Hello, dear reader
British retail giant Tesco served up a surprise when announcing that it is buying wholesaler Booker Group in a GBP 3.7 billion deal, creating UK's leading food business. It left competitors and analysts in a state of stunned silence and has undoubtedly sent shock waves throughout the UK grocery industry. Check out what the insiders say and have a great start to the week.
ASIA & AUSTRALIA
Alipay partners with Finnair
The Finnish national airline and Alibaba's online payment system provider have started a one-month testing period, offering travellers on the route between Helsinki and Shanghai the possibility to use Alipay for in-flight purchases.
Decisions in India
As part of its cost-cutting strategy, Jumbo Electronics, Dubai’s largest consumer electronics retailer, will close all of its stores in India, laying off 145 employees. Meanwhile, major Indian trade unions try to stop US soft drink giants Coca-Cola and Pepsico from selling their products in the country.
Source Great British Foods at IFE 2017
IFE 2017 (The International Food & Drink Event) takes place 19-22 March at ExCeL London. The UK's biggest food & drink event will be packed with innovative food & drink products from 1,350 suppliers. IFE is divided into 9 easy to navigate sections, including a Great British & Irish foods section. Find inspiration for your retail shelves at the show - get your free trade ticket at
Green light for Greek takeover
The competition authority approved the plan of leading supermarket chain Sklavenitis to acquire rival chain Marinopoulos. One condition was the closure of 22 stores in Athens and Crete and the maintenance of trade with suppliers.
Magnit loses top spot
Russia's biggest food retailer reported a 15% drop in its fourth-quarter net profit and has lost its leading position to X5 Retail Group, which won price-conscious consumers in a tough economic environment. However, Magnit CEO Sergey Galitskiy is unfazed, saying sales may be upgraded in the second half of 2017.
Swiss retailer Migros was rewarded for its commitment to animal welfare and shares its first time 'leadership' position with five companies worldwide. In light of a recent study expressing less concern, the EU Food Safety Authority will re-examine its warning on health risks stemming from palm and other vegetable oils.
USA & CANADA
Shoppers in Chicago will soon have to pay a checkout tax of 7 cents per bag at all retailers unless they bring their own gear. Retailers such as Whole Foods and Target are encouraging consumers to do so by offering 5 to 10 cents back for each reusable bag.
In a market where Aldi and Lidl’s low prices and Amazon's increasing footprint have caused irreversible disruption, Britain's largest supermarket chain has gained a competitive advantage with the acquisition of wholesale operator Booker. How does the tie-up affect shoppers and other retailers?
Print beats digital
The digital revolution has not been very successful in the book industry. In 2016, the unit sales of printed books in the US increased by 3.3% . This is no surprise as printed books are far popular than e-books. Check out why the rise of print book sales and decline in digital books was no accident.