Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Tuesday, 31 May 2016

While the authorities in Britain take a close look at Sainsbury's planned acquisition of the Home Retail Group, new rules in China don't allow for selling medicines online anymore, and Apple is asking for special treatment in India. Germany's Schwarz Group, owner of Lidl and Kaufland, invests a total of EUR 6.5 billion this year to enhance growth. These stories and a lot more are featured in today’s issue. Enjoy the read and please feel free to share liberally.

Asia & Australia
Japan delays tax hike   As the nation's economy struggles and retail sales slump, Japan delays its planned increase in sales tax from 8% to 10% for a second time, until October 2019. Against the trend, consumer goods retailer Muji is expected to end its latest quarter with a record 10% rise in group operating profit. ▪
Playing by the rules   While Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba has advised its vendors to stop selling medicine on the Tmall website following a regulator's corresponding surprise directive, US technology giant Apple is trying to circuit a local sourcing rule in India, where it applied for a waiver. ▪
Putting a price on pies   Australia's packaged food supplier Patties Foods has received a takeover offer from private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners, which values the food manufacturer at just under AU$ 230 million. Chairman Mark Smith said Patties is in advanced talks with PEP. ▪
Schwarz surges forward   The German parent company of Lidl and Kaufland plans to invest EUR 6.5 billion in 2016. Part of the investment will be used to support the expansion and modernisation of both, its Lidl and Kaufland banners in their home market. Lidl will roll out a new concept at home and has set its sights on new foreign markets. Lebensmittel Zeitung has the details. ▪
Authorities chip in   The Competition and Markets Authority will be launching an inquiry into Sainsbury's planned takeover of the Home Retail Group, and the collapse of high street retailer BHS will be further investigated by two parliamentary committees. In Germany, dairy and retail representatives have met the agriculture minister in a 'Milk Summit' trying to end ruinous production levels. ▪
Combining forces   Online food delivery company Deliveroo has signed a lucrative deal with restaurant group Pizza Express in the UK. The companies hope that the partnership will open up a lot of new markets, even overseas. ▪
ConAgra to prepare sale   Reportedly, analysts speculate that ConAgra Foods might follow the recent sale of its Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings business by selling other consumer brands or even preparing a sale of ConAgra itself.  The company's current market capitalisation was nearly US$ 19.8 billion last Friday. ▪
Exploring options   Grocery retailer and food distributor SpartanNash is eyeing new business opportunities and possible acquistions.   ▪
Walmart hires veterans   Three years after introducing its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment on Memorial Day 2013, Walmart announced it has hired 130,828 veterans since. In May 2015, the retailer had raised its initial goal to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018 to hiring 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020 ▪
Food finds
Too much milk and cheese   While the dairy industry in the US is expected to produce a record 212.4 billion pounds of milk this year, cheese makers have clinched their own record of 1.19 billion pounds of cheese in commercial cold storage. The 'cheese glut' could also impact on dairy farmers in neighbouring Canada. ▪
Indulging 'meat-less'   The vegan market in China soars and is expected to grow 17.2% between 2015 and 2020 – the fastest growth rate in the world. In Britain, vegetarians are forecast to grow to one in four Brits by 2041, generating a market valued at GBP 2.38 billion. ▪

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