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

Greetings!
Another US company is taking the tax inversion route into Ireland in another billion-dollar deal. Tesco is shutting some shop doors in the UK, and Sears is trying to do the same in Canada. The 'Big 3' online companies in India have incurred a slump in their profitability, while a tonic water maker in the UK and Siemens in Germany report soaring results.

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asia & down under
Asian buyer wanted   The deadline for expressions of interest to buy bust electronics retailer Dick Smith closes tomorrow. Receivers appear to favour a single buyer from Asia. ▪
Profitability falls by the wayside   Not only Alibaba has probably suffered its weakest-ever quarterly revenue growth. In India, profitability took a hit for all 'Big 3' online companies. In spite of this being also due to marketing and promotions, today's Republic Day is another occasion for yet more massive  discounts.  ▪
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Striking new paths   Coca-Cola will be entering the dairy drinks market segment in India with its Vio brand +++ Japanese strawberries Amao shall be making their way into the US after exports to Asian markets surged in recent years. ▪
Shuffled managements  Arvind Mediratta from Walmart will be the new India MD of Metro Cash & Carry +++ Woolworths' Dave Chambers will return to the role of MD of Progressive Enterprises, its New Zealand grocery subsidiary +++ US agricultural cooperative Ocean Spray has appointed Kelvin Bradnam as MD for its Australia and New Zealand businesses ▪
 europe
Tesco closes some doors sometimes   The ailing retailer, which awaits the Groceries Code Adjudicator's report on the retailer's conduct with suppliers today, will close its 'food-to-go' concept stores and stop night opening hours (paywall) at its Extra stores. ▪
Kingfisher invests   Europe's largest home improvement retailer Kingfisher has announced a transformation programme to deliver a GBP 500 million “sustainable” annual profit uplift by the end of a five year process, which involves costs of GBP 800 million. ▪
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Tonic triumphs   While UK manufacturers have suffered a further drop in orders this month, London-listed supplier of premium tonic water Fever-Tree expects sales for 2015 to rise 77% +++ In Germany, Siemens reports a net year-on-year profit rise of 42% for the most recent quarter. ▪
USA & Canada
Buying into Ireland   Wisconsin-based technology and industrial conglomerate Johnson Controls will acquire Tyco International with headquarters in Cork, Ireland for US$ 16.5 billion. ▪
Cutting costs and plastic rubbish   Struggling Canadian retailer Sears is trying to vacate its weakest stores +++  Walmart Canada will join other retailers in introducing a charge for plastic bags. From 9 February, customers will be charged five cents per plastic bag. ▪
Game over   Reportedly, Google is ending all support for its ubiquitous computing headset Google Glass  in the consumer market +++ A bankruptcy judge approved the chapter 11 exit plan for American Apparel yesterday. The retailer is handed over to its bondholders, ending former CEO Dov Charney’s comeback hopes.  ▪
trends to watch
The future of the smartphone   Whilst some diagnose consumers with 'iPhone fatigue' or 'smartphone fatigue' in general, Fairphone, a small Dutch enterprise, is raising consumers' awareness of the social and environmental impact of the smartphone supply chain by building an ethical smartphone. ▪
Watch that wrist   The rush on new smartphone releases may not be what it used to be, but consumer interest in wearables is trending the other way with the US wearable technology market booming - estimated sales increased 186% from 2014-2015, reaching US$7 billion in 2015. And the British seem to be picking up the pace. ▪

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