Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Monday, 05 December 2016

Hello, dear reader!
Discount powerhouses Aldi and Lidl speed up their expansion in Northern Europe, while French giant Carrefour extends its online presence in China. ICA Gruppen exits Norway and drinks maker Rémy Cointreau seals a few deals. In the US, Kroger and Dollar General are downsizing their expectations. Read about the latest retail developments and have a great start to the week.

Alibaba eyes Russia not India   Logistics company Cainiao, which is co-owned by the Chinese online giant, reportedly plans to open a new subsidiary in Russia, while rumours about Alibaba being in talks to buy Indian e-commerce company Snapdeal for a whopping US$ 2 billion have been fervently denied. ▪
Boosting Chinese presence   Carrefour has launched its e-commerce website in Wuxi and Suzhou, extending the access to its digital platform to six cities in China. Meanwhile, online mega-retailer Amazon has opened a showroom in Beijing, which features imported goods from the US and the UK. ▪
Discounters continue to invest   Lidl has unveiled plans to build another major distribution centre to support its expansion in the UK. The GBP 70 million building will be located in Doncaster. Rival Aldi is set to invest EUR 250 million (paywall) to boost its store modernisation programme in Denmark and will increase its footprint in Ireland by adding 20 new stores. ▪
Growing with partners   Rémy Cointreau, which recently posted a solid growth, intends to purchase the assets of Seattle-based whiskey-maker Westland Distillery, adding a single-malt product to its portfolio. The French drinks maker has also established a joint venture with Dutch company Lucas Bols to further develop the Passoã brand. ▪
ICA leaves Norway   Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has sold its Norwegian real estate firm for EUR 224 million to a real estate fund. With this transaction, including 58 properties, the company's sale of its grocery business in the country has been completed. ▪
usa & canada
Adjusting expectations   Despite reporting better-than-expected results for its third quarter, Cincinnati-based retailer Kroger has revised its profit forecast for the full year due to falling food prices. Grocery price deflation has hit the results of Dollar General, too. The discounter consequently scaled down its forecast. ▪
Encouraging results   US discounter Big Lots posted a rare third-quarter profit, helped by strong furniture sales and has raised its outlook. Retail group Ascena, whose banners include Ann Taylor amongst others, also swung to profit in its first quarter, but misses analysts' expectations. ▪
Changes at the top   With the announcement of Rick Keyes as its new CEO, family-owned supermarket operator Meijer for the first time has a non-family member at the helm. Home décor retailer At Home Group has appointed a chief operating officer and expanded its board with Gap veteran Elisabeth Charles. ▪
worthwhile reads
Amazon challenges in Australia   The looming arrival of the US online retail behemoth next year is undoubtedly a huge threat for Australian retailers. The Seattle-based company plans to open distribution centres around the country. Could it destroy the retail market? ▪
Shoprite conquers Africa   The South African supermarket chain has expanded from eight poorly performing stores in 1979 to become the continent's largest retailer, worth US$ 8.5 billion today. One of its strategies is to target the growing middle class consumers. ▪
Drones for farmers   Agricultural drones are increasingly fulfilling vital functions for modern agriculture. A recent report by PwC estimates the potential market for agricultural drones at US$ 32.4 billion and suggests they could be the future of farming. ▪

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