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
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.
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
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
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.