Amazon is about to crack the e-commerce market in the Middle East through its latest acquisition, while its Chinese counterpart Alibaba is active in Southeast Asia, mainly in Malaysia. Over in the US, Starbucks ramps up its hiring spree, and Sears is facing tough times. Have a great day, and if you enjoy this edition of RetailUpdate, please share.
ASIA & MIDDLE EAST
Amazon buys Souq
Following on from walking away from talks in January due to a dispute over the asking price, the US online powerhouse agreed in principle to purchase the Middle Eastern online major. The deal will enable Amazon to access a majority of the e-commerce market in North Africa and the Middle East.
Malaysia works with Alibaba
The Chinese online behemoth has entered a joint partnership with Malaysia’s government to facilitate international e-commerce in the country for small- and medium-sized businesses. This comes after it was reported that Alibaba is setting up a regional distribution hub in the country.
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Flipkart fights back
The Indian e-commerce major has closed its latest funding round, which included investments from eBay and Microsoft, worth US$ 1 billion. Flipkart needs the money to fight off rivals amid intense competition.
Bleak outlook for Sears
Amid rising concerns about a potential bankruptcy, suppliers of the struggling chain are doubling down on defensive measures, such as reducing shipments and asking for better payment terms, to protect against the risk of nonpayment.
Unusual & remarkable
Consumers want control
A study conducted by Oracle found that most consumers are willing to use new technology to engage with brands so long as they can control the experience. If brands over step, the reaction can be visceral, Oracle warned.
Who likes robots
51% of shoppers in the 16-24 age group would visit a robot-operated store, while the majority of those over 55 are apprehensive about the idea. This is according to a study by Censuswide, which surveyed 2,000 consumers in Britain.