Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Hello, dear reader!
Walmart keeps working to make inroads against Amazon. The world's largest retailer posted its best quarter result in more than four years, reflecting its focus on a more efficient in-store experience and better options for online shoppers. Over in Australia, supermarket giant Woolies also reported a profit boost, beating its arch-rival Coles. Enjoy your Wednesday bulletin and don't forget to share.


USA & Canada
Walmart's still got it   The US big-box retailer reported better-than-expected results in its fourth quarter and also boosted online sales by 29%. Walmart does not seem to have problems enticing consumers to shop in person in its stores while other retailers are struggling to regain their footing.  ▪
DIY developments   Retailer Home Depot has also reason to rejoice as it is closing in on the $100 billion mark in annual sales. Home improvement retailer Lowe's, on the other hand, has announced that more than 500 full-time corporate employees will lose their jobs, but is also seeking workers to fill more than 100 new positions. ▪
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Whopper deals   Canadian fast food company Restaurant Brands International, owner of Burger King, announced it would acquire Louisiana-based chicken chain Popeyes for US$ 1.8 billion in cash, and Toronto-based Maple Leaf Foods is set to buy Lightlife, an American manufacturer of plant-based protein foods, for a mere US$ 140 million. ▪
Asia & Australia
Woolies gains momentum   Australia's biggest supermarket operator, Woolworths, has beaten competitor Coles on same-store sales growth in the December quarter for the first time since September 2009 and also reported a 1.9% like-for-like sales growth in the first half, however, CEO Brad Banducci warns that there is more work to do. ▪
Working in the cloud   Beijing-based tech multi Lenovo has struck a deal with Germany's SAP to boost its business through a major cloud computing initiative. Over in India, leading e-tailer Flipkart is teaming up with Microsoft to adopt the IT giant Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform. ▪
Strategic partnerships   Chinese platform Tmall Fresh, which is operated by Alibaba, has announced a collaboration with certifier GlobalGap to source their products through the latter, while Canada's Hudson's Bay is partnering with India's Aditya Birla Group to launch a Saks Fifth Avenue outlet in New Dehli.  ▪
Europe & Africa
Looking for growth overseas   Food retailer Shoprite will focus on expansion outside Africa after talks with Steinhoff to create the continent’s biggest retailer fell apart. Meanwhile, Italian food manufacturer Cremonini has opened a cured meat plant in Canada in a joint venture with Canadian company Italpasta and is preparing to acquire a large Hong Kong-based distributor. ▪
Tackling tax loopholes   European Union finance ministers agreed to close loopholes multinational corporations such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Starbucks use to skip taxation on dividends. The new rules are due to go into effect in 2020. Ministers also found a compromise on the criteria to define a tax haven. ▪
What to watch
Aldi sources British   The German discounter tops the list for offering the most 'British-sourced products'. Aldi is also the first retailer to sign a corresponding commitment with the National Farmers Union, which published a guide to help shoppers supporting the country's farmers. ▪
Looking ahead   Convenience store operator 7-Eleven , one of the biggest players in the industry, has started a healthy food initiative to meet shoppers' demand. Meanwhile, some analysts think that the future for ailing department store Macy's isn't that bleak as the retailer is making some progress. ▪

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