There were plenty of reports of moves and counter moves by the big players over the weekend. Sainsbury’s is rumoured to be thinking about a takeover of Tesco's tobacco supplier, while Staples and Cerberus both had their purchase bids foiled. Meanwhile, Alibaba have upped their game again in the bricks-and-mortar space. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 29 May 2017





Greetings!

There were plenty of reports of moves and counter moves by the big players over the weekend. Sainsbury’s is rumoured to be thinking about a takeover of Tesco's tobacco supplier, while Staples and Cerberus both had their purchase bids foiled. Meanwhile, Alibaba have upped their game again in the bricks-and-mortar space. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Europe


Takeover speculation ▪ UK grocer Sainsbury’s is reportedly considering acquiring key Tesco supplier, tobacco distributor Palmer & Harvey. The move is seen as a defensive counter bid to the Tesco/Booker merger announced earlier this year.



Online action ▪ Europe’s biggest online fashion retailer, Berlin-based Zalando, is updating its look (paywall) in a bid to keep the threat of Amazon Fashion at bay. Meanwhile British e-tailer The Hut has purchased web-hosting business UK-2 in the latest of a stream of acquisitions, and Tesco is collaborating more closely with its suppliers to grow its online channel.



Unilever on top ▪ The food giant has been named the company with the most number of brands in the Global Top 50 after the release of a report by research group Kantar Worldpanel. Unilever brands made up more than a quarter of the listings.




Asia & Australasia


Alibaba ups the stakes ▪ The e-commerce behemoth has made another major play in the bricks-and-mortar space, announcing the acquisition of an 18% stake in Chinese supermarket company, Lianhua. The grocer has more than 3,600 physical outlets in 19 provinces and municipalities.



Premium pays ▪ Waitrose plans to introduce its premium range, ‘Waitrose 1’, in India and China. The launch coincides with the first anniversary of the successful range, which now exports to more than 30 territories globally.


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Movers and shakers ▪ Incoming Wesfarmers boss Rob Scott can expect a salary up to AUD 3 million less than that of incumbent Richard Goyder, with the company saying it is in line with changes in the market. Current head of Bunnings for Australia and New Zealand, Michael Schneider, has been shoulder tapped to lead the chain worldwide. Read more here.




USA & Canada


Results surprises ▪ Costco beat analyst forecasts for the quarter, posting strong sales and earnings thanks to increased store traffic and spending. Meanwhile, embattled retailer Sears posted its first quarterly profit since 2015, driven by the sale of its Craftsman brand and aggressive cost-cutting.



Advances rebuffed ▪ Office chain Staples has reportedly rejected a takeover offer from Cerberus as too low. Drinks company Constellation Brands has failed in its quiet attempt to buy out spirits and wine business Brown-Forman – owner of Jack Daniels – according to sources.



Vege delights ▪ Texan supermarket chain H-E-B is growing its own produce in an onsite shipping container – a first for an American food retailer. The company says it’s getting higher yields than conventional methods. Ottawa is getting its first zero-waste grocery store with the opening of newcomer Nu Grocery in July.




Sustainability Matters


Fishy future ▪ With nearly 60% of the world’s stocks fully fished, aquaculture is being touted as the next frontier in sustainable food production. Read more about the practice and why entrepreneurs, investors and environmentalists alike view it as a long-term solution.



Beyond burgers ▪ Plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat has had a big win, securing a deal to supply its ‘bleeding’ veg burger in 280 Safeway stores across California, and stocked in the meat aisle. The move is in line with the company’s vision to give meat-eaters a sustainable alternative.