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

Hello, dear reader!
Britain's supermarket chains are facing another dire year thanks to Aldi's record growth plans and generous remuneration offer for graduates. Over in China, smartphone maker Xiaomi develops a passion for drones and in Brazil, an acquisition in the packaging sector takes shape. These stories and some more are featured in today's issue. Enjoy the read and spread the word.

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asia & south pacific
Alibaba's Ant plans IPO   Ant Financial Services Group, the finance arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant, says that it is looking to raise funds from investors ahead of a planned initial public offering. IPO fundraisings are set to surge this year in China, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. ▪
Xiaomi to enter drone market   The Chinese smartphone maker made at least two dozen patent filings last year and has formed a company in Guangzhou to prepare for its widely speculated entry into the consumer drone market this year. ▪
Dick Smith struggles to survive   The troubled electronics retailer, which runs 393 stores in New Zealand and Australia, has been put into receivership, a day after it voluntarily suspended its shares. The depth of the company’s woes became public when it abandoned its profit guidance. ▪
europe
Aldi aims high in Britain   The German discount giant plans to open 80 new stores in the UK in 2016, 23% more than last year. In a bid to attract high-calibre graduates, Aldi offers a salary package that puts its competitors in the shade. Over in Australia, the company has opened up 400 new positions. ▪
Acquisitions accomplished   French supermarket chain Carrefour has completed the purchase of Rue du Commerce, one of France's largest web-only retail sites, while British beverage group Diageo has finalised the sale of its US and UK wine interests to Treasury Wine Estates.  ▪
Health chain up for sale   Private equity firm Carlyle, owner of health food chain Holland & Barrett, is reportedly gearing up for a possible GBP 1 billion sale of the business this year. The chain has over 1,071 stores across the world and is one of the biggest retailers in the UK. ▪
usa & Latin America
Expansion with more stores   Circle K Stores, a division of Canada-based Couche-Tard, has bought 62 convenience stores in nine states from Dallas-based Greatstone Equities Inc. +++ Restaurant chain Sonic Drive-In has signed a franchise agreement to open 33 new drive-ins in California.  ▪
Changes at the top   Discount retailer Target has promoted Janna Potts to chief stores officer. She will be responsible for the company's 1,805 stores across the US +++ Drug store chain Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy appointed Richard Willis as the company's president and CEO. ▪
Packaging deal in Brazil   Dublin-based Smurfit Kappa Group looks to expand its presence in Latin America and has announced the acquisition of two Brazilian packaging companies for EUR 186 million. The combined operations have three recycled paperboard mills and four corrugated facilities around Brazil.  ▪
digital developments
Mobile payment in progress    The upcoming launch of Walmart Pay is paving the way for other retailers to simplify payments and is one of many signs for the changing landscape of mobile payments. However, Walmart says it will be open for a variety of digital payments. ▪
Meet customer's needs   Office supply chain Staples has launched a performance tracking mobile app to help customers grow their businesses +++ The app that Iowa-based convenience chain Casey’s plans to release taps into the growing consumer demand for prepared meals. ▪
Retailers must restructure   The rise of online shopping and growth of off-price retailing are mega-trends reshaping the retail industry. Retailers have to respond by restructuring, thinks veteran retail analyst Walter Loeb. ▪

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