OPERATIONS

Report: Carrefour in talks to replace CEO

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Paris — A Thursday report by the Wall Street Journal said that French retailer Carrefour SA may hire French apparel group chief Georges Plassat to replace current CEO Lars Olofsson. WSJ cited unnamed sources close to the situation.

According to the report, Plassat could replace Olofsson as early as next week.

Plassat is head of Vivarte SA, in which he is also a shareholder.

Carrefour and Vivarte have not commented on the matter.

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STORE SPACES

RILA report highlights retail sustainability leadership and innovation

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association has released its first report on sustainability practices among some of its retail members. The 2012 Retail Sustainability Report highlights sustainability leadership in the retail industry and highlights company examples to highlight the innovative work of the industry and illustrate what it can anticipate over the coming years.

The report also emphasizes the important role of other stakeholders – be it landlords, municipalities, product manufacturers, transportation providers, or customers – in the sustainability journey and how various groups can work together to achieve common goals.

Key retail sustainability trends identified in the report include: working across sectors to achieve sustainability goals, turning from sustainability as a cost and risk reduction measure to an opportunity for business growth, developing systems for continuous improvement, and fostering transparency in operations and in the supply chain.

“I think one of the biggest takeaways from the report is that creating lasting change in retail sustainability is not something the industry can do alone,” said Adam Siegel, RILA VP sustainability and retail operations, continued Siegel. “Retailers are reaching out to nonprofits, academics, and governments as well as to their suppliers, consumers, investors, and communities to provide their diverse perspectives and partnerships and help accelerate sustainable innovation for all.”

The report offered four predictions on the growth of sustainability within the industry and said that in five to 10 years:

  • Sustainability will become integrated into the business;
  • The drive to manage supply chain impacts will transform retailer-supplier relationships;
  • Industry collaboration will become the standard;
  • Business models will evolve as consumption habits change;
  • The report identified four key trends and found that leading retailers are;
  • Working with stakeholders across sectors to achieve sustainability goals;
  • Turning from sustainability as a cost and risk reduction measure to an opportunity for business growth;
  • Developing systems for continuous improvement by pulling together controls, measurement and management tools and IT systems;
  • Fostering transparency in operations and in the supply chain.

The report is available at rila.org.

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FINANCE

Deloitte Consumer Spending Index dips in December

BY Staff Writer

New York City — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index slightly dropped in December despite small improvements in three-out-of-four components.

The index — which is comprised of tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — fell to 1.86 from a reading of 1.93 the previous month. Because of this drop, the ability for consumers to continue to spend at the rates seen in 2011 may be in question, Deloitte said.

“The new year brings new demands on retailers,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution sector leader at Deloitte LLP. “In addition to a challenging economic climate, shifts in consumer behavior — from price consciousness to technology adoption — will force retailers to find new ways to remain relevant to their customers in 2012. Retailers should align talent, physical space, processes and technology in a way that moves the in-store environment from transactional to a complete and engaging brand experience.”

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