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Amazon to invest $2 billion in Indian operation

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Amazon.com is making a serious bid to control the Indian e-commerce market with a planned $2 billion investment in its Indian operation. In a statement emailed to major U.S. media outlets, Amazon said it sees “huge potential” in India’s economy and e-commerce market.

Amazon entered the Indian market in June 2013 and sells 17 million products there. Among the company’s planned Indian projects are five new delivery warehouses. Amazon is making the investment as India’s leading domestic e-commerce platform, Flipkart, is receiving $1 billion in new funding from outside investors.

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Whole Foods misses sales and comps; Q3 profit edges up

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Austin, Texas — Whole Foods Market reported that profit for the third quarter rose to $151 million from $142 million last year, but revenue and same-store sales missed projections, sending the organic grocer’s shares downward.

Revenue rose to $3.38 billion from $3.06 billion, shy of the $3.39 billion expected by Wall Street. Same-store sales rose 3.9%, well short of the estimated 4.9% gain and marking the worst performance in at least 14 quarters.

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First Data to acquire digital payment pioneer Gyft

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Atlanta — First Data has taken a key step toward expanding its payment services by acquiring Gyft Inc., the Silicon Valley-based company that entered the $100 billion gift card market in 2012 and pioneered the concept of a mobile wallet for gift cards.

Gyft enables consumers to buy, send, manage and redeem gift cards using mobile devices. With more than 200 retailers on its digital gift card platform, Gyft is a mobile wallet accessible by website and as a free app on iPhone and Android devices. With the acquisition, First Data will expand its gift card footprint and programs and add choice for consumers.

“Gyft, with its mobile gifting platform, and First Data, with its global scale and distribution network, together will accelerate the growth of virtual prepaid with powerful new tools for merchants of all sizes to deepen their relationships with their customers,” said Guy Chiarello, president, First Data. “This means that the same robust toolset deployed by big box retailers will be coming soon to small- to mid-sized businesses, perfectly synched with our mission to offer innovative solutions to help our clients grow.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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