Pre-GST bonanza eats into July numbers as fashion sales drop 20 per cent

On Tuesday, Levi’s, Benetton, Gap, Aldo, Marks & Spencer, Pantaloons, and Lifestyle offered flat 50% discounts at the Mall of India in Noida.

NEW DELHI: Sales of fast-fashion and lifestyle brands in India dropped by about a fifth in July despite eye-popping discounts, with industry experts attributing the decline to shoppers having advanced their purchasing to June before the national rollout of the single producer levy. The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which kicked in from July 1, involves a tax incidence of 12% instead of 5%.

“The reason for the drop could be that the industry had advanced the sales (to June),” said Jacob John, deputy chief executive of Lifestyle department stores chain.

At his stores, July sales were only marginally lower at about 5%. “This year, Eid was in June. So, some amount of Eid business also shifted to June and it was a good June for us,” John added.

Even though taxes on branded garments costing more than Rs 1,000 were raised from 5% to 12% after the GST was introduced, retailers from Levi’s to Lifestyle say they still haven’t increased the prices and are currently absorbing the differences in taxes themselves rather than passing them on to the consumers.

Pre-GST bonanza eats into July numbers as fashion sales drop 20 per cent

“Even if the prices increase due to GST, they can happen only after two-three months. I cannot do it immediately,” said John of Lifestyle. “So far, there is no change in our pricing.”

 On Tuesday, Levi’s, Benetton, Gap, Aldo, Marks & Spencer, Pantaloons, and Lifestyle offered flat 50% discounts at the Mall of India in Noida. A host of other brands, including US Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Aeropostale, and Calvin Klein offered up to 50% discounts. An executive at a Zara store in the National Capital Region said the sale could continue until August depending on how long the stock lasts.

Extended run of discounts
India is witnessing one of the most-extended discounting seasons from fashion and lifestyle brands since November – first due to the demonetisation and now because of the GST. The introduction of the single levy has prompted retailers to advance their annual discounting season by a month to June.

“I haven’t seen so many discount sales since the 2008-09 Lehman Brothers crisis when retailers were left with excess inventory and the market was bad, sentiments were down and malls got deferred,” said the chief executive of a global lifestyle brand, requesting anonymity.

Retailers say that they had overcome the impact of demonetisation and were looking forward to better business this financial year. However, with e-commerce companies Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra continuing to offer discounts, brick-andmortar stores had to stay competitive and offer major cuts.

“Challenges were there — be they demonetisation or the GST — and if we don’t respond adequately, we’ll be in trouble,” said Vishnu Prasad, chief executive of the Future Group-owned Central malls. Central advanced its sales season by a week to June 19. Before that, it had promotional events over various weekends.

Advancing the ‘End of the Season’ sale has disturbed the annual business cycle, which involves new ranges hitting the shelves in August.

“This time, new stocks are not coming because of the GST,” said the CEO of the global brand quoted above. That means the discount season will continue in July and may even spill over into August.

Vishnu Prasad said Central has a “tentative plan” of ending the sale by July 31. “It depends on how the rest of the days in July shape up,” Prasad said.

DU Admissions 2017: Second Cut-off List 2017 to be out on July 1 at du.ac.in

In the DU second cut-off list, a dip of 0.25-1 percentage points across courses is expected.

DU Admissions 2017

DU Admissions 2017

Delhi University (DU) released its first cut-off list for admissions to Undergraduate Courses on June 23 on the official website, du.ac.in 

In the first cut-off list, Shri Ram College of Commerce had set the highest demanding 97.75 per cent for BCom (Hons).

This year, however, the cut off has not reached the touchdown mark of 100 per cent as was the case in 2011.

Surprisingly, Delhi University’s Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur (SGTB) Khalsa College has set the highest cut offs for science, commerce and arts this year.

(Read: DU Admissions 2017 : List of documents required for UG admission)   

Here’s the cut-off:

BSc (honours) Electronics: 99.66 per cent

BCom: 98.25 per cent

BA (honours) English: 98.75 per cent

(Read: Delhi University First Cut-Off List: SGTB Khalsa demands 99.66 per cent !)

