Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Casino received a junk grading from S&P, Alibaba's transaction volume passed the CNY 3 trillion threshold, and Sears Canada cuts even more costs. Find out about these stories, partnerships struck with logistics providers, developments in South America, and more. Enjoy the read and please share our update.

Alibaba exceeds   The Chinese etailer's total transaction volume has reached US$ 463 billion in the fiscal year ending March, surpassing the milestone of CNY 3 trillion. The growth rate slowed to about 23% from the previous 46%. Plans for the future involve doubling annual online retail transactions within five years. ▪
Strong growth   The combined value of the strongest Chinese brands rose 13% to US$ 525.6 billion. Tencent tops the list as the country’s most valuable brand at US$ 82.1 billion +++ In India, average online purchases are expected to increase by 78% in 2016. ▪
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Strategic partners   Singapore-based Uber-competitor Grab has entered into a strategic partnership with Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group, providing logistics services for its ecommerce site MatahariMall +++ In the US, clothing retailer American Apparel is partnering with on-demand logistics provider Postmates to offer a new one-hour delivery service. ▪
Casino suffers junk grading   Standard & Poor's cut the French corporation's rating to junk but gave it a stable outlook. The mass retailer is accelerating actions to reduce debt, such as selling grocery operations in Thailand and Vietnam.  ▪
Divesting of stores   British The Co-operative Group has approached potential buyers, such as the start-up convenience chain My Local as well as turnaround firms Hilco and Gordon Brothers, as it seeks to offload 100 sites of former Somerfield stores ▪
Tesco beats prices   The supermarket chain is ramping up against the German discounters by matching or beating their prices with its new budget range of own-label 'farm' product lines +++ Lindsey Pownall, ex-CEO of premium food supplier Samworth Brothers, has been appointed as Tesco's new Non-Executive Director from April.   ▪
USA, Canada & South America
Commitment to US   In order to facilitate the approval of its planned merger with Belgian Delhaize Group, Dutch retailer Ahold is planning the sale of 19 Martin’s Food Markets stores in the Richmond region and eight Giant stores in the Washington area (paywall). At the same time, Ahold’s CEO, Dick Boer, assured that the companies will be looking for growth opportunities in their US business ▪
Spending and saving   As they launch expansion campaigns in the Canadian province of Alberta, US chains Home Depot and McDonald's are looking to fill nearly 3,000 positions +++ Sears Canada is planning to cut its overhead costs by a further CA$ 100 million to CA$ 127 million this year, on top of about CA$ 125 million in expense reductions last year, and to revamp its business ▪
Economic crisis impact   In a move to avoid price boosts by the largest companies, all Argentinian supermarkets will have to report daily the price of thousands of products to the national government +++ In Brazil, the deteriorating economy is taking its toll on fruit imports. ▪
customer loyalty
Love grows   Impressed by the loyalty of its customers, Ashley Stewart's CEO, James Rhee, was able to turn their love for the plus-size women's clothing retailer into a sales growth of 30% in 2015. Also, the company has been ranked as one of the top 10 brands for social media engagement with its followers. ▪
Lush supports activists   The UK cosmetics retailer claimed the top spot in the Which? UK shopper survey, rating customers' favourite shops, in 2012, 2014 and 2015, although or because Lush, within the corporate world, is a rather extreme case in the social activism it displays. ▪

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