Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Thursday, 13 April 2017

Hello, dear reader,
Terrorist attacks are, thankfully, still relatively rare, but the risk specifically to retailing is there. German Retail Blog talked to an international expert for his advice on enhancing retail security. Get inspired by his insightful ideas. The RetailUpdate-Team wishes you a peaceful Easter break. We will be back on Tuesday. Stay safe.

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Asia
Aeon cuts prices   The Japanese retailer, which posted a lower-than-expected annual operating profit, plans to reduce prices for over 250 grocery items in a bid to increase customers' spending. The company expects to improve its profitability and strengthen its struggling general merchandising stores. ▪
Chinese growth strategies   Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial plans to launch its mobile payment services in Indonesia in partnership with a local firm. Online newcomer Kaola.com, on the other hand, is focussing on its home market and wants to bring many new European brands to China. ▪
Beijing clears mega deal   Chinese authorities have approved the US$ 43 billion-merger between ChemChina and Switzerland-based agri giant Syngenta. The last obstacle in the way of the massive takeover is the approval from Indian antitrust authorities. ▪
Europe
Tesco back on track   As predicted earlier, UK's supermarket leader beat forecasts for full-year profit, showing its recovery is gaining pace and boosting CEO Dave Lewis as he seeks investor backing for the merger with Booker. The company reported a 30% jump in operating profit to GBP 1.28 billion. Here's what the analysts say.  ▪
Acquisitions and rejections   Deutsche Beteiligungs AG has bought German meat manufacturer Abbelen and British foods business Oscar Mayer +++ Slough-based wholesaler Innovative Bites has acquired Hancocks, a leading supplier of wholesale sweets. Meanwhile, Dutch soft drink bottler Refresco rejected a US$ 1.4 billion takeover bid from a French private equity firm ▪
Croatian crisis   After almost collapsing under debt, Zagreb-based food and retail group Agrokor handed control to the state. A quick initial cash injection will boost liquidity for a short time, but does not solve the problem. The company employs around 60,000 people in the Balkan region. ▪
USA & Canada
Walmart turns on the heat   The US brick-and-mortar heavyweight has fired another shot at arch rival Amazon by offering discounts on more than a million online-only items that customers then pick up at stores. This follows yesterday's confirmation that Walmart is eliminating more corporate jobs.  ▪
Delivery decisions   US online ordering network Yelp Eat24 and start-up Marble have officially started a robot dinner delivery service in San Francisco, while Michigan-based supermarket operator Meijer is set to expand its home delivery service throughout Ohio  ▪
Toy giant to regain ground   It was a difficult year for Toys 'R' Us, as the Wayne-based company reported a 2.2% decline in net sales to US$ 11.54 billion for 2016. Eyeing global growth, the toy company is combining its business in Japan with its ones in Greater China through a joint venture with Fung Retailing.  ▪
Food for Thought
Security solutions   The recent terror attack in Stockholm and the hostage taking at a Nairobi mall in 2013 show that these tragic events have a retail context. Will Geddes, CEO of International Corporate Protection in London, shared his advice on security measures with German Retail Blog.  ▪
High Street blues   New research has found that 4,534 stores opened in the UK last year, but 5,430 closed down. Big fashion chains and other stores disappeared. The Guardian takes a closer look at this development and reckons that the high streets don't need new shops but new ideas. ▪

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