Hello, dear reader!
The dust has settled from Black Friday and the Christmas season has kicked off. The shopping crowds were thinner, which can be attributed to the online alternatives. Walmart and Best Buy had some hiccups with their websites. UK retailers are delighted that the day progressed drama-free. Read about their achievements and don't forget to share the news. RetailUpdate subscripton remains free.
asia & south pacific
Australian deals and ordeals Infant formula maker Bellamy's has signed a deal with Fonterra Australia to produce a range of new baby nutritional powders +++ Supermarket wholesaler Metcash has suffered a 12.7% slump in underlying earnings as the food and grocery price war continues in Australia.
Tax on sugar drinks Indonesia is exploring a tax on drinks with added sugar, which add to the worries for beverage companies including Coca-Cola Amatil, which are already confronted with a slowdown in the country.
Ikea expands in Thailand After the opening of its first pick-up and ordering point in Thailand last week, the Swedish furniture retailer has set its sights on having three large-format stores in Bangkok. The company is also looking for business partners in Vietnam and the Philippines.
Choppies opens more stores The Zimbabwean operation of Botswana-based multinational grocery retailer Choppies has invested US$ 60 million to expand and open four more stores in the country by the end of the year. So far the group has set up 25 stores countrywide with six in Harare.
Quantum pays divided The poultry business, which was spun off from consumer brand Pioneer Foods, has declared a maiden dividend while reporting an operating profit up more than fivefold for the year to end-September. The company is now the biggest contract chicken grower in South Africa.
Nasper to raise billions Cape Town-based media company Naspers, a US$ 60-billion internet powerhouse focusing on e-commerce in emerging markets, looks to continue its expansion by raising US$ 2.5 billion to invest in online retail. The company also reported a revenue growth.
Black Friday outcomes
Thinner crowds at the stores Sales at retail stores on Black Friday fell 10% to US$ 10.4 billion this year, down from US$ 11.6 billion in 2014, according to research firm ShopperTrak. In the UK, web traffic was up 16% on last year while footfall slumped 8% (paywall). Britain's major retailers remain committed to the discount day, which has unfolded without the mayhem that characterized the event last year.