Tensions grow as Aldi gears up to open its first stores in Southern California and analysts think it's the most significant step in the US history of the German discounter. The industry is also buzzing about Apple's next-generation store, which will be unveiled very soon. Read about the importance of store design, charity ideas for refugees, lettuce factories run by robots and a lot more in today's issue.
asia & australasia
Yamada Denki invests in stores Japan's leading electronics retailer plans to spend up to US$ 98.6 million to revamp all of its roughly 650 directly managed stores. The new store model is described as "offering everything in and around the house," by its president, Noboru Yamada.
Robots run lettuce factory Vegetable production company Spread is set to build a lettuce factory in Kyoto run by robots. The factory will be fully automated from seeding to harvest and capable of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce per day.
Myer and Woolies in troubled water The share price of department store chain Myer has plunged to a record low amid uncertainty over the department store's strategy to drive sales growth +++ Industry insiders speculate that retailing behemoth Walmart might be interested in buying the ailing supermarket chain Woolworths, which is still regarded as one of Australia's best businesses.
Zalando plans charity event The German online fashion retailer has cancelled its trade show, Bread & Butter, in Berlin and is now planning a charity fundraiser for refugees. Over in the UK, the company is trialling a free service (paywall), enabling customers to send back their unwanted garments through a 60-minute courier collection on the day of purchase.
Booker gets green light for Budgens UK's biggest cash-and-carry operator got the approval of the Competition and Markets Authority for the GBP 40 million takeover of the grocery chains Londis and Budgens.
Syngenta unveils new strategies Just a week after Monsanto Company said it was no longer pursuing an acquisition of Syngenta, the Swiss-based multinational wants to sell its global vegetable seeds business and has also announced a US$ 2 billion share buyback scheme.
usa & canada
Aldi redefines discount Industry insiders reckon that it will be the most significant leap in its US history when the German discounter enters the Southern Californian market next. The reinvention of the discount model has made Aldi a considerable threat to larger players such as Walmart.