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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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Alibaba opens a door to South Korean products, Asda continues with new café format, despite recent poor sales, and Colonel Sanders returns to KFC after 21 years while Domino's takes on Twitter. Read these stories and more in this issue.

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asia & australia
Door opens to South Korea   Alibaba has set up a new online shopping mall on its business-to-consumer platform, T-mall, for selling South Korean goods. Meanwhile, Yahoo confirms plan to divest its Alibaba shares will go ahead despite the plan’s tax-free status being under review by US authorities. ▪
Online shopping site ‘snaps up’ veteran   In an effort to double their technology team to 2000, Snapdeal has appointed Silicone Valley veteran Gaurav Gupta as vice president of engineering, and they expect to employ another 1000 engineers by the end of the year. ▪
The screws tighten for Woolworths   The pressure for Australia’s largest supermarket and grocery chain has intensified as arch rivals Wesfarmers prepare to invest at least A$2 billion over two years into Coles and Bunnings, Wesfarmers’ two largest businesses +++ Bunnings is said to be increasing its investment in its store network and online presence. ▪
europe
M & S returns to form   After a long period in the doldrums, Marks & Spencer’s appears to be turning things around. Their just-released full-year figures show underlying pre-tax profit is up 6.1% on group turnover that rose 0.4%. Analysts, however, are sceptical. ▪
Asda continues with new café format   Despite suffering a huge slump in sales, as reported yesterday, Asda is continuing with its new café format, Express Diner. Four cafes are open so far. ▪
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Anniversary campaign leads to censure   Unilever UK has been directed by the Advertising Standards Authority to remove an advert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Magnum brand from its website. This follows two complaints that the advert was misleading. ▪
usa
Meijer coming to Wisconsin   The U.S. hypermarket chain announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Pittsburgh-based specialty pharmacy and health services company Aureus Health Services. The company says the purchase creates an opportunity for national growth by providing better service to customers. ▪
H&M opens biggest store yet   On Wednesday, the Swedish fast-fashion giant unveiled its biggest store yet in New York City’s Herald Square. Located at Macy’s, the store takes up 63,000 sq ft with a custom illuminated store front. ▪
First quarter hits and misses   Evidence that its efforts to turn around its business are paying off, Target has reported a nearly 52 % increase in its first-quarter profit on sales of fashion and baby items +++ However, home improvement retailer Lowe’s disappointed Wall Street with revenue of US$14.13 billion  +++ Amid declining sales and store closures, Staples Inc. also disappointed with a 39% decline in profits. ▪
items of interest
In with the old and the new   KFC plans to move forward by looking back. After 21 years, Colonel Sanders, the man in the white suit, will once more front their brand +++ While KFC steps back in time, Domino’s Pizza have their sites set firmly on the future, and are introducing a new ordering option where customers can order via Twitter. ▪
Consumers prefer to shop and run   New research from Him! Research & Consulting shows most shoppers would rather be somewhere else. The research found that three in four shoppers want to get in and out of a store as quickly as possible. ▪

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