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Korea’s largest online retailer, Gmarket, has partnered with Japan’s Rakuten to facilitate cross-border e-commerce between the two countries; Coca-Cola has failed to convince the European Union to trademark the design of its new bottle; in the US, Target outpaces Amazon in online sales. Have a great day, and don’t forget to share.


asia
Cross-border partnership   Gmarket, Korea’s largest online retailer, and Japan's e-commerce giant Rakuten have announced a partnership to boost cross-border e-commerce with local merchants in both countries. Just a week ago, the Japanese retailer closed its market places in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia as part of a strategy overhaul. ▪
Carrefour Indonesia expands   Singapore GIC fund has agreed to invest US$ 387 million in PT Trans Retail, which operates stores under the Carrefour and Transmart brands. Despite an economy slowdown, the country remains a hotspot for foreign investors. ▪
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Gionee invests in India   The Chinese mobile phone manufacturer is investing US$ 50 million to manufacture mobile phones in India. Gionee plans to increase its salesman workforce to 15,000 and to open 200 new shops across the country +++ Meanwhile, competitor Xiaomi is hoping that new features on its flagship smartphone, Mi5, will translate into sales. ▪
Sharp goes to Foxconn  Troubled Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp agreed to a takeover by Taiwan's Foxconn, in what would be the largest acquisition by a foreign company in Japan's technology sector. The deal is said to be worth US$ 6.2 billion. ▪
 europe
Selling surplus and organics   Denmark's first ever food surplus supermarket called Wefood has opened in Copenhagen. Consumers will pay 50% less for groceries as the store only sells expired food +++ British retailer Tesco has announced that organic fruit sales at its stores grew by 18%, compared with an average growth of 8% across the UK market. ▪
Wins & losses   In Spain, supermarket chain Dia has reported gross sales of EUR 10.56 billion — 14 % growth from last year, while shares in luxury retailer Hugo Boss have tumbled by 20% — the largest fall since 2008. ▪
Coke’s trademark attempt fizzes   The soft drink giant’s latest attempt at securing European Union trademark protection for a modified version of its iconic bottle has failed. According to the EU, the bottle’s design isn’t distinctive enough. ▪
usa
Target back to profit   The US's second largest retailer has outpaced Amazon in online sales for the fourth quarter, leading to a profit and sales of US$ 1.43 billion. Although Target's results are short of analysts' expectations, the company is closing the gap with Walmart online. ▪
More results   Shareholders of online marketplace Etsy.com are happy with 35.4% growth of its revenue for the fourth quarter +++ Home improvements retail chain Lowe’s has surpassed Wall Street's expectations with earnings of US$ 11 million +++ On the back of entering an agreement to be acquired by Staples, the Office Depot has reported a decrease in sales. ▪
UPS supports startup   California-based Deliv, a same-day delivery startup, is getting a funding boost from, surprisingly, United Parcel Service. The world’s largest transportation carrier is thought to be watching a market it doesn’t yet compete in. ▪
digital developments
Mobile dominates online sales   According to the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report, more than 50% of UK online sales are made through a smartphone or tablet  — up 40% from last year. ▪
Contactless payment catching on   German retailers are embracing contactless payment, according to the EHI Retail Institute. The study found 57.3% are now able to process contactless payments and a further 24.4% plan to learn how. ▪

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