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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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Another big merger is nearing its final stage. Over in Britain, Müller's acquisition of Dairy Crest has been approved by the competition regulator. Embattled retailer Tesco has surprised with better-than-expected results last Friday. Read what the analysts say and have a great start into the week.

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asia & australasia
JD.com teams up with US company   China's No 2 e-commerce firm is challenging Alibaba and launching a Chinese consumer credit data system as a joint venture with US credit-scoring technology company ZestFinance. JD.com has become the latest internet firm in China to venture into the consumer credit space. ▪
Australian supermarket battles    Food and grocery suppliers have given market leader Woolworths its lowest rating in eight years, which might be a sign that Coles is winning the supermarket war. Shares of Woolworths eased today as speculation it may be the object of a takeover approach from US buyout firm KKR failed to gather momentum. Both supermarket giants are under threat by German discount powerhouse Aldi. ▪
Foodstuffs increases profit   The biggest grocery retail cooperative in New Zealand, Foodstuffs, has reported boosted operating profit for the year ended February 28 in the face of strong competition. The group has increased its revenue 3.9% in the year to NZ$ 2.7 billion from NZ$ 2.6 billion. ▪
europe
Müller is close to sealing the deal    The company’s acquisition of Dairy Crest’s milk business has taken an important step towards regulatory clearance, with the British competition regulator announcing it has “agreed in principle” to undertakings offered by the two companies +++ Meanwhile a Del Monte appeal over a banana pricing cartel case has backfired with Europe’s highest court imposing even higher fines. ▪
H&M is looking into new store concepts    The Swedish fashion retailer may introduce an all-new brand that’s nothing like its flagship label as early as 2017. Only last week, H&M warned it expects the strong US Dollar to translate into rising sourcing costs. But this does not hurt its expansion plans. The chain plans to open about 400 new stores in 2015-2016.  ▪
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Tesco and Colruyt deliver results   British retailer Tesco surprised last week with better than expected results in Q1. Here is what the analysts say +++ Belgian supermarket operator Colruyt has reported a drop in profits for its full fiscal year, but revenues rose and the group said it had gained market share. ▪
Purchasing agreement in Spain   Spanish retailers Eroski and Dia have announced what they call a “cooperation agreement” for purchasing that will, to a certain extent, unify their buying policies of products. ▪
 usa & canada
Walmart grows in Texas   The footprint of the world's biggest retailer in Texas is about to get bigger as it prepares to open a new supercenter on July 8, creating nearly 400 jobs. Just recently, the retail giant has launched a new online daily-deal programme for its Sam’s Club banner, called ‘Shocking Values’. ▪
Giant Tiger improves efficiency   The largest Canadian-owned chain of discount stores has increased pick accuracy since implementing Manhattan Associates’ warehouse management system (WMS) +++ Canada's second-largest food retailer, Sobeys (paywall), is optimistic it can reverse the sales momentum it lost in the acquired Safeway stores when it converted their software systems. ▪
Lululemon hires Walgreens exec   The Canadian-based yoga-wear retailer has named Miguel Almeida as executive VP-digital. Most recently, Almeida was the group VP, digital commerce and mobile solutions for Walgreens. ▪
south africa
Makro partners with McDonald's   South African retailer Makro is partnering with Sasol and McDonald’s for the roll-out of the "pick-up lockers" concept at selected Sasol petrol stations and McDonald’s outlets. The retailer has so far launched five of these lockers. ▪
Mthatha Mall is just the start   Johannesburg-based developer Billion Group has announced the opening of the City Mall in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. The 60,000 m² project is part of a huge investment over the next 10 years. The group also has retail presence in Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as the UK. ▪

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