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Enabling Sales to Consumers in China

BY CSA STAFF

Despite interest from retailers and consumers, commerce between North American merchants and Mainland China’s population historically had a huge barrier to overcome—namely how to facilitate a payment exchange that would enable the transaction.

In an effort to tear down that wall, Alipay, China’s leading independent third-party online-payment platform, has entered into a cooperative agreement with Philliou Selwanes Partners (PSP), a New York City-based consulting and advisory firm. The partnership positions PSP as an agency of Alipay, charged with promoting the acceptance of the Chinese payment service to North American merchants.

As of November 2007, Alipay, which is based in Hangzhou, China, and is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group, had more than 56 million users in China and was growing at a rate of more than 80,000 new registered users each day. The average daily transaction volume processed by Alipay exceeded $23 million and the company handled an average of 1,170,000 transactions each day.

In a prepared release, Alipay reported it is the largest online-payment service provider in China, with a market share of more than 54%; its success has both benefited from and contributed to the rapid growth of e-commerce in China.

“As China has undergone a meteoric economic expansion, the opportunities for U.S. retailers have been limited by our differing payment systems,” noted Philip J. Philliou, PSP partner. “This alliance agreement [with Alipay] removes those barriers and opens up great new potential for North American merchants to add millions of dollars in new sales volume from an untapped marketplace.”

PSP plans to work with online merchants and merchant acquirers to integrate Alipay into their existing payment offerings.

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Stage Stores says Peebles evp to retire

BY CSA STAFF

HOUSTON Stage Stores today announced that Dennis Abramczyk, evp and coo of its Peebles Division, will be retiring after approximately nine years with the company. He will continue to serve in his position until a replacement is found.

Jim Scarborough, chairman and ceo, commented, We want to thank Dennis for his contributions and service to our company, and we wish him well as he begins this new phase of his life. We will immediately begin a search for his successor, and we are pleased that Dennis will be staying on until the conclusion of our search process, as this will ensure a smooth and orderly transition.

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Home Depot to cut 500 HQ jobs

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Home Depot is cutting 500 jobs at its headquarters. According to reports the cuts make up 10% of the 5,000 employees who work at the headquarters.

The cuts are partly due to the struggling U.S. economy, which has hurt market conditions, reports said. Employees were notified of the eliminations today, they will be paid through April 4.

Home Depot reported fiscal 2007 third quarter consolidated net earnings of $1.1 billion, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.5 billion, or 73 cents per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2006.

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