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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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Drones in the sky, bicycles on the roads, and now Amazon is taking its logistics expansion to the sea. Lay-offs are reported from several regions - Ahold in the US, Konga in Nigeria and Asda in the UK are all cutting jobs, while Mega employees in Israel are still fighting for their jobs. In Europe, the longest-serving boss of a leading German company is being replaced.

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Asia
'Shipping' goods   In a move which will give the largest online retailer more control over shipping products from Chinese factories to US shoppers, the Chinese arm of online giant Amazon has registered as an ocean freight forwarder +++ Cooperations in logistics have been struck between Alibaba and PostNord Denmark as well as between Flipkart and dPronto. ▪
'Paytm Force' helps sellers   Alibaba-backed digital payments and online marketplace Paytm will provide end-to-end services for its sellers with its new 3,000 person strong 'Paytm Force'. ▪
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Indonesia relaxes restrictions   In a bid to attract more investment into the country, Indonesia will allow foreigners to own 100% stakes in local e-commerce businesses.  ▪
europe
Casino fears 'junk' status   The French retailer's shares and bonds have been affected by Standard & Poor's credit rating, which placed Casino under negative watch. The sale of the group's Thai and Vietnam stores might help its liquidity. Thailand's biggest retailer Central Group may put in a bid for both. ▪
Job losses in UK   Following a reduction in market share, Walmart-owned Asda will be cutting around 200 jobs, largely around the Leeds-based head office. 300 jobs are at risk at London-based ready meals company Bakkavör Meals after it lost a supplier contract with Tesco, and manufacturer General Mills will close a Northumberland pastry factory by autumn, axing about 265 jobs.  ▪
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Adidas replaces CEO   Europe's largest sportswear manufacturer is replacing Herbert Hainer, its CEO of 15 years, with former Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted +++ Swedish clothing major H&M has appointed Martino Pessina as Head of Global Expansion. ▪
USA
WhatsApp becomes free   In a key strategy shift, the Facebook-owned communications service is going to remove its service fees for users. Instead, it will begin experimenting to simplify how businesses interact with consumers. ▪
American Apparel rejects offer   The bankrupt teen apparel retailer has refused the latest takeover offer of US$ 320 million from a group of investors who are backing the return of the company's controversial founder Dov Charney. ▪
Ahold moves DCs   The recently merged retailer is shifting its warehouse operations from suburban Buffalo distribution centres to C&S Wholesale in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, which will eliminate 600 jobs in Western New York. ▪
africa & Middle east
Fearing for job loss in Israel   The second-largest Israeli supermarket chain Mega has been granted 30 days protection from creditors. It is expected to appoint trustees to keep the company going and find a buyer, which would save 3,500 jobs. ▪
Lay-offs in Nigeria   Konga, one of the nation’s largest online malls, has laid off 80 employees, about 10% of its workforce, while the country's economic condition is expected to cause more disruption for businesses. ▪

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