The supermarket wars are likely to intensify across the Atlantic as German discounter Aldi is determined to increase its spending in the US and will add 900 new locations to its network. Also in today's issue, insights about buying alliance AMS Sourcing and Alexandre Bompard, Carrefour's new leader. Have a great start to the week.




Monday, 12 June 2017





Hello, dear reader,

The supermarket wars are likely to intensify across the Atlantic as German discounter Aldi is determined to increase its spending in the US and will add 900 new locations to its network. Also in today's issue, insights about buying alliance AMS Sourcing and Alexandre Bompard, Carrefour's new leader. Have a great start to the week.

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USA & Canada


Heating up competition ▪ German discounter Aldi is set to invest US$ 3.4 billion in expanding its US store base to 2,500 by 2022, raising the stakes for its rivals. The announcement comes as competitor Lidl prepares to open its first American outlets this week, with plans for as many as 100 by 2018.



Job cuts and closings ▪ Home improvement chain Lowe's is laying off some 125 information technology workers. Many of the jobs will go to India to "build a more diverse, global team" +++ After Ascena Retail Group reported a net loss of US$ 1.03 billion in Q3, the apparel giant is set to close hundreds of stores.



Mobile moves ▪ Amazon has quietly launched a new feature offering shoppers personalised suggestions of products they might like to buy, called “My Mix.” Meanwhile, discount retailer Target has merged its Cartwheel savings app into its main app, which will make online purchases easier for shoppers.



Merger in jeopardy ▪ Walgreens Boots Alliance’s acquisition of drugstore chain Rite Aid is having trouble winning US antitrust approval. Companies concerned about the deal have been asked by the Federal Trade Commission for depositions and affidavits that could be used in a lawsuit aimed at stopping it.




Europe


Billion-dollar cosmetics deal ▪ Brazilian make-up company Natura Cosmeticos has become the unlikely winner of The Body Shop bidding war as L’Oréal announced it has entered into exclusive talks. The deal is said to be worth US$ 1.1 billion and has attracted a wide range of interested parties, including Chinese group Fosun.



Polish discount power ▪ The increasing expansion of discounters in Poland impacts Tesco. The British supermarket leader plans to close nine unprofitable stores in the country, while Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins is set to open another distribution centre for its Polish no-frills chain Biedronka.


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Ambitious goal ▪ Dutch retailer Jumbo wants to open 100 of its new format Foodmarkt City stores in the coming years. However, LZ Retailytics has doubts that there would be enough room in the crowded Netherlands market, and it will be hard to compete with the omnipresent Albert Heijn.



Grass packages and online starts ▪ Germany's Rewe group is testing a new packaging material for its fresh produce, made from 40% dried grass and 60% wood. It's Austrian unit, supermarket chain Billa, has opened its first food fulfilment centre in Austria that will handle only online orders.




Insider Insights


Carrefour's Amazon fightback ▪ The French giant has confirmed that Alexandre Bompard will join the group as chairman and chief. The current boss of Fnac Darty faces some tough tasks as Carrefour struggles in its home market to develop its digital offering. Here is what an analyst says.



Exchanging ideas ▪ EUR 100 billion-plus alliance AMS Sourcing differs from other retailer platforms in that it concentrates exclusively on the international sourcing of own label. Managing director Bert Swartsenburg talks to German Retail Blog about the group's recent activities.



Post-election uncertainty ▪ The retail sector could be the worst hit from the general election result in Britain, as many fear the hung parliament will hit consumer spending. Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer’s already feel the pressure. Experts warn of lasting implications.