Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Hello, dear reader!
Aldi Australia aims to get a better deal for fresh produce while its local competitors slash prices. Discounter Lidl expands in Bulgaria and Swedish furniture retailer Ikea reaffirms plans to open in India. Alibaba's Alipay buys a US tech company and Whole Foods gets praise for its sustainability efforts. Enjoy your Wednesday bulletin and have a great day.

Asia & Australia
The battle continues   Australian shoppers can rejoice - Aldi wants to improve the quality of its fruit and vegetables with a centralised buying model and aims to get better deals with long-term, flexible supplier contracts. Meanwhile Coles and Woolworths are taking on their discount rival by offering half-price specials for big-ticket items. ▪
Alipay acquires US firm   Alibaba's Ant Financial, the operator of Alipay, is looking to expand its operations in the US with the purchase of Kansas City-based biometric security tech start-up EyeVerify, which verifies ID's via eye scans. The deal, worth about US$ 70 million, marks the company’s first investment in the US. ▪
Discounters power ahead   Lidl expands in Bulgaria, where it has opened its 11th store. Two more openings are in the pipeline for this year, and five for 2017. Meanwhile, rival Aldi welcomes new trainees in Germany. Over 2,000 graduates and professionals have started their training in retail there this week. ▪
Ikea on the rise   The Swedish retailer reported strong sales for its 2016 financial year, helped by growth in China and Poland. Germany remains the company’s single biggest market. Ikea, which is also testing smaller formats and online shopping, plans to expand into Serbia and has reaffirmed its commitment to grow in India. ▪
Esselunga for sale   Italy's third largest supermarket chain might be up for grabs soon. Its 90-year-old founder has picked Citigroup as adviser to assess possible bids. The Italian food market is one of the most competitive in Europe, and the number of food retail stores in Italy has grown by 33% in ten years,  according to the Coop Report 2016. ▪
Weis expands portfolio   The Pennsylvania-based grocery retailer has started to convert 38 recently acquired Food Lion stores to the Weis banner and expects to complete the conversion over the next two months. The company also plans to hire more than 2,000 current Food Lion employees. ▪
Whole Foods sets example   The Texas-based natural and organic grocery chain, which will open its third high-tech ‘365’ store in Washington this week, could be a role model for other retailers with its innovative approach to roll out rooftop solar installations in multiple facilities. ▪
Enhancing shopping experience   Discount retailer Target has launched an experimental customer loyalty programme, called Cartwheel Perks, that allows shoppers to rack up points during store visits, and Start-up Breinify, an e-commerce recommendation engine, claims to tell online retailers what customers want to buy at a specific point in time. ▪
Insider insights
Facing the challenges   In an extensive interview with the Telegraph, Tesco’s Chairman John Allan talks about the industry and outlines problems that British retailers are having. Opening more and more shops, for example, contributed to their recent troubles and is not that easy to fix. ▪
Flexibility needed   Technology and innovation allow the diverse needs of shoppers to be served in a more personalised way. Retailers have to be more flexible than ever, says IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch. She was one of the speakers at the International Retail Summit in Switzerland. ▪

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