Hello, dear reader,
After stirring up Germany's retail industry with the launch of its fresh service, Amazon is set to spend big time on research in Britain. In the US, arch rival Walmart continues to fight for online dominance and traditional retailers prepare for a different kind of threat. Read our collection of thought-provoking articles about competition on both sides of the Atlantic and have a relaxing weekend.
Drone base expansion
Amazon will build a development centre in Cambridge with the capacity for 400 employees working on tech innovations such as its Alexa digital assistant and delivery drones. In other news, it was revealed that the online giant and EU antitrust authorities have reached an agreement over e-books contracts.
S Group struggles in the Baltic
The Finnish grocery leader will close its Prisma hypermarkets in Latvia and Lithuania amid intensified competition, but wants to increase its market share in Estonia and Russia. Check out how analytics platform Retailytics assesses the decision of the retailer.
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Morrisons gets stronger
The UK retailer has reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter as shoppers continue to respond positively to recent price cuts. Like-for-like sales were up 3.4%. Here's how the analysts weighed up the grocer's performance.
USA & Canada
Walmart's e-commerce efforts
In its relentless quest to gain online dominance, the US big box giant has filed for a patent similar to Amazon's Dash, the one-button ordering device. Bloomberg takes a closer look at Walmart's e-commerce operation and wonders whether the retailer is ready to compete.
In a bid to tap into the fast-growing smart home market, consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is teaming up with service provider Vivint. Coffee giant Starbucks will expand its loyalty rewards programme at grocery stores, as it seeks to win more customers.
Natural food retailer Sprouts Farmers Market enjoyed a 14% rise in sales to US$ 1.1 billion in Q1, and has announced that it will expand its delivery tests with Amazon Prime Now. Not so lucky was Californian grocery chain Smart & Final, which posted a net loss of US$ 1.5 million.
JD.com speeds up
The competition between China's second biggest e-commerce company and Alibaba enters a new arena with JD.com eyeing to invest in Tokopedia, one of Indonesia's largest online operators. The investment would boost Walmart-backed JD.com's expansion into Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
For years would-be pundits were saying that the German market is so dominated by discounters that no online food retailer could ever make a profit. Enter Amazon with its fresh delivery service. German Retail Blog explains why the US e-commerce giant is retailer's nightmare.
While retailers in Germany struggle with the likes of Amazon, their US counterparts are facing a disruption coming from their very own country. German discounters are seen as the new big threat for traditional retailers. A consumer study has Aldi rewarded for having the best value.
.. and the fight goes on
The “Amazon effect,” or the impact of digital on traditional retailing, is forcing retailers to step up their game. As they strive to incorporate new services, their first priority is to compete with the promise of free shipping.