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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Hello, dear reader,
US big-box retailer Walmart is considering whether to buy another online company and Amazon retaliates with mulling over the acquisition of a wholesaler. Chinese heavyweight Alibaba proves again that it is a player to be reckoned with by raising the bid for US company MoneyGram. Get informed about the latest deals and feel free to share the news.


USA & Canada
Moves into e-commerce   Walmart is set to secure another win in its quest to reach new customers by acquiring popular brands. The company's bid for clothing retailer Bonobos is regarded as the latest step in the attempt to recover lost ground against Amazon and others in the rapidly growing online fashion world. ▪
.. and brick-and-mortar   Amazon has reportedly expressed interest in expanding its commerce ambitions by buying wholesale retailer and Costco-rival BJ's Wholesale Club. While the online giant still has a pretty small share in the food segment, its US grocery sales surged a mouth-watering 30% in Q1. ▪
Investing in stores and people   Canadian retailer Loblaw plans to spend billions into its network and expects to open 30 new stores and renovate more than 500 existing ones. Meanwhile discounter Save-A-Lot is adding another Lidl veteran, Kevin Proctor, to its management team. ▪
Asia & Australia
Alibaba fights for US firm   The e-commerce behemoth’s e-payment arm, Ant Financial, appears to have finally won the battle to acquire US-based cross-border payment service MoneyGram, after it increased its initial bid of US$ 880 million to US$ 1.2 billion. The deal is expected to shake up the international payments landscape. ▪
Battleground India   The South Asian country is the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world, poised to reach US$ 64 billion by 2021. But it is no longer a competition between local majors. Alibaba and Tencent are major players against Amazon, which announced it would double its investments on seller infrastructure.  ▪
Ebay warns Australia   The California-based e-commerce multi says it will likely block Australian shoppers from buying overseas products if the government pushes ahead with plans to apply GST on all goods sold through the online marketplace. Australia became the first country in the world to introduce such a law change.  ▪
Russian projects   X5 Retail Group, one of the largest food retailers in Russia, is in talks to open up to 1,000 new stores, mostly through franchising, over the next three years. The company has signed an agreement to 'encourage the development of retail trade'.  ▪
Spar family grows   Despar Italia has reported a 4% annual growth in 2016 sales to EUR 3.28 billion and will invest EUR 200 million in 2017. Spar Austria generated gross sales of EUR 6.42 billion, marking an increase of 5.3%, while Spar Spain has expanded its store network to over 1,000 outlets. ▪
Integration strategy   British retailer Sainsbury's is ramping up its efforts to integrate the Argos and Habitat businesses. For the former it announced that it plans to transform 60 stand-alone stores to the digital format and for the latter to open ten Mini Habitats this year. ▪
Digital developments
Payment guide   Businesses need to take advantage of the potential benefits of mobile payment, therefore EuroCommerce, a group that represents the retail sector across Europe, has published a new guide for retailers providing information on this technology.  ▪
No online food in France   French internet users prefer to shop at supermarkets like Auchan, Carrefour or Leclerc for their groceries and not online. Just 5% said that their purchases were made digitally, according to Promise Consulting.  ▪

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