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After yesterday's accusations, Alibaba shows that it is taking counterfeiting seriously. Pimped-up QR codes are to do the trick. German discounter Aldi is venturing to Italy. In the US, three mergers have been announced with not one but two passing the billion-dollar mark.
Asia & australia
Coles and Woolworths take their time The two major Australian grocery chains are waiting to see if a voluntary code of conduct is ratified before signing up. +++ After only just over one year as Woolworths first ever chief marketing officer, the company confirmed the immediate exit of Tony Philips.
Aldi ventures to Italy For the first time since 2008, German discount food retailer Aldi plans to enter a new market and intends to follow rivals such as Lidl and Carrefour into Italy.
Fierce competition for Magnit Russia’s second-biggest retailer, X5 Retail Group has rebounded more than twice as much as market leader Magnit in 2015 and is expected to continue to outperform its larger competitor. Magnit, in turn, has just started recruiting for its new Krasnoyarsk hypermarket (paywall) in the Siberia region.
Profit falls for Walmart and Urban Outfitters With final figures to be revealed later in the day today, the world’s largest retailer by sales, Walmart, is expected to report a drop in profit. Last February, its US$ 1 billion plan to raise wages for half a million Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. employees has disappointed investors +++ Despite a record high in sales, Urban Outfitters fell short of Wall Street expectations for net income, sales and same-store sales during the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
Major mergers Women's clothing retailer, Ascena Retail Group, which owns about 3,900 stores in the US and Canada, will acquire Ann Inc., the parent of fashion brands Ann Taylor, Loft and Lou & Grey, for US$ 2.16 billion +++ In yet another deal of Pharma company acquisitions, Endo International will spend about US$ 8.05 billion to acquire Par Pharmaceutical +++ A purchase price was not disclosed for the acquisition of one of the last remaining locally owned convenience store chains, Tedeschi, by giant 7-Eleven.
Still trumps sparkling As market research group Canadean reports, sales of plain bottled water are set to soar above carbonated drinks this year for the first time, making water the world’s best-selling soft drink. Asia remains a key engine of that growth.