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

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The number of payment options keeps on growing in many parts of the world, business relations with a dubious North Korean factory raise questions about ethics in retailing, and the big UK supermarkets prefer to abstain from an opinion about a possible Brexit. Find out about these stories and more - enjoy the read!


asia & australia
Bitter pill for Alibaba Health    Chinese administration might halt the implementation of a drug-coding system that’s developed and operated by the company. Shares plunged following those news. ▪
More mobile payment options   The number of player's in China's mobile payment market grows with Samsung following suit Apple’s debut last week. The South-Korean technology giant will take its mobile payment service to Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Spain, the UK and Canada later this year +++ In India, fund transfers through mobile phones are growing much faster than any other payment mode.   ▪
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Surf wear under scrutiny   While Australian surf wear icon Rip Curl has used a factory in North Korea, where workers endure slave-like conditions, human rights groups raise questions over other Aussie favourites including Quiksilver and Billabong. ▪
europe
Extension granted   After the unexpected counter bid of furniture retailer Steinhoff, Sainsbury’s may consider until 18 March whether it will return with a new bid for Home Retail Group. Steinhoff's South-African unit, JD Group, plans to axe over 4,000 jobs as part of restructuring.  ▪
'Apolitical' behaviour   While some of Britain’s top companies support the UK remaining inside the European Union, the big supermarket chains Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco decided against backing a vote against Brexit - and potentially deterring customers. ▪
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Upwards and onwards   Musgrave Group-owned Irish supermarket chain Supervalu reports 'milestone' sales of EUR 2.6 billion for 2015 and announces plans to open more stores +++ Associated British Foods' subsidiary, budget fashion chain Primark recovered from falling pre-Christmas sales and aims to open new stores in the east of the US before expanding to other regions +++ French multi Carrefour opens its first hypermarket in Kazakhstan. ▪
USA
Billion-dollar deals   In a US$ 3.1 billion deal, the largest US food distributor Sysco will buy London-based Brakes Group with the aim of strengthening its presence in Europe +++ Following Aerospace giants United Technologies' and Honeywell's talks about a possible mega merger, United Technologies pulled out due to antitrust worries.  ▪
Spend more for free shipping   E-commerce giant Amazon raised the minimum spend for non-members to qualify for free shipping to US$ 49 +++ In India, Amazon Tatkal has been launched, which enables SMBs to get online and sell on Amazon.in in less than 60 minutes. ▪
Expecting growth   E-commerce furniture retailer Wayfair is opening a new customer service center in Texas paying credit to a rapidly growing customer base +++ Top-selling American whiskey brand Jack Daniel's will invest US$ 140 million in its facilities as US whiskey sales are forecast to surge. ▪
developments to watch
Secure online payment   Customers of US credit card company MasterCard will soon be able to use selfies and fingerprints as an alternative to passwords when verifying IDs for online payments. Visa and MasterCard are both releasing more new technologies, which are meant to be more secure and offer more payment options for their customers. ▪
Shop fresh food on-the-way   The fresh food market, which is estimated to reach US$ 60 billion in sales by 2025, harbours opportunities for small-format stores ▪
Kids play digital   Internet-connected toys approach the threshold of becoming a US$2.8 billion market by the end of 2015. A recent study reveals, that 65% of parents were willing to pay an average of US$ 41 - 60 per toy. ▪

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