Hong Kong conglomerate AS Watsons attempts to acquire British health food chain Holland & Barrett and JD.com has bought a stake in fashion marketplace Farfetch. Over in the US, Sears keeps on struggling and Down Under, a new combatant is set to enter the grocery market. Get informed and have a great weekend.




Friday, 23 June 2017





Hello, dear reader,

Hong Kong conglomerate AS Watsons attempts to acquire British health food chain Holland & Barrett and JD.com has bought a stake in fashion marketplace Farfetch. Over in the US, Sears keeps on struggling and Down Under, a new combatant is set to enter the grocery market. Get informed and have a great weekend.




Asia and Australia


Alibaba active on all fronts ▪ The Chinese e-commerce giant explores bringing US food products to China and announced partnerships with US berry distributor Driscoll and a Thai seafood producer. Its logistics arm Cainiao, has teamed up with the country’s largest insurer to create a $1.24 billion fund to improve parcel delivery.



All in a day’s work ▪ Amazon Japan seeks to improve same-day delivery in the country, looking to build a team of 10,000 independent couriers in the Tokyo region to help deliver the estimated 300 million packages shipped throughout Japan each year.



Competition rumbles on ▪ Aldi Australia has accumulated a A$ 2 billion property portfolio, putting the discount chain on par with its major competitors in the country. Meanwhile, department store David Jones joins the crowded grocery sector in the country by unveiling its A$ 100m food strategy.




Europe


Buying spree from Asia ▪ Retail giant AS Watson Group has its eyes on UK health food chain Holland and Barrett as it plots a GBP 1 billion-plus takeover. Nothing has been decided yet, but the two might be an interesting fit. The same goes for Chinese e-commerce major JD.com, which has purchased a US$ 397 million stake in British online fashion marketplace Farfetch.



Eastern struggles ▪ French cooperative Intermarché, which is having some problems increasing its presence in Poland, will open a store in the capital, Warsaw. The retailer aims to open 500 new stores, but LZ Retailytics reckons that this is unrealistic. Over in Croatia, indebted retailer Agrokor plans to close down between 80 and 100 shops and lay off workers.


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Metro invests ▪ The German retailer has announced it will spend EUR 100 million in the Moscow region. In a bid to transform the hospitality sector through investments in digital solution providers, Metro has also entered into a partnership with Danish technology company Planday.




USA & Canada


Sears seeks reinvention ▪ In addition to the 245 closings in the US, the troubled department store company is closing more stores. This was announced at the same time as Sears Canada, which was spun off from the holding in 2012, plans to shut 59 stores and eliminate 2,900 jobs. Over in Texas, the retailer has premiered with a new store concept.



Enticing consumers ▪Feed the Human Spirit ” is the new mission of US supermarket operator Kroger, explained by its CEO. Drug chain Walgreens bets on "frictionless retailing", according to their group VP. Meanwhile, department stores Saks and Urban Outfitters lure health-conscious consumers with yoga and meditation classes into their stores.




Future prospects


AI for furniture ▪ Ever wondered what products will look like in your home before purchasing? Ikea and Apple are changing the retail game and have announced they are teaming up to create an augmented reality based shopping app that allows that daydream to become a (virtual) reality.



Convenient and entertaining ▪ The future of shopping will be a mix of consumption and entertainment, including interactive shopping, robot-supported self-service and security plus inventory transparency. This is according to magazine Forbes.