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Consumer Confidential: Amazon to India, retail sales, fax recall

February 02, 2012|By David Lazarus
  • If Amazon.com has its way, people in India will do less shopping in brick-and-mortar stores and more online.
If Amazon.com has its way, people in India will do less shopping in brick-and-mortar… ( Prabhjot Gill / Associated…)

Here's your thank-the-Lord-for-the-nighttime Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Another Seattle company is heading to India. First Starbucks announced plans to open 50 outlets in India by year's end. Now Amazon.com is launching Junglee.com, a smaller version of its global shopping portal. Junglee offers 12 million products from more than 14,000 Indian and global brands. The site allows shoppers to compare prices, but most actual purchases must be made through a network of third-party retailers. Indians will be able to buy shoes from Reebok, computer gadgets from Microsoft India, clothes from Fabindia and luxury leather handbags from Hidesign. (Associated Press)

--Closer to home, January was a bumpy month for retailers. Of the 12 merchants reporting monthly sales this week, the number of those who beat estimates and those who missed expectations were even, according to a tally by Thomson Reuters. Costco and Target were among those reporting sales gains that were above Wall Street expectations, while Macy's and Dillard's posted figures that were below analysts' estimates. The figures are based on revenue at stores opened at least a year. (Associated Press)

--Heads up: The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning that about 928,000 Hewlett-Packard fax machines are being recalled because of fire hazard. The Chinese-made 1040 and 1050 models "can overheat due to an internal electrical component failure," the agency says. There have been seven reports of the devices catching fire, resulting in property damage, including one instance of significant property damage and one instance of a minor burn to a user's finger. If you have one of these things, unplug it immediately and contact HP for a rebate. (PR Newswire)

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