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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Thursday, 19 May 2016

Hello, dear reader!
Excitement Down Under: Australia's Myer and e-commerce company eBay created the world's first virtual department store. The Thai owner of Big C has ambitious plans in Vietnam. Ikea considers selling real estate, Carrefour has arrived in Kenya, and major US retailers reveal their results. Enjoy the read. Subscription to RetailUpdate remains FREE.

asia & australia
Virtual partnership   Department store chain Myer and eBay have joined forces to create what they say is the world's first virtual reality department store, which works via a smartphone inside a virtual reality headset  +++ Home entertainment retailer JB Hi-Fi plans to take over electronics retailer The Good Guys. The former is in talks with the latter. ▪
Aeon goes organic   The Japanese supermarket giant has set up a joint venture with French company Bio c’Bon, which runs a specialty organic supermarket business in Europe, to open an organic supermarket in Japan, called Bio c’ Bon Japon. Aeon aims to strengthen its position in the category. ▪
Expansion in Vietnam   After being acquired by Thai retail giant Central Group for EUR 1 billion Big C Vietnam, which is the country's largest foreign-owned retail chain, is set to open seven new stores this year. Vietnam is on the cusp of a franchising boom with about 40 foreign brands reportedly seeking franchise partners. ▪
europe & Middle East
Ikea grows in Dubai   The Swedish furniture retailer plans to sell about EUR 900 million of European retail parks surrounding its stores, reports Bloomberg. Over in Dubai South, Ikea announced the launch of its first distribution centre in the Middle East to support its expansion across the region. ▪
Selling stores and sites   Convenience store chain My Local, founded by Morrisons and sold to Greybull Capital last year, is reportedly looking to offload 10% of its sites. One potential buyer is Sainsbury’s +++ Marks & Spencer has ditched plans to open a major store in Amsterdam and sold the site to Canadian department store group Hudson’s Bay. ▪
Mobile payment offers   While Google’s Android Pay was officially released in the UK yesterday, French retailer Carrefour and BNP Paribas are about to introduce a new payment technology, which allows customers to pay with their mobile phones and automatically claim their loyalty benefits. ▪
USA & Canada
Adjusting perspectives   Home improvement retailer Lowe's posted strong results and raised its profit forecast, backed by a booming housing market and it's recent acquisition of Quebec-based Rona. Discount giant Target, on the other hand, delivered a disappointing outlook for the year, while missing analysts' estimates for Q1. ▪
TJX thinks big   Amid strong first-quarter results, department store company TJX wants to open 150 more brick-and-mortar outlets this year. CEO Ernie Herrman sees the potential to grow to 5,600 stores around the globe. TJX currently operates 3,661 stores. ▪
Taking on Amazon   US tech giant Google is expected to dive deeper into virtual reality and artificial intelligence. At its annual developer conference, the company unveiled its new voice-based speaker, which is regarded as a rival to Amazon’s Echo. ▪
Carrefour enters Kenya   The French retail giant has opened its first hypermarket in Nairobi, fuelling competition in Kenya's lucrative but under-developed supermarket industry. Carrefour is already operating in Egypt and Morocco. ▪
Rising and declining results   Durban-based Spar South Africa said first-half profit rose 5.3% despite a difficult consumer environment in its home market +++ Brewing company SABMiller reported a decline in full-year profit, as it scaled back operations in Africa and invested millions for the AB InBev deal. ▪

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