Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Monday, 24 April 2017

Hello, dear reader,
The rapid rise of e-commerce is transforming brick-and-mortar retail. Fashion chain Bebe is the latest US retailer to announce that it will shut down its stores. But there are also other reasons leading to the closures. Read also why Britain's retail body wants to have a fair deal for consumers. Have a great start to the week.

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USA
Rescue through restructuring   Following years of losses, struggling apparel chain Bebe announced that it will close all its stores and focus on its online business. Things aren't getting better for fellow retailer Sears, which provided an update on its restructuring programme. ▪
Store closures   Due to "sustained weak performance," supermarket operator Marsh will shut seven more stores. Its gourmet competitor Fresh Market will get rid of five outlets in a bid to reposition itself as a more mainstream grocer. The company also plans to roll out its new format. ▪
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Amazon expands supply network   While its competitors are struggling with the decline of their physical appearance, the online behemoth is bolstering its distribution fleet by building three new giant fulfilment centres in New Jersey, which will bring 2,500 more jobs to the state. ▪
Europe
Sports Direct buys in America   The UK retailer has made its first move into the US market with the acquisition of outdoor apparel chains Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports, buying up the debts of their parent company, Eastern Outfitters, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Sports Direct paid US$ 101 million. ▪
Kesko complies with authorities   Finland's second-biggest retailer posted a double-digit sales rise for March and announced that it will close 42 convenience stores as part of its integration of the Suomen Lahikauppa chain. The Finnish competition watchdog required Kesko to sell stores as a condition of the takeover. ▪
Biedronka pleases parent firm   The Polish discount chain wants to open 100 new stores this year. Its owner, Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins, reported a 9% rise in sales to EUR 3.7 billion in the first quarter, with Biedronka accounting for nearly 70% of total group sales. ▪
Asia & South Pacific
Cooperation with competitors   Mumbai-based retailer Future Group will sell products on rival online platforms Amazon and Bigbasket as part of its strategy to generate sales for its brands. Just recently, the Indian company has teamed up with P&G to increase market share. ▪
Utilising the Silk route   Railway authorities of several nations, among them China, Germany and Russia, have signed an agreement to deepen cooperation on China-Europe freight rail services, while global security companies and their smaller Chinese rivals are looking for business along the land and sea routes. ▪
Profit boost with golden fruit   New Zealand-based kiwifruit distributor Zespri expects to post a record profit this year due to increased revenue from the allocation of licences to grow the Gold3 variety. The new version, also called SunGold, has proven popular and is more resistant to bacteria. ▪
What to watch
Roadmap to Brexit   British shoppers could face an average tariff of 22% on food from the EU if the government fails to reach a deal with Brussels. Therefore, the British Retail Consortium has launched a campaign for consumers, dubbed the Tariff Road Map, highlighting import trade relationships with data and facts. ▪
... and the winner is   South Africa's Woolworths tops the country's customer satisfaction index, followed by Checkers and Pick n Pay. Over in the US, retailers Target and Wegmans Food Markets have been awarded for 'innovation in sustainability'. ▪

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