The American drugstore industry woke up to the surprising news that Walgreens backed out of buying Rite Aid. A pricing study reveals that Lidl's US arrival represents an incremental price threat. Carrefour is finally going public in Brazil and increases its presence in the Middle East. Get informed and enjoy the read.




Friday, 30 June 2017





Hello, dear reader,

The American drugstore industry woke up to the surprising news that Walgreens backed out of buying Rite Aid. A pricing study reveals that Lidl's US arrival represents an incremental price threat. Carrefour is finally going public in Brazil and increases its presence in the Middle East. Get informed and enjoy the read.




USA & Canada


Drug store deal cancelled ▪ Walgreens Boots Alliance is scrapping its nearly US$ 10 billion deal to acquire all of rival Rite Aid due to concerns by antitrust regulators. Instead, the former agreed to buy 2,186 Rite Aid stores for US$ 5.2 billion. Insiders identified five core points from the blockbuster agreement.



Lidl tackles top rivals ▪ Prices at Lidl’s US stores during its opening week were running between up to 10% cheaper than at Walmart stores and 15% lower than Kroger stores but at parity with arch rival Aldi, a study by Deutsche Bank showed. The industry is watching closely how shoppers will respond and gears up for the battle.



Investing in winning formulas ▪ Sobeys, Canada's second largest supermarket chain, wants to become a 'strong participant in e-commerce' after the company posted weak Q4 results. Over in the US, Michigan-based retailer Meijer plans to roll out its successful small-format urban store to more cities.




Europe


Overseas expansions ▪ Rapidly growing in its home country, French fresh produce specialist Grand Frais is now preparing to enter Italy, its second foreign market after neighbouring Belgium. Meanwhile, Australian DIY chain Bunnings doubles its efforts to expand in Britain and is set to open 20 stores instead of 10, creating 1,000 jobs.



Edeka supports start-ups ▪ The German supermarket leader has launched an internet platform to seamlessly connect its independent shopkeepers with start-up supplier companies. LZ Retailytics argues it could help newcomers reduce bureaucratic hurdles, but also has some concerns.


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Public listings ahead ▪ The Brazilian unit of French retailer Carrefour has finally filed its IPO in Sao Paolo, which could see the group raise up to US$ 1.7 billion. Unlike US counterpart Blue Apron, Germany's start-up Delivery Hero priced its market listing at the top of the range, hoping to pick up US$ 1.13 billion.




Asia & Middle East


Don Quijote buys in Hawaii ▪ Quinn Stores, parent company of Hawaiian supermarket chain Times, has announced that it has sold all 24 Hawaii-based supermarkets to Japanese retail group Don Quijote, which operates 354 discount retail and convenience stores internationally.



Carrefour grows in the Emirates ▪ Majid Al Futtaim, the Dubai-based operator of French retailer Carrefour, has acquired 26 Géant hypermarket stores and 4 Gulfmart supermarkets in the Middle East from BMA International. The value of the deal was not disclosed. All 30 stores will be rebranded under the Carrefour banner.




What to watch


Preparations for Prime Day ▪ Amazon has announced its third annual Prime Day on July 11th, the online giant's answer to Black Friday. Several thousands of deals will be available exclusively for international members. For the first time, the offer is extended to China, India and Japan.



The cost of food stamp cuts ▪ Proposed cuts in food stamp benefits could cost the retail industry, with supermarkets and discounters taking the biggest hit. Consulting firm AlixPartners estimates that retail is about to lose US$ 70.7 billion, if the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme will be abandoned.