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

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'Super Saturday', the last Saturday before Christmas, is only a couple of sleeps away and retailers compete for customers by cutting prices. Distances shrink in the e-commerce world, where Alibaba assembles products from more and more parts of the world on its platform. In the US, e-commerce has not changed the retail landscape as much as warehouse clubs have - at least in the past years. As usual, what the future brings remains to be seen. Enjoy the read.


Asia
Ikea pours into South Korea   Spurred on by the success of its first store in the country, close to Seoul, the Swedish furniture giant plans to invest US$ 1.01 billion to build five more stores in South Korea by 2020. Asia’s fourth-largest economy lowered its growth forecast for 2016 from 3.3% to 3.1%. ▪
Cooperations with China   British-Swedish drugmaker, AstraZeneca, plans to strengthen cooperation with local partners in China by investing over US$ 800 million. Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten, will be setting up a flagship store on Chinese major JD.com. Within China, two of the country's leading fresh fruit companies, Joyvio and Golden Wing Mau, have announced the 'strategic merger' of their operations.   ▪
Sell it on Alibaba  Peruvian export companies will sell their products directly to the Chinese consumers through China's largest e-commerce platform. Alibaba's CEO Jack Ma expressed his company's interest to also create a platform to promote Russian goods. ▪
 Europe
Casino aims to cut debt   In a move to raise EUR 2 billion next year, the French supermarket group is planning to sell assets in Vietnam, Thailand and Colombia. ▪
Exploring new spaces   German e-tailer Zalando has announced the opening of its first international satellite fulfilment centre in Italy. French giant Carrefour has opened a new hypermarket in Mons, Belgium, and plans to open two more hypermarkets in Romania. Another French retailer, Auchan, will be opening its second hypermarket in Luxembourg in 2017 and plans to open a third. ▪
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Bonmarché tumbles   The UK women's clothing retailer has to bear a double blow with CEO Beth Butterwick announcing her departure and the company posting a profit warning. ▪
USA
Expanding the global footprint    Fast-growing furniture store brand Ashley HomeStore has just opened a store in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is planning to open more than 100 additional locations in 2016 +++ After having moved into the Middle East earlier this year, accessories retailer Charming Charlie has now opened its first location in the Philippines.  ▪
Whole Foods remains pricey   A new price checking survey finds the organic grocer grossly overpriced relative to grocery stores +++ Over in Europe, organic products are continuously on the rise in Norway, where sales have more than doubled over the past five years.  ▪
Costco alters retail    Economists found that the new sales channel that changed retail in the US the most is not e-commerce but the rise of warehouse clubs and supercentres. However, a digital disruption may be looming. ▪
Christmas trends
Discounts galore    In the UK, price cuts are currently averaging 41.8% and are expected to rise even further, according to Deloitte. In the US, NRF finds lower prices to be the cause for sales not meeting expectations. ▪
Later shipping deadlines   US retailers' shipping guarantees have moved to one day later than last year. While the most common cut-off date in 2014 was 20 December, this year 21 December is the prevalent deadline for standard or free shipping by Christmas Day. ▪
Radical opening hours ahead   Consulting company LoyaltyOne predicts US shops opening their doors on Christmas Day within three years. ▪

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