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British high street stores are preparing for a last-minute Christmas panic, Woolworths sets up a storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall and Kroger in the US adds a new brand to its portfolio. All these stories and more feature in today’s RetailUpdate. If you enjoy the read, please share — RetailUpdate is absolutely free.

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asia
Woolworths targets China   Australia’s largest supermarket chain plans to target Chinese consumers with a taste for Australian food products. Woolworths has employed China-based eCargo to construct and run a storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall business-to-consumer marketplace +++ Meanwhile, in a conference on Friday, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said that the Internet is now an essential part of retail and likened it to basic utilities such as water, electricity and gas. ▪
Letv coming to India   The Chinese technology company, which entered the smartphone market last year, plans to release its smartphones in India on January 5. It now joins other Chinese companies heading to India such as Coolpad, Qiku and Meizu. ▪
PepperTap buys Jiffstore   In a cash-and-stock deal, Gurgaon-based on-demand grocery service PepperTap has purchased Bengaluru-based hyperlocal grocery delivery start-up Jiffstore. ▪
europe
Amazon's German walk-out     On Monday, workers at six of the e-tail giant’s German warehouses went on strike . The strike, which is due to an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions, will run until December 24. Amazon, however, says there will be no impact on its delivery promise. Meanwhile, despite 2014 being marred by bad publicity, Amazon dominated almost everything in 2015. ▪
Retailers cut traditional Christmas ad spend   During the four weeks to December 6, Tesco reduced its budget for traditional media by 30%. Sainsbury’s followed suit with a 28.5% cut, according to Nielson +++ Meanwhile, find out what can we learn from Tesco’s CEO, Matt Davies. ▪
High street braces for last-minute panic   Since late November, many consumers have shunned high street in favour of online shopping. However, analysts predict a last-minute boom in Christmas purchases +++ Meanwhile, amid the Christmas rush, shoppers need to be aware of alleged hygiene issues in the poultry industry. ▪
usa
A new brand and a new goal   Kroger has added a new retail brand to its portfolio. A new website for the brand, Main & Vine, which is packed with ideas and photos of food, will be opening soon +++ Recently, Home Depot set a major goal: By 2020 it intends to reduce its energy consumption to 20% below what they consumed in 2010. ▪
PetSmart’s innovative promotion   In order to encourage customers to pick up goods from their stores, the US pet-supplies chain has created a new promotion. On December 23, PetSmart’s National Fetch Day promotion will offer customers a 10% discount if they pick up their orders. ▪
africa
Broll Ghana expands   Ghana’s premier formalised property development company has expanded its portfolio by adding the newly opened Achimota Mall. The mall is one of several other acquisitions this year. ▪
Retailer’s South African expansion   Choppies, the Botswana-based retailer, plans to extend its South African footprint by purchasing 20 retail outlets owned by niche supermarket chain Jwayelani. Choppies already owns 39 stores in South Africa. ▪

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