Hello, dear reader,
It was a bleak week for supermarket employees in Britain. Following Sainsbury's earlier announcement of layoffs, the Budgens chain will close more than 30 of its stores – affecting hundreds of workers. Discounters continue to pressure competitors relentlessly with Aldi and Lidl reaching another market share milestone. Get informed and don't forget to share the news. RetailUpdate remains FREE.
Layoffs in Britain
After suffering “difficult” trading conditions, Food Retailer Operations has gone into administration and will close 34 Budgens stores, cutting off more than 800 jobs. This comes after Sainsbury's has announced to axe 400 jobs. The rest of the Budgens business, owned by several independent companies including Tesco's Booker, is not affected.
Aldi and Lidl on a roll
The German discounters grabbed a record fraction of the British grocery market. Their combined market share in the UK hit 12.3% for the first time, according to new data from Nielsen. Despite inflation rates doubling, supermarket sales grew at the fastest rate since 2014.
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French retailer Casino saw its 2016 profit up in its home market and predicts more growth for the year ahead. Meanwhile, Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli has increased global revenue by 6.8% to CHF 3.9 billion amid stronger revenue in Europe. In the UK and Germany, sales were up by double-digits.
Asia & Australia
JD.com gains ground
With a 44% increase in net earnings to US$ 37.5 billion, the Chinese e-commerce major has beaten expectations and is slowly winning market share on competitor Alibaba in the country's gigantic online market over the past couple of years.
USA & Canada
What to watch
Nestlé slashes sugar
The Swiss food giant has announced that it will reduce 10% of the sugar in all its confectionery in the UK and Ireland by 2018. This is the equivalent of 7,500 tonnes of sugar. The announcement follows public concern over the quantity of sugar in the diet and its contribution to rising obesity levels.
Shanghai will emerge as the closest rival to Silicon Valley as a technology innovation hub in the next four years, according to KPMG. A Deloitte report has it that China's overseas merger and acquisitions will grow steadily in 2017 as the country is showing a rising interest in advanced technology.