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

Hello, dear reader!
French retail giant Carrefour and US food company Pinnacle Foods are boosting their health food offering - the former launched a private label vegetarian range, the latter acquired a producer of gluten-free products. Over in China, Alibaba's Jack Ma wants to add a publishing group to his ever-growing empire. These stories and more feature in today's issue. Enjoy the read!

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Asia & Australia
Survival strategies for surf brands    Australian-based Surfstitch Group is to acquire SHI, Surf Hardware International, a global producer of water sports products. Meanwhile, surf and skatewear retailer Billabong has warned shareholders that its earnings are under pressure and hopes to improve its performance after having launched some key initiatives. ▪
Talks in China    Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba, is in talks to buy a stake in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper +++ US giant Apple Pay has reached a deal with the four major Chinese banks and is planning to launch its payment service in the country by February 2016. ▪
E-lala in India   Supported by small brick-and-mortar store-owners, the Confederation of All India Traders is launching its own hyperlocal e-commerce venture called e-lala. The country is also on the radar of global electronics manufacturers with Taiwanese mobile device giant Wistron being the most recent company to tap into the growing market. ▪
europe
Lidl invests in Croatia   The Croatian unit of the German discount powerhouse plans investments of EUR 40 million and continues to open new stores, with two outlets to be launched by the end of November 2015. The company has also appointed Boris Lozić as new board president. ▪
French connections   French retailer Carrefour launched the country’s first private label range of vegetarian products. Meanwhile, UK-based Feelunique, Europe’s largest online beauty retailer, announced the acquisition of Parfumeries Rive Droite, an upmarket French perfumery chain. ▪
Digital developments   Supermarket operator Waitrose has opened a new technologically advanced London store and is prepared to launch more if the IT-fitted mode of shopping proves to be popular +++ German retailer Otto Group plans to withdraw its ailing Yapital digital payments business from the end consumer market. ▪
usa & canada
Pinnacle buys organics producer   New Jersey-based foodmaker Pinnacle Foods is boosting its health offering and has expanded into the refrigerated foods category by acquiring Boulder Brands, a maker of gluten-free products and vegan packaged foods, for US$ 682 million. ▪
Saks and Muji make progress   Minimalist Japanese lifestyle brand Muji has opened its largest location in the US, a flagship store on New York’s Fifth avenue, while off-price retailer Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th announced three new locations in Canada and is on track to open up to 25 locations by 2018. ▪
Approaching the festive season   With better-than-expected net sales for Q3 and the acquisition of Family Dollar completed, discounter Dollar Tree sees itself well-positioned for the holidays +++ Big box retailer Kmart is adding new features to its app aimed at holiday shoppers. ▪
Buying back bankrupt stores  In a highly unusual development approved by a judge, grocery chain Alberstons has been allowed to buy back 33 stores it sold as part of the merger with Safeway. ▪
 brazil
Walmart under scrutiny   Federal authorities from the US are looking into potential foreign bribery by Walmart in Brazil. The investigation is focusing on US$ 500,000 in payments to a person who was hired to obtain government permits to build two stores in Brasília. ▪
Growth platform for cleaning products   São Paulo-based private equity firm Alothon has completed the acquisition of Grupo MPR, a leading Brazilian producer of alcohol-based cleaning products and related consumer goods, and is set to establish a growth platform in this market segment. ▪

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