Hello, dear reader!
Alibaba is taking the easy road to global expansion via acquisitions and Tesco, concentrating on its core business, is helping the Chinese giant on its way. Creating jobs for young people is Carrefour's goal in Spain, while Co-op earmarks store closures in Britain, and Canada's Loblaw is set to invest billions to grow. These stories and more are featured in today's issue.
Alibaba acquires in Singapore The Chinese e-commerce giant plans to grow outside its home country by buying a controlling stake in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada for about US$ 1 billion. Shareholders, among them Tesco, have agreed to sell some of their shares. Lazada was launched by German startup Rocket Internet in 2012.
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More online competition in India Bengaluru-based online marketplace Askmebazaar is launching AskmeFresh, a fresh food delivery marketplace and AskmeMeds, an online health marketplace, to take on established online players in the grocery and pharmacy space.
French commitments Retail giant Carrefour is determined to offer 4,400 permanent employment contracts this year in Spain +++ Paris-based media group Vivendi has agreed to buy a 15% stake in Fnac, one of France's largest retailers. The 'strategic partnership' will help the companies to expand their businesses into international markets.
USA & Canada
Loblaw invests to grow The Canadian supermarket and pharmacy retailer plans to spend US$ 1 billion this year. The money will be invested in 50 new stores, 150 renovations and continued development of e-commerce capabilities and supply chain projects.
J.C. Penney launches boutiques The department store company targets plus-size shoppers with the launch of Boutique+, a fashion brand designed for full-figured women, which will be available at 500 stores. The company is also debuting an all-new in-store concept called "The Boutique" in more than 200 stores.
Pick n Pay makes progress South Africa’s second largest supermarket chain is reaping the benefits of its turnaround plan. Having cut costs, closed underperforming stores and improved its supply chain, full-year earnings are expected to rise.
Edcon wants more options The Johannesburg-based clothing retailer reportedly asked bondholders to support a postponement in interest payments until the end of the year to give the company time to explore options, including the sale of all or some of the business.
Extension for mega brew deal Anheuser-Busch InBev granted South Africa's Competition Commission an extension to its investigation into the US$ 105 billion takeover of fellow brewer SABMiller Plc, after the regulator didn’t meet Tuesday’s deadline. The European Commission said it would decide by May 24 whether to clear the deal.