Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Hello, dear reader,
Acquisition plans and a sales offer dominate today's headlines - German healthcare giant Fresenius grows its footprint in the US with a massive takeover, while supermarket giant Albertsons is reportedly considering a bid for Whole Foods. Over in Europe, JAB puts its Jimmy Choo chain up for sale. Get informed and feel free to share the news.

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USA & Canada
Ambitious takeover goals   German acquisitive healthcare provider Fresenius expands in the US by acquiring Illinois-based generic drug maker Akorn in a deal worth US$ 4.75 billion. In other news, speculations are growing about a possible merger of organic grocer Whole Foods and supermarket giant Albertsons.  ▪
Toy fights   American toy giants Hasbro and Mattel have posted their quarterly results. The former has topped the latter for the first time since 2000 and enjoyed a 24% revenue jump in its licensing business. Market leader Mattel disappointed with weaker-than-expected earnings in Q1. ▪
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Competing tech teams   While a dedicated team at Amazon is exploring what role driverless technology could have in its business, rival Walmart's tech start-up has added a new leader, Jenny Fleiss, to grow the business, which specializes in robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. ▪
Europe
Jimmy Choo for sale   With a growing food business and a focus on consumer goods, JAB Holding, controlled by Germany's Reimann family, is reviewing its luxury operations. The investment group wants to sell British shoe retailer Jimmy Choo as well as Swiss leather brand Bally and waits for offers. ▪
Green initiatives   The Belgian grocer Colruyt has announced it will invest around EUR 30 million in growing its organic supermarket chain Bio-Planet. Over in the UK, Farmdrop, a farmer-friendly online grocery platform that aims to bypass the mass supermarket, has raised GBP 7 million in funding. ▪
Reporting results   French cosmetics giant L'Oréal saw its sales figures climb 4.2% in the first quarter. Russian retailer Magnit enjoyed a 4.6% increase in revenue in Q1, adding 250 new stores to its network, and France's joint entity Fnac Darty (paywall) posted revenues of EUR 1.7 billion in this period. ▪
Asia & Australia
Threat potential   Alibaba-unit Ant Financial wants to increase operations in Japan by partnering with at least one payment firm. Meanwhile, the country's growing labour shortage threatens the nation's convenience stores, 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Lawson, whose business model relies on an army of part-timers.  ▪
Ikea commits in India   The Swedish furniture retailer is set to double its sourcing from India to EUR 600 million by 2020 in a bid to comply with the 30% local purchase norm. The company also plans to hire 500-700 direct employees for each store. ▪
Online retail welcome   Unfazed about the pending arrival of disruptor Amazon, Australian online retailer Kogan, which sells electronics, food and travel deals, has upgraded its earnings forecast again. Its founder expects business to benefit from new market players. ▪
Africa
Clicks shows resilience   Despite a slowing consumer economy, the South African multi-format operator was able to increase its turnover by 8.5% and its operating profit by 14.7% in the six months to February, and reckons it is on target for the rest of its operating year. ▪
Shoprite expands in Angola   The Cape Town-headquartered retail group plans to increase its store network in the West African country with an investment of US$ 571.7 million, which will be used to open 15 shopping centres, 22 supermarkets, and a warehouse. ▪

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