Now, admissions to Delhi University under the first cutoff list have been closed.

In the second cut-off list, a dip of 0.25-1 percentage points across courses is expected.

Details of seats left:

Kirori Mal College:  The college will keep the admission open for open for all courses with a lower cutoff except for English and Sanskrit.

Sri Venkateswara College:  As of now, only 298 admissions have been approved against the total 1,058 seats.

Lady Shri Ram College: The college has recorded 545 admissions against the total 783 seats.

Shri Ram College of Commerce:  Admissions to Economic (Hons) have been closed for general category

 

FYJC admission 2017: Flaws in Mumbai, Pune merit list; corrected lists to release on July 10

 

The School Education and Sport Department of Maharashtra has released the provisional merit list for the First Year Junior College (FYJC) admissions 2017 for both Mumbai and Pune on Tuesday. The final merit list will release on July 10. Students who have applied can check the merit list available on the official website.

In comparison to last year, the number of applicants who scored 95 per cent has increased to 2,584 from last year’s 2, 066. However, the students scoring in the 90s have declined to 13,575 from 14,589 last year.

According to education officials, about 1000 students filled incorrect information during the application process due to which there are errors in the merit list where students scoring lower marks in the SSC boards have been given higher ranks as compared to others. The Department has opened the correction facility until 5 pm on July 6 so that students can correct the mistakes in their forms.fyjc, fyjc mumbai, fyjc pune, fyjc admission 2017

The School Education Department is responsible for administration of elementary, secondary and higher secondary education and manages more than 20 million students and over 6 lakh teachers in the state. The updated and corrected list will be made available on Friday and the admission process through the first merit list will be done from July 10 to July 13, 2017.

Steps to FYJC merit list 2017:

– Go to the official website for class 11 admissions (pune.11thadmission.net or mumbai.11thadmission.net).

– Click on the notification to “check merit list”.

– Enter your application number or form number and search for your rank.

– Download the result and save a copy for further reference.

 

Net Neutrality: What happened during the July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action protest

 

Updated July 14: The Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality on July 12 enjoyed a healthy turnout.Thousands of companies and some visible tech celebrities united against the FCC proposal called Restoring Internet Freedom, by which the new FCC chairman Ajit Pai hopes to loosen regulations for the ISPs and telecom companies that provide Internet service nationwide. The public has until mid-August to give comments to the FCC.

The protests took many forms. Organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Reddit, The Nation, and Greenpeace placed website blockers to imitate what would happen if the FCC loosened regulations. Other companies participating online displayed images on their sites that simulated a slowed-down Internet, or demanded extra money for faster access.

net neutrality the nation

Haley Velasco/IDG

For the July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action advocating net neutrality, sites including The Nation displayed images showing people what the web would be like if corporations operated it for a profit.

Tech giant Google published a blog post in defense of net neutrality. “Today’s open internet ensures that both new and established services, whether offered by an established internet company like Google, a broadband provider or a small startup, have the same ability to reach users on an equal playing field.”

net neutrality sheryl sandberg facebook post

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted to her page about net neutrality as part of the July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action.

Facebook joined in with Sheryl Sandberg posting her message on Facebookas well as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.“Keeping the internet open for everyone is crucial. Not only does it promote innovation, but it lets people access information that can change their lives and gives voice to those who might not otherwise be heard,” Sandberg said.

In Washington, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said in a statement that she supports a free and open internet. “Its benefits can be felt across our economy and around the globe,” she said. “That is why I am excited that on this day consumers, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes, including broadband providers and internet startups, are speaking out with a unified voice in favor of strong net neutrality rules grounded in Title II. Knowing that the arc of success is bent in our favor and we are on the right side of history, I remain committed to doing everything I can to protect the most empowering and inclusive platform of our time.”

