Here's what local news sources are reporting about retail around the world:

UNITED STATES
• There are plenty of creative, vibrant concepts to take the place of weaker retailers at quality shopping centers, said GGP chief Sandeep Mathrani, who was among other landlords at a symposium last week. Bloomberg

• London’s Design Museum featured a daylong event displaying high-tech retail innovations that encourage “augmented retail”: a blend of the digital and the physical that enables shoppers to shift seamlessly between the two realms. The New York Times

• Sears will lease out most of its 1 million-square-foot building in the SouthBay Pavilion mall, in Carson, Calif., and downsize to about 80,000 square feet by next year. Burlington Coat Factory plans to open inside the reconfigured footprint along with two other unnamed tenants. Daily Breeze

• Japan-based Seven & i Holdings continues to scoop up gas stations and convenience stores across the U.S. The company recently agreed to buy 1,110 stores from U.S.-based Sunoco for $3.3 billion. Reuters

ASIA-PACIFIC
• Bangkok’s Siam Park City wants to develop a retail and entertainment district as it seeks to broaden its customer base. The new district will feature a display of 13 miniature replica buildings from the city's iconic districts including Chinatown, Sampheng and Khlong Thom. “With the Bangkok City project, we expect Siam Park will be another entertainment destination for locals and the first place foreigners visit upon arrival in Thailand, and perhaps the last before leaving,” says a spokesperson. Bangkok Post

• Apple Inc. is considering opening its first Taiwan store at the Taipei 101 mall. The 1,322 -square-metre store will be located on the building's first basement level, sources say. Apple operates 500 retail stores in 19 countries. Retail in Asia

• A planned Beijing retail centre will include a sledding path on its roof  that will be covered in a layer of fake snow in winter. It's all part of the complex's winter-sports theme, concieved by Hong Kong-based architectural firm Aedas. The firm designed the Phase 3C building for the China World Trade Center complex in Chaoyang, the city's central business district. Dezeen

• Paradigm Mall Johor Baru will open in November this year, according to its developer WCT Holdings Bhd. The 1.3 million-square-foot centre is already 75 per cent leased. Parkson will anchor the centre with its first store in southern Malaysia. The centre is part of a larger mixed-use complex. Additional tenants include Village Grocer, Golden Screen Cinemas, aCamp5 indoor climbing gym and the first indoor skate park in Malaysia. The Philippine Star

• Australian malls are adding more entertainment tenants in order to counter competition from online rivals. Melbourne's Chadstone Shopping Centre, for example, relies on Legoland to help draw repeat visitors. "It's about delivering consumer experiences, which are something online shopping cannot replicate," the centre's general manager Fiona MacKenzie said. South China Morning Post

INDIA
• Having entered the Indian market in 2013 through a distribution deal with Belle Vous, Australian skincare and make-up brand Natio plans to double the number of its stores in India to 20 by the end of this fiscal year. "Online is our main sales channel and we will continue to focus on it. This year, however, we are also looking at increasing our geographic expansion. We plan to double our points of sales to 20 by end of this financial year," Divya Thukral, managing director, Belle Vous, said. Currently, the brand has 10 points of sales in India in addition to selling its products through Sephora, Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, other general trade outlets and e-commerce players like Amazon, Nykaa and Flipkart. The Economic Times

• Footwear brand Crocs, having sold 1.5 million pairs of shoes in India in 2016, is looking to double its business in the country over the next three years by widening its product portfolio and increasing its geographic footprint. The U.S.-based company is growing at a rate of over 35 per cent year-on-year with its core offering of beachwear, but plans to expand to a pure casual footwear brand. Crocs India currently has 1,000 points of sale including over 35 exclusive stores with plans to open 50 free-standing stores in 2017, in eastern and northeastern India. Fashion United

• Shoppers Stop is ramping up its efforts to transition to an omni-channel business model, announcing the company expectation that 20 per cent of its revenues will be digitally influenced by 2020. The company has set aside approximately Rs 60 crore to digitise its 80 stores throughout India, making them capable of offering contactless payment and a more individualised shopping experience for its customers. "We started our journey in 2015 and have already started rolling out a lot of features that are aimed at enhancing customer experience... By 2020, we expect that 20 per cent of our revenues will have a digital influence from the current levels of about one per cent," Anil Shankar, Shoppers Stop CIO, said. The Economic Times

EUROPE
• Moscow shopping centre vacancy rate declined to 7.2 per cent  in Q1 2017, reports JLL. Over the course of the year, JLL analysts expect this indicator to decline further, to 6.5 per cent, the lowest level since the beginning of 2015. “The volume of new shopping centre supply in Moscow has been declining since 2015. Developer activity moderated considerably during the recession; projects were frozen at various completion stages," said Ekaterina Zemskaya, Regional Director, Head of Retail Group, JLL, Russia & CIS. Property Magazine International

• South African grocery retailer Shoprite wants to open its first stores in Eastern Europe now that economic growth prospects in its home market are slowing, says Chief Executive Pieter Engelbrecht. The region is already rife with competition from the like of Tesco, Carrefour, Lidl and Aldi, however. Reuters

• UK-based factory outlet centre developer McArthurGlen opened the first designer outlet in the South of France, the 25,000 square-metre Provence Designer Outlet in Miramas. Over one-third of the brands opening are French, including 10 that are new to the McArthurGlen portfolio. Fashion Network

• Developers are planning to open a luxury retail centre called Nammos Mall on the Greek island of Mykonos. The property is being developed by three local restaurateurs and aims to cater to tourists with luxury retail and dining options. Greek Reporter

• Redevco acquired a 2,720 square-metre retail property in the Parisian suburb Boulogne Billancour for one if its investors. The former cinema houses two retail tenants, C&A and a beauty parlor. "The purchase of this asset fits our strategy to focus on retail locations that survive and flourish in the digital revolution that is currently sweeping the retail sector," said Andrew Vaughan, Redevco's CEO. Property Magazine International