Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Season's greetings!
Electronics giant Panasonic joins Amazon in the push for retail automation by introducing an experimental checkout machine. Mergers, partnerships and purchases dominate European headlines. In the US, a beauty store concept debuts in Manhattan and Barnes & Noble reinvents bookselling in California. Read these stories and feel free to share them with your co-workers. Have a great day.


asia & south pacific
Panasonic follows Amazon   The Japanese electronics company and convenience store operator Lawson have developed a checkout system that can scan items in the cart and automatically bag them. Project "Regirobo" is tested in one store in Osaka. If successful, a wider roll-out is planned. Meanwhile, Amazon has reportedly trademarked its hi-tech checkout-free 'Go' format for the UK. ▪
Toy takeover approved   The merger between two of the world's most recognised toy brands has been approved in the UK. Hong Kong-based VTech Holdings, provider of electronic learning products, is allowed to acquire US rival LeapFrog Enterprises, nine months after the regulator launched its investigation into the US$ 72 million deal. ▪
Plastics maker deal   Auckland-based lunchbox maker Sistema Plastics has been sold to Newell Brands for NZ$ 660 million. The New Jersey-based company with a market value of US$ 22 billion has agreed to keep the production site Down Under. Statistics New Zealand reports that the manufacturing sector in the country is in good shape and rose 21% in Q3. ▪
europe
Philips sheds Lumileds   Amsterdam-based electronics company Philips agreed to sell a majority stake in its lighting business to private-equity firm Apollo in a deal valued at US$ 2 billion, after a more lucrative transaction with a Chinese buyer was blocked a year ago. ▪
Acquisitions and agreements   Conviviality Retail has purchased KMD Enterprises, boosting its portfolio with 15 further convenience stores, which it will operate under its Bargain Booze banner, and Irish drinks manufacturer C&C Group has signed an expanded distribution agreement with AB InBev for the UK and Ireland. ▪
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Growth strategies   Swiss retailer Migros (in French) is testing the integration of pharmacies in its stores, managed by the Zur Rose Group, which operates mainly in e-commerce. In the UK, online fashion retailer Asos has announced that it will hire 1,500 new staff for its London headquarters and spend GBP 40 million on its renovation. ▪
usa & canada
Lowe's rebrands   The Canadian unit of the US retail home improvement company plans to convert 40 Rona stores to the Lowe's name, six months after Do-it-yourself chain Rona was acquired. The changes are made to eliminate confusion about what is sold at its various store formats. ▪
Payment card hits milestone   Citi Visa Anywhere, a co-branded payment card offered by wholesaler Costco in partnership with Visa, resonates with shoppers. The club retailer reports that one million members signed up for the card since its launch in June. ▪
Innovative concepts   Fast-growing cosmetics chain Ulta Beauty is taking on rival Sephora in New York and will open its first-ever outpost in Manhattan. On the other side of the continent, in California, bookseller Barnes & Noble launches its innovative format, which combines a bookstore with a full-service restaurant. ▪
remarkable discoveries
For a good cause   A group of high-profile executives, among them Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, are investing US$ 1 billion to address global climate change and support clean technology. The fund was launched by Microsoft's Bill Gates. ▪
Sustainability matters   German discounter Penny, a subsidiary of the Rewe Group, has announced it will dismiss its plastic carrier bags for good, and in Portugal, fellow retailer Lidl is reportedly the first chain in the country to stock only sustainable origin cod, with the seal of the Marine Stewardship Council. ▪

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