Hello, dear reader!
Alibaba's Jack Ma teamed up with Hollywood director Steven Spielberg. Australian companies are intensifying their relationship with China. In Europe, Carrefour invests in innovative projects, while Spar International and convenience store operator Topaz concentrate on expansion. In the US, Ahold Delhaize announces more merger effects and Google gets physical. Have a great start to the week.
asia & Australia
Sustainable tomato plant Developer of high tech greenhouse facilities, Adelaide-headquartered Sundrop Farms, has opened a US$ 152 million tomato production facility, claiming to be the first in the world using solar power and desalinated seawater to grow the product.
Store investments Following the announcement of its recent partnership with local operator Balfin Group, Spar International has opened its first two stores in Albania. In Ireland, forecourt retailer Topaz, which last year was taken over by Canada’s Couche-Tard, is set to invest EUR 33 million in its retail network.
Digital decisions Tyco Retail Solutions, a global provider of retail performance, has integrated its traffic insights businesses to form a single unit, called ShopperTrak, and British consumer co-operative Co-op (paywall) will introduce a new PoS-technology to speed up the processing of vouchers and offers.
usa & canada
Staples accepts Apple Pay online The US retail giant has announced the availability of the payment app on its mobile website, m.staples.com, in a bid to provide its customers "an easy, secure and private way to pay that’s fast and convenient". Customers have already been using Apple Pay at Staples’ stores.
Google gets physical The US search giant is opening a temporary pop-up store in New York to provide a brick and mortar location for checking out its new hardware. The store, called "Made by Google", launches on 20 October.
Pick n Pay on the rise The turnaround strategy of the South African retailer is continuing to pay dividends as the company reported another positive trading update last Friday. Pick n Pay announced last Friday that first-half earnings gained as much as 25%.
Catastrophic drought South Africa’s worst drought in more than a century could be “catastrophic” for an industry that exports US$ 7.7 billion annually, a body that represents food producers and processors said. Farmers will need as much as US$ 1.2 billion to subsidise feed purchases.