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, wrote a letter to the FCC Tuesday – one day early — to make sure the FCC’s system was ready to withstand a cyberattack, as well as the large volume of calls expected Wednesday.

What led up to the protest

The July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action strove to highlight how the web would look if telecom companies were allowed to control it for profit. Organizing groups such as Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, and Demand Progress want their actions to call attention to the potential impact on everyday users, such as having to pay for faster internet access.

Where net neutrality stands: Under the Open Internet Order enacted by the FCC in 2015, internet service providers cannot block access to content on websites or apps, interfere with loading speeds, or provide favoritism to those who pay extra. However, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, selected by President Trump in January, has been advocating a completely open internet, where the ISPs could control access or charge fees without regulation. A Senate bill that would relax regulations, called Restoring Internet Freedom (S.993), was introduced in May and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

What this protest is for: The July 12 protest, which organizers are calling the Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, will fight for free speech on the internet under Title II of FCC’s Communications Act of 1934. On that date, websites and apps that support net neutrality will display alerts to mimic what could happen if the FCC rolled back the rules.

Who will come together for the protest: More than 180 companies including Amazon, Twitter, Etsy, OkCupid, and Vimeo, along with advocacy groups such as the ACLU, Change.org, and Greenpeace, will join the protest and urge their users and followers to do the same.

net neutrality fight for net neutrality

Courtesy Fight for the Future

Where the protest will take place: Sites that support net neutrality will call attention to their cause by simulating what users would experience if telecom companies were allowed to control web access. Examples will include a simulated “spinning wheel of death” (when a webpage or app won’t load), blocked notifications, and requests to upgrade to paid plans. Organizers are also calling on supporters to stage in-person protests at congressional offices and post protest selfies on social media with the tag #savethenet.

Who opposes the protest: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and large telecom companies, such as Verizon and Comcast, want to relax net neutrality rules. Some claim that an unregulated internet will allow for more competition in the marketplace, as well as oversight of privacy and security measures.

Why this protest matters: The July 12 protest is projected to be one of the largest digital protests ever planned, with more than 50,000 people, sites, and organizations participating. If successful, it would be reminiscent of a 2012 blackout for freedom of speech on the internet to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act, and an internet slowdown in 2014 to demand discussions about net neutrality.

Nokia 7, Nokia 8, Nokia 9 is expected to be launched in July

Nokia 7, Nokia 8, Nokia 9 is expected to be launched in July

Nokia has re-entered the smartphone world with a bang. And while the brand is seeking to return to its former glory, the company seems to have many products in its pipeline for 2017.

Only a few days back we reported that the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 will be launched in India in May. Now a new report has just appeared online which suggests that HMD Global is reportedly gearing up to release high-end variants of its handsets. According to various reports, the phones that HMD Global will be launching in the coming days are the Nokia 7, Nokia 8 and Nokia 9.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and Nokia 3310 will be released in India in May

However, we still do not any word or official announcement from the company, but the same report also notes that three models are expected to be launched in July or the first week of August. Other reports suggest that the devices could hit the store shelves by the end of the third quarter.

Besides, if these devices are launched it will take some time for them to reach India.Nokia 7

Nokia 7

Nokia 7 is expected to feature a metallic unibody design and come with full HD display with 1,080×1,920p resolution. The smartphone has already been reported to be testing Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor.

The handset is expected to run Android Nougat operating system. It is also expected to feature a camera by Carl Zeiss optics, with a changed back design. Nokia 7 is touted to come with a fingerprint sensor and fast charging technology.

Nokia 8

 

Nokia 8

Nokia 8 is expected to sport a display bigger than the Nokia 7. According to recent leaks, this phone is expected to come with 5.7-inch Quad HD display and have the standard 16:9 aspect ratio. The device is expected to come with 22-megapixel OIS + EIS main camera and a 12MP front sensor. Nokia 8 is reported to use Carl Zeiss lenses for its cameras and the phone might feature 64GB or 128GB of built-in storage, a microSD card slot, and 6GB RAM.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 6 now receiving Android 7.1.1 Nougat update

Nokia 8 is also expected to come with Android Nougat pre-installed. While some reports have stated that the phone would be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 chipset like the Nokia 7 but more recent rumors hint at Snapdragon 835 processor.

