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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Friday, 10 February 2017

Hello, subscribers
The Australian fashion industry is in free-fall, and giant international brands are capitalising on it. Also, German retailer Aldi has massive plans for the United States. Have a great day, and if you enjoy this issue of RetailUpdate, please share.

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USA
Aldi invests big in the US   The German retailer has bold ambitions for the US: By 2020, it will invest US$ 1.6 billion to remodel existing stores and expand to over 1,300. The new stores will provide a more modern and convenient shopping experience with a focus on fresh items.  ▪
Disappointing results   Due to high inflation in some Latin American countries and a strong dollar, US soft drink giant Coca-Cola has posted a 6% decrease in revenue, the seventh decline in a row +++ Because fewer diners chose to eat at its Pizza Hut chain, Yum Brands has posted a lower-than-expected increase in sales.  ▪
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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
www.ife.co.uk/lebz
Facebook scales back   The social media trailblazer is shutting down about 200 of its 500 Oculus virtual reality pop-up stores, which operate at Best Buy sites throughout the United States. The reason for the scale back is unclear.  ▪
ASIA & AUSTRALIA
Complaints false, claims Alibaba   The e-commerce behemoth says that several intellectual property agencies, known as “reputational-protection firms,” are filing false complaints against its vendors, and Alibaba has called for a boycott.  ▪
Harrods owner eyes Aussie fashion   The owner of iconic UK department store Harrods is eyeing Australia’s troubled retail sector. Al Alfia has made a 70 ¢-a-share bid, which equates to $135 million, for Specialty Fashion Group. With the fall of four national apparel brands within the last two weeks, including suit maker Herringbone, the question is this: Why is Australian fashion being squeezed out by global giants?  ▪
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Xiaomi opens stores   Over the next three years, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer plans to open 1,000 brick-and-mortar stores. The company aims to increase its number of stores, called Mi Home, from 51 to 200 by the end of this year.  ▪
EUROPE
Retailers striving for good   As part of its commitment to use only soy from certified growers by 2020, Finnish retailer Kesko has asked suppliers producing its private-label brands to begin using RTRS or ProTerra-certified soy +++ Meanwhile, German retailers Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have embarked on a joint campaign to promote sustainable tea cultivation. The companies have committed to stocking a minimum of 40% certified herbal teas by 2020.  ▪
Tesco faces more strikes   The union for the retailer’s Irish operations has announced another five stores will take strike action. Tesco is accused of trying to change the employment contracts of more than 250 long-serving workers without their agreement.  ▪
Bernard Matthews cuts jobs   The world’s biggest turkey producer, which was purchased in September by entrepreneur Ranjit Singh who promised to save 2,000 jobs, is proposing cutting 150 jobs at its Norfolk headquarters. The proposal is part of wider structural changes to the business, which could see the end of production in the region.  ▪
ZIMBABWE
Cash shortage chaos   A hard currency regime adopted in 2009 to curb hyperinflation has resulted in a lack of cash in the African country. Consequently, shoppers have adopted electronic means of payment. Intermittent disruption to point of sale (POS) systems, however, is causing frustration for shoppers with no other way to pay .  ▪
Basket gets dearer   According to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, due to a 15% tax increase on goods, which include rice and meat, the monthly consumer basket has gone up in price from US$ 578 in December to US$ 600 in January.  ▪

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