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16 October 2019 21:57

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Primark embraces Retail Week's Be Inspired campaign

Primark has pledged to support Retail Week's Be Inspired campaign, signing up as a partner to promote gender parity in retail. Launched in 2016, Be Inspired is a global movement focused on inspiring retail talent and building a future pipeline of female chief executives. It connects women in retail with male and female business leaders who can help propel their careers, inspires them through the stories of others, opens their eyes to work opportunities and fosters a culture of career confidence. The fashion retailer's announcement, which makes it Be Inspired's 21st partner, coincides with the launch of the Be Inspired conference 2019 on today's International Women's Day. Running for its fourth year, the Be Inspired conference will bring together a diverse portfolio of speakers including The Co-op Food chief executive Jo Whitfield, Sainsbury's North managing director Bridget Lea and Propercorn founder Cassandra Stavrou to discuss topics such as overcoming adversity, leadership and tackling mental health issues. Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the recent 2019 Commodity Classic trade show highlights, increased consolidation action in the marketplace, and a San Francisco-based restaurant that enjoys serving garlic in all things.

Paul Schrimpf – [email protected] Eric Sfiligoj – [email protected] In today's complex and fast-paced crop production sector, the team at CROPLIFE keeps 21,000 agricultural retailers, distributors and their suppliers up to date on such decidedly 21st century issues as seed technology, biotechnology, precision agriculture, customer service and retention, and business management. Microsoft Sector Director, Retail, Consumer Goods, Travel & Transport, Diana Parker, Katherine Chase, Head of Digital Product, Shop Direct and Luke Jensen, CEO, Ocado Solutions are the latest names confirmed for speaker slots at Retail Week Live as it returns to London this month. Judith McKenna, CEO, Walmart International, will present the opening keynote on 27th March, offering a perspective on both thriving, and surviving in retail in 2019. She will look at the changing landscape of global retail and what it takes to lead a business in these challenging times. Nicola Mendelsohn, President for EMEA at Facebook will also take to the main stage to speak on why social engagement is key to business.

"We're proud to have such an impressive roster of female business leaders making up 50% of the speaker line up at Retail Week Live. It shines the spotlight on the issue of gender equality for women in the workplace and, specifically, in the boardroom," says Retail Week Live Programme Director Hannah Tovey." Other speakers include Nick Beighton, CEO, Asos, Alex Baldock, CEO, Dixons Carphone, Andy Harding, Chief Digital Officer, Arcadia, Adam Warne, CIO, N Brown and Holly Tucker, Founder, Holly & Co and Notonthehighstreet. EUR/USD is showing little movement at the start of the week. In the Monday session, the pair is trading at 1.1241, up 0.06% on the day. On the release front, there are no major eurozone events.

German industrial production posted a fourth straight decline. In the U.S., core retail sales are expected to gain 0.4%, after a decline of 1.8% a month earlier. Retail sales is projected to improve to 0.0%, after dropping 1.2% in the previous release. On Tuesday, the U.S. releases CPI data. The U.S. dollar was broadly lower on Friday, after a surprisingly low reading from nonfarm payrolls.

On a brighter note, wage growth improved to 0.4%, above the estimate of 0.3%. The soft nonfarm payrolls reading pushed the euro slightly higher to end the week. The euro is coming off a rough week, as EUR/USD lost 1.1 percent. The pair dropped sharply on Thursday, slipping to its lowest level since June 2017. This was in response to the ECB rate statement and comments from Mario Draghi, which were more dovish than expected.

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The ECB announced that it was extending its forward guidance on interest rate levels, saying that it would not raise rates before 2020. Although this should not have come as a surprise, the ECB had been on record until now as saying that rates could move higher in late 2019. In an acknowledgment to the slowdown in the eurozone, the ECB announced a new round of long-term loans to eurozone banks and slashed the 2019 GDP forecast for the bloc to 1.1%, down from 1.7% in the previous forecast. Mario Draghi reinforced the bank's dovish stance in his press conference, saying that risk was pointed to the downside, although a recession was unlikely. Trade trembles and Brexit bumbling start the week EUR/USD Fundamentals Monday (March 11) 3:00 German Industrial Production. 3:00 German Trade Balance. 8:30 US Core Retail Sales. 8:30 US Retail Sales. 10:00 US Business Inventories. Tuesday (March 12) 8:30 US Core CPI. *All release times are EST EUR/USD for Monday, March 11, 2019 EUR/USD for March 11 at 5:35 EST Open: 1.1235 High: 1.1259 Low: 1.1223 Close: 1.1241 EUR/USD Technical EUR/USD was flat in the Asian session and is showing limited movement in the European session Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. Tesla's reputation as a really cool automotive industry disrupter might not be sitting so well with one set of key stakeholders amid CEO Elon Musk's vacillation over his bricks-and-mortar store and service location strategy. Besides customers, employees, vendors and investors, you can add landlords to that list of stakeholders trying to figure out what Musk will do next. Tesla last week closed 24 of its 129 U.S. retail locations in favor of online-only sales. But some of those stores are reopening this week in an about-face of Tesla's about-face from last week. The automaker said in its latest annual report last month that it owes $1.63 billion in operating lease obligations — including $276 million in 2019 and $257 million in 2020. These lease obligations don't just go away when a store is closed. Unless it can renegotiate, the only way Tesla can break these contracts is by declaring bankruptcy. Musk and Tesla might take pride in disruption, but commercial landlords typically don't. They take a thoughtful long-term approach to their business before they invest billions of dollars on upscale real estate developments. These companies happily house Tesla stores and they expect to be paid. One of them is longtime mall giant Taubman Centers Inc., based in suburban Detroit. Taubman, which specializes in high-end malls and shopping centers, houses seven full Tesla locations along with one temporary store. CEO Robert Taubman, speaking at an industry event last week, said his company was already in negotiations with Tesla, presumably over new locations. "So I'm not sure the [Tesla] staff knows exactly what to do, much less the rest of us," Taubman said, according to a transcript of the event in Hollywood, Fla. Tesla leases prime "50 yard line" kind of locations in Taubman's malls with about 4,000 square feet. "It's a great tenant for our centers," he added. It's doing a lot of business." But make no mistake: Taubman Centers will expect Tesla to fulfill its contractual commitments, particularly at a time when malls are struggling to keep viable retail tenants. "They still have contracts and it's a company with a viable balance sheet," Taubman said. But it's a company with a viable balance sheet that is going to owe a lot of landlords a lot of money." So, given the absurdity of closing successful, high-visibility stores when you still have to pay prime rent, Musk changed his mind about some of the store closings over the weekend. "A few stores in high visibility locations that were closed due to low throughput will be reopened, but with a smaller Tesla crew," Tesla said in a statement on Sunday. "In addition, there are another 20 percent of locations that are under review, and depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open." Taubman Centers reported Monday that two Tesla stores that closed last week — at the International Market Place in Honolulu and The Gardens on El Paseo in Palm Desert, Calif.