Hello, dear reader,
The heat is coming out of the supermarket price wars Down Under, according to analysts, who also think that Australians love affair with Aldi may be waning. However, the German discounter proves them wrong. In China, Amazon challenges its rivals, and in Europe, more Tesco employees have reason to worry.
Australia & Asia
Aldi keeps on investing
A study of Australia’s A$105 billion supermarket sector suggests the German discounter is losing momentum in its key east coast markets as Woolies lures back shoppers. Unfazed by the prediction, Aldi will open 25 new stores a year in the region and spend at least half a billion dollars smartening up its ageing fleet.
Manila-based retail chain Philippine Seven reported a 16.6% increase in net profit last year to US$ 23.5 million. The company attributed the growth to the opening of 410 new 7-Eleven convenience stores, which offset the closure of 17 outlets.
More Tesco jobs in jeopardy
Britain's biggest retailer has announced plans to axe its 24-hour shopping service in eight stores, putting 3,000 jobs at risk. The fresh shake-up will also merge different service desks so that customers can get everything they need in one place.
Danish online initiative
In a bid to combat the growing presence of foreign e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Alibaba in Denmark, Dansk Supermarked, which operates the Netto retail banner, has unveiled online marketplace Wupti.com. It offers a platform for all Danish retailers.
USA & Canada
Hudson's stays focused
The Canadian retail group reported a C$ 152-million loss in its fourth quarter and said it would cut costs and capital spending. But that doesn’t mean it has completely shut the door on acquisitions. The company also plans to open 10 Hudson’s Bay department stores by the end of this year.
Walgreens misses expectations
Despite gains in market share and comparable pharmacy sales across the US, Walgreens Boots Alliance missed analyst expectations for its second quarter, but CEO Stefano Pessina remains optimistic in 'challenging conditions' and goes ahead with pushing the pending acquisition of Rite Aid.
Pick n Pay cuts rewards
The South African retailer has overhauled its Smart Shopper loyalty programme, halving the value of the cash rewards but saying it is making the rewards more personal and easier to access. Early indications on social media are that the changes have not been well received.
Mall competition in Kenya
The high concentration of shopping malls in Nairobi has raised the stakes for its operators to achieve returns despite high occupancy rates by merchants. Mall retailers will have to be creative to attract and retain clients, says asset management firm Cytonn Investments.