Hello, dear reader,
There is no sign of slowing down Amazon. Even as the mother of all online retail is heavily spending on international expansion, it topped analyst' expectations with a whopping rise in first quarter profits. A huge range of other corporate and private companies also shared their results. Get informed and have a relaxing weekend.
USA & Canada
German discounter Lidl has confirmed that it is setting its sights further afield with future stores planned in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Walmart's e-commerce target Bonobos continues to expand its physical presence in several US states, and Sears Canada wants to increase its organic grocery offer.
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Apple in pay talks
The US tech icon may be the next to provide a money-transfer service. The company is reportedly in talks with payment industry partners about launching such a service. The new Apple product would compete with offerings from big US banks as well as Walmart.
Amazon expands in Britain with the opening of a new fulfilment centre that will create 1,200 new permanent jobs. Marks & Spencer concedes that it could no longer ignore the fastest growing segment of the industry, and has announced that it will trial online grocery shopping.
Acquisition in Portugal
As part of its strategy of investing in health and wellness, Portuguese retailer Sonae has bought organic supermarket chain Brio, which operates in the Lisbon area. The move follows the company's acquisition of a majority stake in the Go Natural supermarket.
Privately-owned German food manufacturer Dr Oetker has posted a respectable sales increase to EUR 2.4 billion for 2016, and British pharma company GlaxoSmithKline is on track to its financial targets with better-than-expected first quarter results.
Asia & Africa
Online grocer Bigbasket has teamed up with retail tech firm SnapBizz as it looks to push its private labels into more neighbourhood stores. The company is also looking for tie-ups with farmer groups, and shows interest in training them on grading, packing & quality aspects.
Baidu rises again
Still lagging behind bigger rivals Alibaba and Tencent, Beijing-based web giant Baidu shows early signs of recovery and posted an increase in Q1 revenue to US$ 2.45 billion. This comes, after China's regulators introduced stricter laws in healthcare advertising, its core earnings stream.
Pizza Hut enters Ethiopia
Yum! Brands will open three of its pizza outlets in Africa’s second-most populous country, becoming one of the first international restaurant chains to enter Ethiopia. The openings are part of a wider expansion plan in sub-Saharan Africa, where the restaurant network should grow to 100 by end-2017.
The struggle to source
While the desire for more locally raised products has grown in the US, the process to move these items from fields, bakeries or small factories to the shelves has problems in keeping pace. Click here to read about a 'growing pain'.
Artificial intelligence or virtual reality
Analysts see the potential of these pioneering technologies and reckon they will completely change the way we shop. Which of the two systems is best for retail and where to invest in the coming years? A comparison.