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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Wednesday, 07 December 2016

Hello, dear reader!
Germany's Metro goes its own way to spur growth in China and Alibaba's Alipay aims to reach more travellers in Europe. Top-level shake-ups were announced at Aldi UK and toy giant Lego, US retailer Kroger and Sears. The fight against food waste remains a priority topic in the industry. Enjoy the read and please share, if you like it. Subscription to RetailUpdate is FREE.

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asia & australasia
Metro looks for land   Despite surging land costs, the Germany-based retail group is keen to add self-build stores to its portfolio in China and continues to look for reasonably priced offers. The company argues that by owning its own stores it can provide customers with the best service. ▪
Expanding overseas   Alibaba's payment platform Alipay partnered with four more financial service providers in Europe to increase its global footprint, and Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart teamed up with agro-food company QL Resources to open up to 1,000 stores in Malaysia. ▪
Construction plans Down Under   International meat packing company Hilton Food Group, supplier of retailer Woolworths, expands its Australian presence with the construction of a new processing facility in Queensland for AUS$ 115 million, while  Kiwifruit marketer Zespri Group will build a new NZ$ 43 million head office in New Zealand. ▪
europe
Top-level changes   Aldi has announced that UK exec Julie Ashfield will become head of buying in Britain, replacing Tony Baines when he retires next year after 22 years. Over in Denmark, toymaker Lego hired its first non-Dane boss - British COO Bali Padda will become CEO. The family owners are set to take a more active role in the company. ▪
Break-ups and exits   Britain's Co-operative Group has offloaded its stake in travel joint venture with Thomas Cook. The global travel company will pay GBP 55.8 million to take full control of the retail travel business. German cosmetics chain Douglas has closed its 11 stores in Turkey, claiming its market share in the country is too small. ▪
Innovative in Italy   In collaboration with international information technology company Accenture Coop Italia has opened a flagship store in Milan, dubbed 'the supermarket of the future'. It merges the physical and digital to recreate the ambience of an open-air market. ▪
usa & latin america
Sprouts likes Amazon   Arizona-based Sprouts Farmers Market aims to expand the relationship it has with the Seattle-based online giant because it helps to connect with Millennial customers. The supermarket operator offers delivery via Amazon in two states. ▪
Management struggles   Two executives and a key director have left ailing retailer Sears, sending a dire warning that upcoming results will be disappointing and the company might be doomed. The future looks brighter for supermarket giant Kroger, which has appointed Yael Cosset as its next chief digital officer, replacing Kevin Dougherty. ▪
Casino stays focused in Latam   The French retailer tops Latin Trade’s third-quarter Multinational Index with revenues of US$ 5.5 billion. Last month, the company announced that it will sell its Brazil-based furniture and electronics retail business, Via Varejo, to concentrate on its food business. ▪
smart moves
Ikea supports parents   To attract new talent and hold on to existing staff, the Swedish furniture retailer has announced one of the most generous parental leave programmes in the US.  From next year on, Ikea will provide all its employees with up to four months of paid parental leave. ▪
Fighting food waste   US supermarket operator Kroger is donating an additional US$ 3 million to local food banks, while Dublin-based start-up FoodCloud has created two separate apps to connect retailers and manufacturers to local charities. ▪
Pioneer in Africa   Onyx Connect, a Johannesburg start-up, wants to become the first company to manufacture smartphones in Africa, taking advantage of low costs, and growing local demand to build handsets, tablets and other devices. ▪

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