Alibaba continues to make big plays in its home continent with the announcement of two data centres to be opened next year in India and Indonesia. The battle also heated up between the e-commerce heavyweight and its fierce rival JD.com in Southeast Asia. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Tuesday, 13 June 2017





Greetings!

Alibaba continues to make big plays in its home continent with the announcement of two data centres to be opened next year in India and Indonesia. The battle also heated up between the e-commerce heavyweight and its fierce rival JD.com in Southeast Asia. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Asia & Australia


Asian hotspots ▪ Alibaba continues to invest heavily in the region, with the launch of its Tmall service in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The move comes as rival JD.com also looks to expand in the area, with plans to set up a hub in Thailand.



Tech plays ▪ Alibaba Cloud will open two new data centres in India and Indonesia in March 2018 as the online juggernaut looks to strengthen its position in the region and around the world. Meanwhile, French grocer Auchan is debuting unmanned stores in China (paywall), a first for the network.



Store wars ▪ Australian department store giant David Jones has struck again – snatching label Self Portrait from rival Myer. Meanwhile, Woolworths has axed its Select label while re-launching its Homebrand range, as it looks to cater to an increasingly health-conscious customer base and stay ahead of the pack.




Europe


E-grocery moves ▪ British online grocer Ocado is looking to borrow GBP 200 million to increase its warehouse capacity and bolster technology. Swedish grocer Bergendahls has split its food subsidiary in four. This includes an e-commerce division, which has become an increasingly important channel for the company.



Russian roulette ▪ Retailer Magnit is strengthening its production arm with the acquisition of a large-scale farming business in Lipetsk. The step will ensure cheaper sourcing and quality control. Fellow compatriot O’Key is trialling instore scanning at some Moscow supermarkets (paywall).


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Romania pays off for Lidl ▪ German supermarket giant Lidl continues to enjoy strong gains in Romania with latest figures showing sales were up 18% in 2016. Since entering the market in 2011 the retailer has doubled its network to over 200 units, with plans to reach 300.




USA


Amazon’s newest robots ▪ The online juggernaut is opening its third major shipping facility in Colorado and its first in the state to be powered by a fleet of robots. The e-commerce giant will also hire 1,500 employees for the Thornton-based site, making it the city’s biggest employer.



Tough times ▪ Retailer J.Crew is asking to extend the due date on about USD 567 million of debt as it struggles with ongoing declining sales while children’s clothing retailer Gymboree has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it haemorrhages customers to online stores.



Joining forces ▪ Supermarket company Stop & Shop has announced its Boston shoppers will be able to enjoy same-day grocery and delivery thanks to its partnership with online grocery delivery service Instacart. The partnership mimics a similar deal the duo formed in Washington DC.



Movers and shakers ▪ Discount chain Dollar Tree has promoted its COO Michael Witynski to President & COO. Online jeweller Blue Nile has tapped former Target heavyweight Jason Goldberger to head up the company. Retailer Mills Fleet Farm has ended its search for a CEO with the appointment of Derick Prelle, formerly of parent company KKR.




Analysis & Expectations


The Amazon effect ▪ Read on for analysis of Amazon’s meteoric rise and strategies traditional retailers can employ to keep their customers. Meanwhile, mergers (some of them weird and wonderful) are becoming a more common sight as retailers unite to survive the onslaught from the online behemoth.



Digital dominance ▪ A new study predicts that online commerce could reach 15% of global retail sales by 2020. The paper says that with 44% of the world’s population now having access to the internet, online players have ‘exhausted the financial resources of many traditional players’.