Hello, dear reader!
Amazon has started shipping products via ocean freighters. The move is certainly not as wild as creating a flying warehouse, however, it marks the e-tailer's latest effort to expand its delivery business. Meanwhile, competitor Walmart might have to calm down its suppliers after it announced changes in its sourcing structure. Read these stories and more and have a great start to the day.
asia & australia
Shelfie supports shelves A combination of drones, robots and hidden cameras with the potential to improve supermarket shelf presentation and reduce waste in warehouses has been developed by the Australian division of technology group Lakeba. The 'Shelfie robot' is tested in some European supermarkets.
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J.C. Penney names India boss The US retailer is ramping up its commitment to its new technology lab in Bangalore and has appointed Snehil Gambhir as managing director of the global in-house centre. The veteran manager brings two decades of business expertise.
Axfood gets approval The Swedish food retailer and wholesaler has announced that its planned acquisition of Matse has been given the green light by the Competition Authority. Matse, which is also a Swedish company, operates in the services sector. Its business includes an online grocery store.
Italian discounter on a roll Over the next three years, family-owned discounter MD plans to invest EUR 488 million to launch 90 new stores. 30 openings are planned for 2017. MD is the second-largest player in the segment, behind Eurospin and Lidl, and has 711 stores.
Unilever struggles The Anglo-Dutch consumer product giant has disappointed analysts with both its sales figures for the fourth quarter and for the full year. The demonetisation in India and the economic slowdown in Brazil hurt the maker of Dove products. Sales grew by 3.7% in 2016. CEO Paul Polman expects a slow start to 2017.
USA & Canada
Amazon controls shipping From high skies to the blue seas - the e-commerce powerhouse has begun shipping goods via ocean freighters from Chinese merchants selling on its site to its US warehouses, adding another piece to its logistics business. Usually this service is outsourced to global freight-transporters.
Going public Mexican spirit producer Jose Cuervo hopes to raise more than US$ 700 million in an initial public offering. The US election forced the world’s biggest tequila maker to postpone its plans twice last year. Chilean supermarket operator SMU is a bit more advanced and has finalised its stock market launch with US$ 200 million.
Brazilian benefits Agribusinesses in the Latin American country might gain from the US Trans-Pacific Partnership withdrawal. As one of the biggest US competitors in grain and meat production, Brazil now sees an open door to markets traditionally dominated by American commodities.