief. Standing by his small stall, he picks up a bottle of a rosewater-based hair product. He sells it for 40 rupees (56 cents), but says customers can get it from Amazon or Flipkart for 30 rupees, with delivery right to their home.Heat, Crowds“If everything is available online, why would anyone come here to face the heat and the crowds?” he says. “My business is shrinking by the day.”Kumar says if the situation continues he may go out of business, as many other shops already have.Overall data show sales at traditional mom-and-pop shops are still growing in India. Though these stores have seen a decline in their share of total retail sales since 2014 as e-commerce and organized retail chains grab market share, the consumer market is expanding at such a pace that absolute spending with mom-and-pop shops increased nearly 60%, according to consultancy Technopak Advisors. That pace of absolute growth is projected to slow slightly to 50% over the next five years.That may be cold comfort to Muhammad Yusuf. The 72-year-old, who runs a jewelry shop at the Delhi bazaar, says he’s unable to match the prices online, has cut his staff from six employees to two and is in danger of not being able to pay rent.Yusuf is conspicuous in the e-commerce protest, however, in that he’s sporting a fleece jacket bearing the Amazon logo. Asked why he’s wearing it, he shrugs and says he needed something to keep him warm and found it in a clothing stall nearby. He bought it because it was cheap.(Updates with India’s GDP growth data in the eighth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Shruti Srivastava.To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Altstedter in Mumbai at aaltstedter@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at wchang98@bloomberg.net, Jeff Sutherland, Bhuma ShrivastavaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • What Type Of Shareholder Owns Carrefour SA's (EPA:CA)?
    Simply Wall St.

    What Type Of Shareholder Owns Carrefour SA's (EPA:CA)?

    The big shareholder groups in Carrefour SA (EPA:CA) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    In turbulent times, Tesco's new boss has something to build on

    When the little known Ken Murphy takes over next year as CEO of Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, he will inherit something current boss Dave Lewis did not have the luxury of when he joined in 2014 - a strategy and a stable business. When former Unilever executive Lewis became CEO of Tesco on Sept. 1, 2014, the supermarket group was already reeling from a dramatic downturn in trading. Three weeks later, an accounting scandal plunged it into the biggest crisis in its history.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 4-Job done - Tesco boss to quit next year

    Tesco boss Dave Lewis, credited with saving Britain's biggest retailer from collapse in 2014, will step down next summer after declaring its turnaround complete, handing over to a relative unknown catapulted into one of the sector's top jobs. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Tesco is five years into a recovery plan launched by Lewis after an accounting scandal capped a dramatic downturn in trading. Successor Ken Murphy, a former executive at healthcare group Walgreens Boots Alliance, will become the second outsider to lead Tesco, following in the footsteps of former Unilever executive Lewis.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-A deeper look into the London trio's profit warnings

    * China's conciliatory statement boosts European stocks * STOXX 600 +0.7%, FTSE 100 +1.2% * Tech stocks outperform, luxury underperforms * Pearson and Imperial Brands slump on profit warnings Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Thyagaraju Adinarayan. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm://thyagaraju.adinarayan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net A DEEPER LOOK INTO THE LONDON TRIO'S PROFIT WARNINGS (1009 GMT) A cigarette maker, an airline and an education group - what's the one thing in common between them today? Combined $5 billion has been wiped from London blue-chips Pearson, Imperial Brands and British Airways-owner IAG as they warned on full-year profits.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Lift-off for Airbus as it grounds its superjumbo?

    * European stock futures up slightly * German economy stalled in Q4 * Earnings in focus Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Closing snapshot: a choppy day

    * European shares end down slightly in choppy trade * Ingenico results disappoint; Metro Bank tanks * Retailers lifted by Carrefour, Ahold updates * Wall St pares gains after positive open on strong earnings ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    European shares sluggish as poor updates add to macro gloom

    European shares were sluggish on Wednesday as a batch of poor corporate updates added to worries about a global growth slowdown and China-U.S. trade negotiations. The STOXX 600 ended down 0.1 percent, having wavered in and out negative territory throughout the session. After hitting two-year lows last month, the STOXX 600 has regained some ground so far this year with investors lured back by cheap valuations, although uncertainties remain over how long the rebound could last.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Why European tech is a natural target for China

    * European shares turn flat in choppy trade * ASML, Ingenico results disappoint; Metro Bank tanks * Retailers lifted by Carrefour, Ahold updates * Wall St pares gains after positive open on strong earnings ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-U.S. government shutdown: an unlikely boost for the economy and stocks??

    * European shares turn higher, STOXX 600 at session high * Asian shares dip on growth, trade worries * ASML, Metro Bank, Ingenico results disappoint * But Carrefour shares boosted after Q4 update Welcome ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-European shares turn around, DAX bounces from 11K support

    * European shares turn higher, STOXX 600 at session high * Asian shares dip on growth, trade worries * ASML, Metro Bank, Ingenico results disappoint * But Carrefour shares boosted after Q4 update Welcome ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Stress test insurers? They passed!

    * European shares erase opening losses * Asian shares dip on growth, trade worries * ASML, Metro Bank, Ingenico results disappoint * But Carrefour shares boosted after Q4 update Welcome to the home for ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    European shares dip as Ingenico and Metrobank add to macro gloom

    European shares dipped on Wednesday morning as a new batch of corporate updates prompted fresh concerns, particularly on the tech sector, and added to worries about a global growth slowdown and Sino-U.S. ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Opening snapshot: Poor updates drag European shares lower

    * European shares fall for third straight day * Asian shares dip on growth, trade worries * ASML, Metro Bank, Ingenico results disappoint * But Carrefour shares boosted after Q4 update Welcome to the home ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-A few nasty falls expected at the open

    * European shares seen lower * Asian shares dip on growth, trade worries Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Trade hopes buoy European shares to three-week high

    European shares touched a three-week high on Tuesday as hopes of a possible trade deal between China and the United States offset worries over global growth. "Investors are encouraged by the (U.S.-China) trade tariff discussions - mainly because these are mid-level talks and there was an unexpected attendance by Vice Premier Liu He," said Neil Campling, co-head of the global thematic group at Mirabaud Securities. The United States and China will continue trade talks in Beijing for an unscheduled third day, a member of the U.S. delegation said.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    European shares hit 3-week high on trade hopes, Italy bank gains

    European shares hit a three-week high on Tuesday as hopes of a possible trade deal between China and the U.S. offset worries over global growth and Italian banks rose after Rome moved in support of troubled ...

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