Nokia 7 and Nokia 8 are touted to be mid-ranger products from the company.

Nokia 9

 

Nokia 9

Many reports have suggested that Nokia 9 will be the company’s flagship device. And this phone is expected to take on the likes of Apple and Samsung. While expectations are high, Nokia 9 according to the leaks and renders that we have seen so far will sport a 5.5-inch QHD OLED display with a 1,440×2,560 resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9.

SEE ALSO: Nokia phones’ May release confirmed; Nokia 3310 will have huge buyer interest

Further, the smartphone should come with an IP68 standard making it water-and-dust resistant. Nokia 9 will have a fingerprint scanner, an iris scanner, and an OZO audio. It may have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, an Android 7.1.2 Nougat OS, a 6GB RAM, a 64GB/128GB internal memory (with microSD card slot).

As for the cameras, the Nokia 9 is expected to feature an impressive 22-megapixel dual-camera system on the back with PDAF and Zeiss optics. The front should get a 12MP sensor. The smartphone will reportedly come with a huge 3800mAh battery and Quick Charge 4.0 technology.

 

AU Small Finance Bank to make a debut on bourses on July 10

 

After stellar response to the issue, AU Small Finance Bank is all set to make a debut on exchanges on July 10. The issue price is fixed at higher end of price band of Rs 355-358.

Experts feel the stock price is expected to open over Rs 400, given the overwhelming response to the public issue and indication from the grey market premium that is around Rs 75-80.

The initial public offer of AU Small Finance Bank, which was opened during June 28-30, was oversubscribed 53.60 times on strong response from QIBs and HNIs.

The portion set aside for qualified institutional buyers was oversubscribed 78.77 times and non-institutional investors 143.51 times while the reserved portion of retail investors oversubscribed 3.31 times.

AU Small Finance Bank raised Rs 1,912 crore through the issue, including Rs 563 crore from 34 anchor investors.AU Small Finance Bank to make a debut on bourses on July 10

The public issue was an offer for sale by promoters – Sanjay Agarwal, Jyoti Agarwal, Shakuntala Agarwal, Chiranji Lal Agarwal and MYS Holdings; and investors – Redwood Investment, International Finance Corporation, Labh Investments, Ourea Holdings and Kedaara Capital Alternative Investment Fund.

Hence, the company will not receive any proceeds from the offer.

AU Small Finance Bank received a license from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a small finance bank in December 2016 and commenced operations from April this year.

AU operates in three business lines – vehicle finance; micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) loans; and small and medium enterprises (SME) loans.

 

Samsung to start selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7 from July 7 onwards

 

According to latest reports, Samsung will start selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7 devices next week. The news comes from Korea through a renowned publication which also claims that the controversial smartphone which seems to have been now fixed will go on sale starting July 7.

Further citing unnamed sources, the publication reports that Samsung will release the smartphone under the name the Galaxy Note Fandom Edition (FE) and with a price tag below 700,000 won (approx $616 or Rs. 39,684).Image result for Samsung to start selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7 from July 7 onwards

However, a Samsung spokesperson has stated that the smartphone’s final cost price is yet to be fixed. As of now, they are waiting for the Samsung’s phone and information technology division to officially announce the launch date.

Reports also suggest that Samsung is currently holding its bi-annual strategic forum in Seoul and the company should fix as well as reveal the launch dates for its products including the Galaxy Note 8.

If you recall Samsung’s flagship handset Galaxy Note 7 has already had a rough start last year and the exploding fiasco did cause the firm operating losses of some 6.1 trillion won ($5 billion). But after months of speculation, Samsung claims that the Galaxy Note 7 issue has been fixed and reports also state that the refurbished Note 7 will come with a completely updated software as well as a lower-capacity battery compared to the original model.

