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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Friday, 17 February 2017

Hello, subscribers!
Again, Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba has bypassed freight forwarders to let customers book shipping container space directly, while US big-box retailer Walmart has bought another online company to better compete with its arch-rival Amazon. Get informed about the latest developments in our industry and have a great weekend.

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ASIA & AUSTRALASIA
Alibaba’s space-share deal   The Chinese e-commerce behemoth has struck a deal with two shipping companies, CMA CGM of France and Zim of Israel, to allow its customers to book space on their vessels, bypassing traditional freight forwarders. Only last month, Alibaba has teamed up with Maersk for the same reason.  ▪
Tesco enters Pakistan   The British retail giant has partnered with Karachi-based Alpha Supermarket to open 50 Express Stores over the next three years as well as flagship stores in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Reports have it that the company has already invested US$ 2 million. ▪
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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
Disappointment Down Under   Australian up-market department store chain David Jones’ sales growth has hit a snag in the 26 weeks to December. Parent company Woolworths SA blames the competitive environment. Over the Tasman, 350 jobs are on the line as confectionery company Mondelez plans to shut down its Cadbury factory in Dunedin.  ▪
EUROPE
Under scrutiny   The UK consumer watchdog will investigate whether Heineken’s purchase of 1,900 pubs from British chain Punch Taverns will reduce choice for consumers. Over in Romania, authorities have approved the takeover of the country’s biggest supermarket chain, Profi Rom Food, by MEP Retail Investments.  ▪
Growing in Russia   German retailer Metro, which currently has more than 200 franchise stores in Russia, wants to increase that number tenfold by 2020. Meanwhile, St. Petersburg-based retailer Lenta says the cost of expansion tallied up to EUR 892 million. The company has added 51 hypermarkets and 17 supermarkets within just one year. ▪
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Morrisons seeks suppliers   After it found out that only 52% of what Britons eat comes from the country's farmers, the supermarket operator has started an initiative to recruit more than 200 new UK food suppliers within the next years to cut the reliance on 'foreign' products.  ▪
USA
Walmart tackles Amazon   In its ongoing quest for a competitive edge over nemesis Amazon, the US big-box retailer has acquired another online retailer, Moosejaw, for roughly US$ 51 million. The company is also set to roll out its recently launched 'Scan and Go app' for Android users in more stores later this year. ▪
Store openings   US online marketplace Amazon announced that it will launch its fourth brick-and-mortar book store, this time in San Francisco. Following its strategy of filling existing markets where it does well, Florida-based retailer Stein Mart will open 11 new stores by the end of the year.  ▪
Walgreens Boots Alliance’s deal nears   The Federal Trade Commission is a step closer to approving the US holding company’s acquisition of Rite Aid and the sale should be approved in two to four weeks. The main obstacle has been coming to an agreement on the number of Rite Aid stores to be divested to Fred’s Pharmacy.  ▪
Worthwhile reads
Preparing for Lidl   Yesterday, we learned that the German discount powerhouse will launch in the US ahead of schedule. German Retail Blog ponders whether the company might mull over takeover plans to join the US big league and catch up with rival Aldi, while the Washington Post takes a closer look at its concept. ▪
Google’s assistant   The technology giant is taking a shot at Amazon. In direct competition with the e-commerce leader’s Alexa, Google has launched a new voice-powered shopping assistant that enables users to order goods from Google Express retailers. ▪

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