Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Monday, 02 January 2017

Hello, dear reader and welcome to 2017!
Online giants Alibaba and Amazon are staying in the spotlight - the former announced a huge investment in entertaining and the latter plans to build a flying warehouse. In Europe, merger and partnership activities dominate the headlines and in the US, a billion-dollar deal is under scrutiny. Also, check out what retail pundits predict for the year ahead. Have a great start.

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asia & Australia
Selling businesses and brands   Oil company BP has agreed to buy the fuel business of Australian supermarket chain Woolworths for US 1.3 billion, while Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries has confirmed it will acquire sportswear label Dunlop from British retailer Sports Direct in a surprise US$ 137.5 million deal. ▪
Alibaba is keen to entertain   After a major reorganisation in October, the media unit of the Chinese e-commerce giant plans to invest US$ 7.2 billion in entertainment. A film studio, video company Youku Tudou and various other divisions are part of Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, which is headed by Yu Yongfu. ▪
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Bursting with Inspiration: Visit IFE 2017
IFE 2017 (The International Food & Drink Event) is the UK’s biggest and most important food & drink trade show. Taking place 19-22 March in London, the home of innovation, the event provides an unrivalled opportunity to source innovative and new food & drink from 1,350 British & global suppliers. Register for your free ticket at
www.ife.co.uk/lebz
Tax demands in Gujarat   E-commerce companies are facing the heat from tax authorities once again, after a recent ruling asked them to pay entry tax on goods that are shipped from outside of the Indian state Gujarat. Market leaders Amazon and Flipkart already had to pay a large chunk. ▪
europe
Entering and exiting partnerships   Russian retailer Lenta and Belarussian market leader Eurotorg have signed a partnership agreement to explore potential for joint opportunities and share information about suppliers. Effective from today, Auchan-Sma is about to leave its purchasing alliance with Italian grocer Sisa. ▪
Acquisition strategies   In Switzerland, retailer Coop has purchased convenience store operator Aperto Group to consolidate its position in the sector, and in France, dairy giant Lactalis has launched a bid for the remaining shares of its Italian subsidiary Parmalat. ▪
Digital connections   French cosmetics company L’Oréal has announced it has made a ‘strategic investment’ in Partech Ventures, a Paris-based venture capitalist firm that will complement the group’s ‘comprehensive strategy to connect to the world’s most important start-up scenes. ▪
usa & canada
Merger under scrutiny   Federal regulators in the US raised concerns about Bass Pro Shops US$ 5.5 billion deal to buy fellow outdoor-sports gear retailer Cabela’s. The acquisition was announced in October 2016, uniting two of the biggest market players with over-the-top megastores. ▪
Sears continue to downsize   The struggling department store chain will close 30 Sears and Kmart stores in early 2017, which will bring the total number of stores that the retailer has closed this fiscal year to more than 200 and leave it with fewer than 1,500 locations. ▪
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After 15 years as MDD Expo,
the benchmark event for private label in the French market, M.A.D.E. is the result of a natural evolution that follows the international development of the exhibition through a changing retail market. On 28 & 29 March 2017, M.A.D.E. will bring together manufacturers of own label products and buyers from all distribution channels across Europe for 2 days dedicated to co-creation.
www.madeparis.com
Cutting out the middleman   Virginia-based Smithfield Food, one of the world's biggest pork producers, will be purchasing grain directly from farmers. The move hits merchants in the supply chain, who already suffer from low corn and soybean prices. ▪
what to look forward to
Getting ahead of tomorrow   Accepting disruption as the new norm, be prepared for all outcomes and skip rigid format thinking - German Retail Blog has compiled what movers and shakers in the industry expect to be their most important challenge in the year ahead. ▪
Amazon's high-flying plans   After experimenting with checkout-free stores and delivery drones, the Seattle-based online powerhouse is now exploring the use of giant airships to serve as a flying warehouse. However, its biggest hurdle in this regard will be US government regulations. ▪
The rise of artificial intelligence   2017 could be a breakout year in the development of intelligent machines that emulate humans with Asia playing a leading role. So it comes as no surprise that US fast-food chain KFC has introduced a facial-recognition system in Beijing, which can predict a customer's order after a face scan. ▪

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