Interestingly, a large number of petitions from environment groups were sent to Samsung asking the company to repair and reuse the 4.3 million Note 7 handsets that were produced. Well, it looks like Samsung is going forward with such move and is recycling and using refurbished phones for sale. Will you purchase the smartphone? Do let us know in the comments.

 

Samsung to start selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7 from July 7 onwards

 

Further citing unnamed sources, the publication reports that Samsung will release the smartphone under the name the Galaxy Note Fandom Edition (FE) and with a price tag below 700,000 won (approx $616 or Rs. 39,684).

However, a Samsung spokesperson has stated that the smartphone’s final cost price is yet to be fixed. As of now, they are waiting for the Samsung’s phone and information technology division to officially announce the launch date. Reports also suggest that Samsung is currently holding its bi-annual strategic forum in Seoul and the company should fix as well as reveal the launch dates for its products including the Galaxy Note 8.Samsung to start selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7 from July 7 onwards

If you recall Samsung’s flagship handset Galaxy Note 7 has already had a rough start last year and the exploding fiasco did cause the firm operating losses of some 6.1 trillion won ($5 billion). But after months of speculation, Samsung claims that the Galaxy Note 7 issue has been fixed and reports also state that the refurbished Note 7 will come with a completely updated software as well as a lower-capacity battery compared to the original model.

Interestingly, a large number of petitions from environment groups were sent to Samsung asking the company to repair and reuse the 4.3 million Note 7 handsets that were produced. Well, it looks like Samsung is going forward with such move and is recycling and using refurbished phones for sale. Will you purchase the smartphone? Do let us know in the comments.

HTC’s unlocked U11 phone is $50 off until July 1st

HTC just released the red version of its squeezable U11 phone in the US, and now it’s being marked down by $50. You can get it on sale for $599. The rest of the U11 color lineup is also available at the $50 discount, including the silver, black, and blue versions. The deal includes free shipping and is valid until July 1st — tomorrow. You can order an unlocked phone through HTC’s website and enter the code “AMAZINGU11” at checkout.

 

A similar deal was initially available when the phone launched earlier this month. The U11’s most unique feature is its pressure-sensitive areas that respond to one-handed squeeze. You can configure a squeeze to launch different apps, turn on the flashlight, or access Google Assistant. It’s pretty gimmicky, but at least HTC tried to create something novel.

 

LG G6 Mini aka LG Q6 hardware specs leaked ahead of July 11 launch

 

The LG G6 Mini aka LG Q6 seems to have visited benchmark website Geekbench revealing some key hardware specs of the phone in question ahead of its scheduled launch on July 11. The phone, as per the listing, does justify its mini credentials however it is also being tipped that it would carry the G6’s USP near bezel-less Full Vision display.LG G6 Mini aka LG Q6 hardware specs leaked ahead of July 11 launch

The  LG Q6 — LG-M700 – as per the Geekbench listing is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor clubbed with 3 gigs of RAM. The original G6, to recall, comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor paired with 4GB of RAM inside. The LG Q6 is further said to run Android 7.1.1 based LG UX which is LG’s custom skin.

India Today Tech had previously reported that the G6 Mini was in fact in the works and that it would launch in India sometime in August-September. “Very soon India will see a variant of the G6 at a much more affordable price,” Amit Gujral who is head corporate marketing, LG Electronics India had said while speaking exclusively with India Today Tech in May. “We have always brought marquee features in our flagships and we have gone ahead, made much more efforts by our R&D to bring those features into slightly lower mid-end segment,” he had further said.

The marquee feature of the G6 is its unusual 18:9 Full Vision display. Now, multiple reports have come up seemingly confirming that the G6 Mini will indeed carry the same Full Vision display as the G6, only in a smaller 5.4-inch form factor. The screen-to-body-ratio of the Q6 will apparently be greater than 80 per cent. The notable exclusion in the Q6 is said to be the dual-camera system as the phone in question will reportedly come with a single 13-megapixel shooter on the back.