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

In the global milk market crisis, now New Zealand farmers are facing tough times as the world's biggest dairy exporter cuts its milk price forecast. In other news, Walmart raises the pay for over 1 million employees, J.C. Penney does not plan any further major store closures and Lindt & Sprüngli has great expansion plans. Enjoy the read!


Asia & Australasia
Milk price cut   New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra reduced its milk price forecast to a 9-year low from NZ$ 4.15 to NZ$ 3.90 (US$ 2.64) a kilogramme of milksolids. In response to the ongoing low prices, milk production in the country is forecasted to be at least 4% lower than last season. ▪
Alibaba gambles   In a deal valued at US$ 308 million, the Chinese powerhouse is acquiring a 60% stake in Hong-Kong listed lottery firm AGTech, as the online lottery sales ban is poised to be lifted.   ▪
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Japan targets Thai customers   While Japanese consumers hold off on their spendings, retailers in the country are aiming to attract Thai tourists during their traditional New Year holiday Songkran in April. ▪
Supermarket price war effects   The latest grocery market shares figures for the UK from Kantar Worldpanel reveal that Sainsbury's was again the only one out of the Big Four to increase overall spend, Tesco's decline is starting to slow, and the German discounters continue to strive +++ Aldi is broadening its online offerings in the country by including non-food items.  ▪
Sweet ambitions   After record results in 2015, Swiss Chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli is aiming to run the world’s biggest network of premium chocolate shops by 2020, outstripping Godiva. Its expansion plans include opening another 20 to 30 shops each year. ▪
Mineral water market   Nestlé-owned Italian mineral water brand San Pellegrino reports 25.4 % annual growth in international sales for 2015.   ▪
Walmart's strategies   1.2 million Walmart employees will be receiving a pay rise this week. In another move, the retailer promoted dozens of executives to new roles in operations, merchandising and marketing. In Chino, California, Walmart has opened a 1.2 million-square-foot fulfillment center. In the course of 2016, the presentation of fresh produce (paywall) will be improved in 3,300 stores.  ▪
J.C. Penney's reinvention   No more major store closures are planned by the department store chain. According to its CEO, the company sees its brick-and-mortar stores as an integral part of its omnichannel strategy. ▪
Home Depot settles lawsuit   The home improvement retailer agreed to pay at least US$ 19.5 million to reimburse US consumers affected by a 2014 data breach affecting more than 50 million cardholders. A US$ 13 million fund will reimburse affected shoppers, while a further US$ 6.5 million will fund cardholder identity protection services. ▪
Technology trends
Virtual reality   'VR' is one of the catchphrases when it comes to trends in retail. J.C. Penney, Lowe's and McDonald's are to be found among the list of trendsetters. A recent job advertisement by Amazon hints towards the company's creation of a new virtual reality platform. ▪
Tracking shoppers   Spanish start-up Proximus has developed sensors which once installed in shopping carts and baskets, emit a short-wave signal via Bluetooth to a set of receivers located in the ceiling. The information is then sent to a cloud server and a map of shopper behaviour in supermarkets is created. ▪

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