Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

There is never a dull moment in the retail industry: A few days ago there was speculation that Tesco might not be able to sell its South Korean unit, now three bidders compete for it. Tomorrow it might be a done deal. Meanwhile, Alibaba tells its staff to ignore the share collapse and some big brands are set to care for the environment. Find out about their ideas and enjoy your Wednesday's read.

Japanese partnerships and speedy deliveries     Tokyo-based online retailer Rakuten has launched Rakubin, a delivery service which promises to deliver goods in as little as 20 minutes +++ Casualwear chain Uniqlo will launch a new clothing line developed with French designer Christophe Lemaire.  ▪
Alibaba calms down staff   The Chinese online giant has told its staff to ignore a 3.5% plunge in the value of its shares on Monday. Asian markets are still in a volatile mood as rate cuts fail to calm nerves. ▪
Lowe's invests in India   The US home improvement retailer is setting up its first innovation lab outside the US, in Bengaluru.  Indian start-ups will be shortlisted to participate in an accelerator programme. The retailer is reportedly looking at hiring more people. ▪
Ups and downs for Tesco & Co.   Britain's "big four" supermarkets have all lost market share in a barely growing grocery market, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Growth at German discounters Aldi and Lidl continues to soar. Meanwhile, Tesco has received three separate binding bids for its South Korean unit. The deal is now expected to move speedily. ▪
Poundland merger approved   The Competition and Markets Authority has provisionally cleared the proposed GBP 55 million acquisition of 99p Stores by variety store operator Poundland. The company can now expand its empire to 800 bargain shops. ▪
Aldi complains about Morrisons   The British supermarket operator has been ordered by the advertising watchdog to clarify the way it compares prices under its scheme, following a complaint from rival Aldi. The German discounter, on the other hand, is under fire from the animal welfare agency in Australia for continuing to sell cage eggs. ▪
usa & canada
New partnerships and separations   Healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson is selling its artificial sweetener brand, Splenda, to Heartland Group, one of the world's leading producers of low-calorie sweeteners and nutritional beverages +++ In sport retailing, two major brands, Finish Line and Puma, have teamed up for the launch an in-store shop concept. ▪
Best Buy beats expectations   The biggest US electronics retailer posted a 12% rise in earnings in quarterly sales, benefitting from a surge in demand for big-screen TVs and appliances. Some industry insiders, however, think it might be the retailer’s close relationship with Apple that is giving more people a reason to set foot into its stores. ▪
Improving customer experience   Tyco Retail Solutions has opened a state-of-the-art experience centre with a simulated retail environment for Walmart +++Amazon plans to offer customers a new option for directly picking up orders, called Amazon Flex +++ Paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams is launching ColorSnap, an omnichannel programme to ease the process of selecting paint colours. ▪
environmental matters
Rewe invests in sustainable bananas   The German retail group is committed to spending more than EUR 1 million in funding for environmental and social projects around Costa Rican and Panamanian banana farms until the end of 2016. ▪
H&M supports recycling   The Swedish fashion powerhouse is offering an annual prize of EUR 1 million to those who come up with innovative solutions to waste and pollution. The move is part of the company's effort to operate more ethically; however, critics say it's no solution to fast fashion. ▪
Coke reaches conservation goal   The beverage giant and its bottling partners take the issue of water insecurity seriously and expect to be replenishing 100% of the water used in their factories by the end of 2015, reaching a longstanding conservation goal five years ahead of schedule. ▪

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