Hello, dear reader
Japanese online giant Rakuten and its US counterpart Amazon are taking delivery issues to the next level and challenge traditional freight forwarders. The shipping market gets a bit more consolidated after leading Danish line Maersk has inked a deal with Dr. Oetker. These stories and a lot more are featured in today's issue. Feel free to share.
Alibaba boosts technology
An economy that serves 2 billion people must be backed by solid technological capacity, says Alibaba-boss Jack Ma and is set to form independent research teams, creating millions of jobs and businesses. The online giant's Lazada unit is aligning its business model in Indonesia to be in sync with its Chinese parent company.
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Xiaomi arrives in Vietnam
The booming economy of the Southeast Asian country has attracted another big player. The Chinese smartphone maker has partnered with local service provider Digiworld, which will help distribute Xiaomi's products at retailers nationwide and online.
Denmark's Maersk line has signed a purchase contract with Dr. Oetker to acquire transport company Hamburg Süd. The all-cash deal, reportedly worth around US$ 4 billion, is still subject to a final agreement and will consolidate Maersk’s ranking (registration) as the world’s top container line.
Two of Spain's biggest retailers, Eroski and Dia, have signed an agreement to jointly develop their own brand of products. Focussing on efficiency, the new venture will optimise the supply chain and improve the competitiveness of the groups.
Fashion titans power ahead
Spain's Inditex, parent company of Zara, outpaced its rivals and posted a whopping 10% rise in profits to EUR 3.2 billion for the year. The company set up shops in five new markets. Outperformed Swedish competitor H&M reported a first-quarter sales rise of 8%.
Aldi and Lidl under fire
The German discounters are accused of exploiting lorry drivers in Britain. The truckers claim that they are forced to do the jobs of warehouse staff so that low prices can be offered. Their union says the practice should stop as it's not safe. The retailers denied the accusations.
Usa & Latin America
Overhauling its store concept doesn't deter tech giant Apple from opening new stores around the world, like in Miami, Cologne and Nanjing. Over in Colombia, Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins has launched its first Cash & Carry store in the Latin American country.
Although Choppies, Botswana's leading supermarket chain, reported a drop in half-year profit, it plans to spend US$ 55 million to open 36 new stores across the continent in the next months. The no-frills retailer currently operates 202 outlets, mainly in small towns.
Egyptian discounter Kazyon wants to be the fastest expanding retailer in the country and plans to launch more than 100 stores in 2017, eyeing a total number of 1,000 outlets over the next five years. In line with the expansion the company will offer thousands of jobs.