Worldview: Chile’s Mall Giant Parque Arauco Bets on Colombia


🇨🇱 Chilean retail giant Parque Arauco acquires Colombia’s Parque Alegra. The Santiago-based firm, whose shopping malls in Chile, Peru and Colombia house retailers like Gucci and Guess, has completed its ownership of the Colombian mall through a local subsidiary, acquiring the remaining stake from Colvalor Propiedades Colombianas. “Taking full control of Parque Alegra [in the city of Barranquilla] reaffirms our commitment to growth in Colombia, after the significant steps taken in recent months including the increased ownership stakes in Titán Plaza [in Bogotá] and Parque Fabricato [in Medellín],” said Diego Bermúdez, CEO of Parque Arauco’s Colombia division. Home to brands like H&M and Pandora, Parque Alegra is now one of Parque Arauco’s seven malls across the country. [Business Wire]

🇮🇳 Reliance is reportedly preparing to launch Shein in India. Reliance Retail Ventures, the retail arm of oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries, is planning to sell products from the ultra-fast fashion giant on its app and offline stores, according to “multiple executives aware of the developments,” speaking to the ET. An imminent launch would come a year after the partnership was reportedly struck between the two firms, and four years after India banned Shein and other apps originating in China from operating in the country over border disputes. A deal could also help Shein reduce dependence on China by scaling up sourcing from India. Reliance, a leading player in India’s fashion industry, recently struck a deal with Britain’s fashion e-tailer Asos. [Economic Times]

🇨🇳 Uighur group wins UK appeal over forced labour in Chinese cotton. A British court of appeal has ruled that the UK National Crime Agency’s decision not to launch an investigation into the importation of cotton products believed to be manufactured by Uighur and other Turkic Muslim people through forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province was unlawful. The appellants, the Global Legal Action Network and the World Uyghur Congress, said that their win could lead to UK retailers being prosecuted under the Proceeds of Crime Act if imported products are found to be made through forced labour. [Sourcing Journal]

🇦🇺 Australian regulators ban Honey Birdette’s “sexually suggestive” advert. The Ad Standards Community Panel has forced the upmarket Sydney-based lingerie brand co-founded in 2006 by Eloise Monaghan to remove an advert from a store window after a customer complained that it exposed too much of one of the model’s genital regions. This isn’t the first time the brand has faced opposition from the organisation over ads deemed too racy or explicit, with local media reporting in 2018 that its adverts had already been banned over a dozen times. [Ragtrader]

🇮🇳 India’s Baba Ramdev claims a cartel wants to “destroy” his firm. The popular and controversial Indian yoga guru and founder of Patanjali Ayurved, an ayuverda consumer goods company based on India’s ancient philosophy of holistic healing which sells skincare, personal care and food products, has said that a group of ‘anti-ayuverda’ companies, politicians and intellectuals seek to damage his company’s reputation. India’s Supreme Court has previously banned ads for the firm’s medicinal products claiming to cure cancer. In 2021, the government intervened over herbal tablets claiming to cure Covid-19 and in 2022 the Indian Medical Association took the firm to court over products claiming to cure diabetes. [Economic Times, BBC, BoF]

🇨🇳 EU may close off duty exemption that aids China’s Shein and Temu. The European Union is working on a proposal to impose import duties on cheap goods bought from online platforms outside the bloc, a move that would impact all non-EU e-commerce platforms but primarily targets China-founded firms Temu, AliExpress and Shein, according to people familiar with the matter. The EU currently has a €150 ($161) duty-free de minimis threshold for online purchases which has enabled a surge in small-value imports from those platforms. The move follows the EU’s recent toughening of tech compliance requirements for the platforms. [BoF]

🇿🇦 South Africa’s Rich Mnisi wins top award at Africa Fashion Up. The competition founded by Share Africa, a platform supported by Balenciaga and Galeries Lafayette, named Mnisi the “Best Designer Africa” for the latest edition at a ceremony in Paris last month. Founded in 2021 by Valérie Ka, the contest’s other 2024 prize winners included Niuku founder Kadiata Diallo from Senegal and Mauritania; Gugu Peteni, the South African founder of Gugu by Gugu; and Mohamed Youss, founder of Anouri, from Morocco and Kader Diaby, from Côte d’Ivoire, founder of Olooh. [Africa News Agency, Semafor]

🇮🇳 Indian watch and jewellery giant Titan reports 9 percent revenue growth. The Tata Group-owned firm, whose portfolio includes its namesake brand alongside Tanishq, Zoya, Mia and CaratLane, posted 9 percent growth in the first quarter ended June 2024. It added 61 stores during the period, bringing its combined retail network presence to 3,096, amid a domestic and international expansion drive across the US, Middle East and Southeast Asia. [Economic Times]

🇯🇵 Japanese beauty giant Shiseido wins Max Mara fragrance license. The Tokyo-based conglomerate will develop, produce and manufacture fragrances for Max Mara, which has not sold perfume since it discontinued a line of scents launched in the mid-2000s. Shiseido has several fragrance licensing deals with fashion houses, including Narciso Rodriguez, Issey Miyake and Tory Burch. [BoF]

🇮🇳 India’s Malabar Gold & Diamonds accelerates UK expansion. The jeweller has opened a store in the city of Leicester, following its debut in London’s Upton Park district. The Kozhikode-based company, which operates 350 stores across 13 countries, said it plans to strengthen its footprint in existing markets in Europe, the Middle East and North America, and enter new countries in Africa, Asia and Oceania. In the UK, “we have…immediate openings planned in Southall and Wembley in London, as well as Birmingham and Manchester,” said Shamlal Ahamed, MD of international operations. [Economic Times]

🇹🇭 Thai textile leader calls for companies to innovate to aid recovery. “It is time for us to take … a new direction, with a different focus … towards more creativity and technology,” said Setthapong Srisuphonvanij, president of the Thai Textile Merchant Association, at last month’s GFT Expo trade show in Bangkok, referring to the need for more Thai sourcing partners of global fashion companies to provide “specialty textiles to meet consumer needs.” Thailand’s apparel and textile exports decreased from $6.85 billion to $6.03 billion between 2022 and 2023. [Sourcing Journal]

🇮🇳 India’s Kalyan Jewellers plans US debut by Diwali. The Thrissur-based company whose portfolio includes its namesake brand and digital-first brand Candere has said that part of its plan to launch over 130 new stores during the current financial year will include its first in the US by Diwali, which falls on 1 November. The firm currently operates more than 270 stores across India, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman. [Economic Times]

🇨🇳 Chanel chooses Hangzhou for its next Métiers d’Art show location. The French luxury brand will showcase its collection featuring the house’s special artisanal skills, on December 3 in the Chinese city, an historic centre of the global silk trade. Hangzhou’s Métiers d’Art show will follow those in Manchester, UK and Dakar, Senegal. Chanel presented a repeat cruise show in Shenzhen, China last year. [Jing Daily]

🇰🇷 LVMH-owned jeweller Fred names Jin from BTS as brand ambassador. The brand has tapped the South Korean singer and member of K-pop boyband BTS, which has been on hiatus while the band members complete mandatory military service. Jin, who has over 48 million followers on Instagram, was the first to be discharged last month. [Billboard Philippines]

🇨🇳 Gucci taps Chinese actor Zhang Linghe as brand ambassador. The Italian luxury brand has partnered with the star of TV series including “Story of Kunning Palace” and “Sparkle Love,” who has nearly 10 million followers on Weibo, to endorse its products. [Dscene]

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