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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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On the heel of Aldi's announced US-expansion plans comes the long expected confirmation of Lidl's American entry which will enhance competition significantly according to insiders. Latin America is the focus of two major global players while others are experimenting omnichannel strategies. Have a great start into the week.

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asia & australia
Alibaba seeks opportunities in Latin America    Chinese powerhouse Alibaba is interested in doing business in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina as Chinese consumers are eager to buy Latin American products, especially fresh produce such as Mexico’s avocado +++ E-commerce companies in the Asia-Pacific region are ramping up investments to pursue growth. ▪
China approves Staples merger   The US retailer Staples has received clearance from the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China for its proposed US$ 6.3 billion acquisition of Office Depot. New Zealand gave its clearance for the transaction last week. ▪
Australian announcements   Grocery wholesaler Metcash, which has posted a AU$ 384 million full year loss, will sell its automotive division for AU$ 275 million to Australian Burson Group +++ Woolworths and Ebay are extending their click-and-collect venture. Consumers will now be able to collect their purchases from more than a hundred stores across the country and Tasmania. ▪
europe
Lidl takes on leading brands   The German discounter has launched its ‘Shop a Lidl Smarter’ marketing campaign in the UK with consumers participating in blind taste tests comparing Lidl own-label products to the equivalent rival A-brands. ▪
Casino redesigns and Tesco collaborates   Unilever has partnered with Tesco to give Londoners the discounted Magnum ice-creams via an app on their smartphones. It is said to be the biggest trial of iBeacon technology +++ Géant Casino has redesigned its logo and revealed its new slogan “les prix bas, c’est Géant Casino” (“for low prices, it's Géant Casino”).  ▪
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Bonmarché bounces back   The British fashion chain aimed at women over 50, has posted a 55% rise in annual profits, which is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the company, after it was sold with the loss of 1,400 jobs at the start of 2012. ▪
usa & canada
Lidl invests millions in Virginia   The German discount operator finally announced the long expected US entry confirmation on Friday. The retailer will open its headquarter in Virginia, investing US$ 202 million. Insiders suggest Lidl should be treated as a formidable threat. ▪
Walmart combines digital and physical   Just a few miles from its headquarter in Bentonville, the US big box retailer has opened a new small format store, designed to appeal to convenience oriented shopper, promoting its omnichannel capabilities aggressively. ▪
Coke invests in Colombia and Brazil   Latin American bottler Coca-Cola Femsa announces the inauguration of its new, state-of-the-art bottling facilities in Brazil and Colombia with a combined investment of more than US$ 500 million. ▪
omnichannel strategies
Mondelez redefines online shopping experience   The North American food and beverage multi has launched a mobile marketing initiative, Shopper Futures, which brings together ambitious entrepreneurs and retailers to help transform the consumer retail experience. ▪
Online expansions and integrations   E-commerce platform Shopify is expanding a beta test of the Facebook “buy” button with select U.S. retailers +++ Multidev Technologies, a developer of omnichannel solutions, is adding web marketplace integration to its retail management platform +++ Ahold US is set to launch a platform, called ‘Savory Fast, Fresh and Easy’, which offers recipes and tips to inspire customers. ▪
Delivery by rickshaw   As more Chinese shop online, demand for delivery services are booming and a new industry, built around the humble rickshaw, has emerged. ▪

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