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Report: India state bars direct foreign investment in supermarkets

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mumbai – The Indian state of Rajasthan has reportedly prohibited direct foreign investment in supermarkets located there. According to Reuters, individual Indian states are allowed to decide whether or not they want to accept direct foreign investment in local supermarkets, and so far fewer than half of India’s 28 states have done so.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India criticized the decision. However, Reuters also reports that the anti-direct foreign investment Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposition party currently looks like it will take a majority of seats in national elections scheduled for 2014, although it will probably have to form a coalition government including pro-investment politicians. Observers are predicting the current foreign investment policy will be revised, but India will not risk banning foreign investment in its supermarket sector outright.

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HSNi names United Entertainment Group as agency of record

BY Dan Berthiaume

St. Petersburg, Fla. — The United Entertainment Group (UEG), a global entertainment and marketing agency, has been chosen by HSNi to become its marketing partnership agency of record.

As part of the deal, UEG and its partner UTA (United Talent Agency) will utilize its combined presence in Hollywood and on Madison Avenue to build upon HSNi’s ongoing foray into integrating entertainment and retail by building partnerships that consist of celebrity brands, music platforms, television and film collaborations, and like-minded brand partnerships.

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Ingles net income drops on higher sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Asheville, N.C. – Ingles Markets, Inc. reported net income of $9.5 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, down 18% from $11.6 million during the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose 1.1% for the quarter, to $945.1 million from $935 million.

Grocery same-store sales decreased 0.8%. In addition, operating expenses rose, which may have contributed to the decline in net income. Robert P. Ingle II, CEO of Ingles, also cited holiday price-cutting measures.

“We wanted to keep prices low for our customers throughout the holiday season,” said Ingles. “We believe these actions strengthened ties with our customers and will benefit us in the long run.”

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