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Starbucks to enter India

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Starbucks Coffee Corp. has entered into a joint venture with Tata Global Beverages Limited that will result in the opening of the first-ever Starbucks locations in India. The 50/50 joint venture, called TATA Starbucks Limited, will own and operate Starbucks cafés, which will be branded as Starbucks Coffee “A Tata Alliance.” (Tata Global Beverages is the world’s second largest tea company and Asia’s largest coffee plantation company.)

The retail stores will be developed in cities across the vast country, beginning in Delhi and Mumbai in this year. The company plans to have 50 locations by year-end, according to Reuters.

“We’re very pleased to have found the best partner for Starbucks in Tata – a company that shares so many of the same values for conducting business in a way that earns the trust and respect of our customers and partners (employees),” said John Culver, president, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific.

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Carrefour selects retail veteran as new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Paris — Carrefour, the second largest retailer in the world after Wal-Mart Stores, has selected French retailing veteran Georges Plassat, 62, as its next CEO and chairman.

Plassat, who heads up the private equity-backed retailer Vivarte, will replace Lars Olofsson, who has been challenged with increased criticism over a series of profit warnings that hammered the French group’s shares down over the past year. Olofsson will resign at the company’s shareholders meeting on June 18, at which time Plassat will take the reins. Plassat will actually join Carrefour on April 2 as COO before becoming CEO.

Rumors have grown that Olofsson’s departure could herald the break up of Carrefour, with the possible sale of its faster-growing emerging market businesses, according to Reuters. The retailer has been struggling for years, partly due to its reliance on hypermarkets, which have been losing favor with European shoppers.

Plassat spent 14 years at French retailer Casino and two years at Carrefour Spain before joining Vivarte in 2000.

Carrefour," said Natalie Berg, director of global research at Planet Retail in a Reuters report. "He is a seasoned retail executive with the non-food experience that Carrefour vitally needs."

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Report: Wal-Mart puts U.S. marketing under merchandising group

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday it has reorganized reporting relationships, putting its U.S. marketing team under the leadership of the chief merchandising officer. Marketing currently operates as a separate group and the move, said Wal-Mart, is designed to improve shopper communication.

The new plan will have U.S. chief marketing officer Stephen Quinn reporting to U.S. chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton. Before the change, Quinn reported to Bill Simon, Wal-Mart U.S. president and CEO.

The announcement came in a memo sent to U.S. employees on Friday that was obtained by Reuters.

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