German discount giant Aldi seems to be on a spending frenzy – this time making its biggest ever investment, a EUR 5 billion revamp of stores worldwide. On the other side of the coin, convenience chain 7-Eleven is calling it a day in Indonesia, although they haven’t completely given up. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 03 July 2017





Greetings!

German discount giant Aldi seems to be on a spending frenzy – this time making its biggest ever investment, a EUR 5 billion revamp of stores worldwide. On the other side of the coin, convenience chain 7-Eleven is calling it a day in Indonesia, although they haven’t completely given up. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Europe


Spending spree ▪ The Northern unit of the Aldi empire is upping the stakes again, with plans to spend more than EUR 5 billion overhauling stores around the world. This comes a month after Aldi Süd announced a multi-billion dollar plan to expand its US store base. Aldi North has nearly 5,000 stores across Europe.



Acquisitions get results ▪ UK grocer Sainsbury’s is expected to report a sales recovery this quarter, helped along by a strong performance from recently acquired Argos. Meanwhile, fellow ‘big four’ Tesco wants the competition watchdog to fast-track its review into its planned takeover of food wholesaler Booker as it is impatient to begin ‘examining the merger’.



Digital plays ▪ Danish supermarket giant Dansk Supermarked says it has doubled its product range on its online retail platform. German drugstore dm is testing a free click & collect service, with LZ Retailytics noting the motivation could be arch rival Rossman introducing its own version earlier this year.




Australasia


Shutting shop ▪ After eight years in Indonesia, all 7-Eleven stores in the country have closed due to ‘limited resources’. But franchise owner, PT Modern Internasional, is not calling it a day yet, saying they want to find someone to take on the franchise and restart the business.



IPO frenzy ▪ Experts are predicting a rash of new technology IPOs in the coming year, especially by companies backed by Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent. As a case in point, online-only insurer ZhongAn, which counts the two tech behemoths among its investors, has filed for an IPO worth up to US$ 1.5 billion.



Holding on tight ▪ Meanwhile, Alibaba continues to do everything it can to keep Amazon out of the lucrative Chinese market. It plans to introduce a voice-controlled device to rival Amazon’s Echo, to support its e-commerce sites and further squeeze out its competitor.



Fresh thinking ▪ New Zealand’s biggest supermarket co-operative, Foodstuffs North Island, plans to launch a new, smaller format chain in the country’s biggest city. Fresh Collective will launch in Auckland with a focus on fresh produce.




USA


Feeling the pinch ▪ Sporting retailers are feeling the squeeze with Nike’s pilot programme to sell directly through Amazon. Understandably fund managers say Amazon’s cross-category domination has forced a change in investment strategies including greater focus on stocks the e-commerce giant can’t conquer.



Technology upgrades ▪ American grocer Albertsons is gearing up for battle (paywall) with plans to overhaul its e-commerce systems, spanning its 2,300 outlets. Meanwhile, regional supermarket operator Schnucks is jumping on the same-day delivery bandwagon, teaming up with Instacart.



Tumbling down ▪ There have been widespread reports that an embattled Sears Holdings is unable to keep its Sears and Kmart stores from falling into disrepair with claims of rat infestations, collapsing shelves and unworkable toilets.




Ones to watch


Winning over new segments ▪ Big brands are paying greater attention to the growing Muslim consumer market, but face stiff competition from smaller, agile start-ups which have a better understanding of the segment.



Going offshore ▪ Rising energy costs and a heavy reliance on supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles is forcing Australia’s AUD $126 billion food and grocery sector to increasingly look offshore. The Australian Food and Grocery Council is keen to see more entrants into the domestic market to give producers viable alternatives.