Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Hello, dear reader!
China is an attractive market, not only for German discounter Aldi but also for Japanese department store Isetan Mitsukoshi. On the other side of the globe, Lidl makes progress towards its US debut and billion-dollar acquisitions in the beverage industry indicate that companies such as Dr. Pepper and PepsiCo are looking for healthier alternatives. Get informed and don't forget to share the news.

asia & Australasia
Focus on China    As Lebensmittel Zeitung revealed earlier, Aldi intends to open an online shop in the People's Republic. Now, the reclusive German discounter has confirmed to local Chinese media that it plans to open physical stores as early as 2017. Japanese department store Isetan Mitsukoshi also eyes a China entry online, however in collaboration with Alibaba's Tmall. ▪
Rakuten partners for pick-ups   The Japanese e-commerce giant announced that it is collaborating with convenience store operator Lawson on a pick-up service that will allow customers to receive books, CDs, DVDs and other products purchased at its online bookstore. ▪
No rescue for Pumpkin Patch   The ailing children's clothing chain, which still runs 128 out of 160 stores across Australia and New Zealand, will shut all its shops and wind down the business after receivers failed to find a buyer. Nearly 1,400 employees will lose their job. ▪
Invigorating brands   British grocer Morrisons intends to open its first ever series of convenience stores and will revive the Safeway label, 12 years after taking over the supermarket chain. In Spain, retailer DIA has launched a new corporate brand, and in Finland, hardware chain K-Rauta is about to refresh its image with a new store format. ▪
Kingfisher is on track   Europe's leading home improvement chain steams ahead with its turnaround plans and has posted strong third quarter sales, mainly boosted by DIY-unit Screwfix, which is about to be expanded. Kingfisher plans to increase profits by GBP 500 million per year until 2021. ▪
Cash without contact   British bank Barclays is testing new cash machines at 180 branches in the north of England. The "contactless cash" service allows customers to make withdrawals via their smartphones. If the pilot is successful a rollout is planned in 2017. ▪
usa & canada
Lidl gains ground   Securing a million-dollar store site in Virginia and seeking supervisors in 20 US markets is regarded as an indication that the German discount powerhouse is making progress toward an American debut. Over in Europe, Lidl plans to invest EUR 60 million into its expansion in Lithuania. ▪
Self-service or not   While California Fresh Market found a "radically different" self-checkout concept in the form of an app from developer FutureProof Retail, Idaho-based retailer Albertsons continues to remove self-service checkouts in its acquired stores citing simplicity and service benefits. ▪
Diversification wanted   Dr Pepper Snapple and PepsiCo announced plans to buy alternative drinks makers. The former, which makes flavoured tea, juice drinks and sodas, will take over antioxidant beverages maker Bai Brands for US$ 1.7 billion in cash, and PepsiCo is set to acquire probiotic drinks firm KeVita for an undisclosed sum. ▪
keep an eye on
Black Friday frenzy   Canadian beauty retailer Sephora is regarded as a winner when it comes to social media engagement with 2.4 million consumer interactions in the run up to Friday, and Californian clothing chain Patagonia plans to donate all its sales on this very day to environmental organisations ▪
Robots to control quality   Dutch university Wageningen is looking for ways to assess quality of produce with sensor technology. According to a spokesperson the robotic research was tackling a task normally undertaken by quality managers who use human sensors like sight, smell and taste. ▪

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