Amazon’s much anticipated move into Southeast Asia went off with a bang, wielding its trump card. The world’s largest retailer rarely shies away from spending, but its latest results have its normally confident investors nervous. Patriotic Walmart is looking overseas for products, while Starbucks has closed the biggest deal in its history. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Friday, 28 July 2017





Greetings!

Amazon’s much anticipated move into Southeast Asia went off with a bang, wielding its trump card. The world’s largest retailer rarely shies away from spending, but its latest results have its normally confident investors nervous. Patriotic Walmart is looking overseas for products, while Starbucks has closed the biggest deal in its history. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Asia


New territories ▪ Amazon has burst onto the scene in Southeast Asia, with the launch of Amazon Prime in Singapore. The move is seen as the start of aggressive expansion in the region, and will likely spark fierce competition with rival Alibaba. Home goods retailer Williams-Sonoma has made its debut in South Korea with the opening of its first Pottery Barn store.



Sweet deals ▪ Starbucks has closed its biggest deal ever, with the USD 1.3 billion purchase of its joint venture partner in East China. The coffee-maker will buy the remaining 50% of Uni-President and President Chain Store. Snack giant Mondelez in India has announced a joint partnership with Amazon to open a virtual sweet store locally.



Belle International delists ▪ The leading Chinese footwear retailer has called time on its listing to make way for a digital revamp, following the approval of a HKD 45.3 billion offer to privatize the company. Investors hope to revive the ailing company, which has been hit hard by e-commerce.




USA


Not made in America ▪ Walmart is taking a step back from its American-made pledge, inviting a number of overseas vendors to list on its website as it looks to keep pace with online challengers. Taking its business offshore is not just a financial necessity, but expands its selection to meet customer demands.



Amazon’s forecast blow ▪ The e-commerce giant’s Q2 results show a steep jump in expenses and muted profit outlook as it prepares for stepped up competition from big-box rival Wal-Mart and other online parties. The news shook its normally confident investor base, and shares fell following the news.



Private matters ▪ Family members looking to take iconic department store Nordstrom private are reportedly offering preferential terms to potential equity partners. The family hope investment in initiatives such as e-commerce, closing underperforming stores and expanding its discount chain will be easier as a private company.



Warehouses galore ▪ German discounter Aldi is buying up land in Arizona for a new fullfillment centre. The facility is positioned to support the chain’s aspriations to become the third-largest American food retailer by store count. Amazon plans to open its second Michigan-based fulfillment centre, which will be streamlined by robotics technology.




Europe


European HY results ▪ Dairy giant Danone has reported marginal sales growth of 0.4%, in a period of “intense construction”. Finnish retailer Kesko reported a significant sales surge – up 17% to EUR 5.41 billion – due to acquisitions completed during 2016. The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, saw a surge in cost savings thanks to last year’s takeover of rival SABMiller.



Brews, booze and bbqs ▪ UK grocer Morrisons is capitalising on barbecue season, introducing weekly localised forecasts for the summer. LZ Retailytics says it is a simple but effective measure to change shopper behaviour and drive satisfaction and loyalty. Aldi’s GBP 10 gin has been judged one of the best in the word, beating out a number of premium rivals.



Lavazza eyes growth ▪ The Italian coffee company wants to reach turnover of EUR 2.2 billion by 2020 and has its eyes on further acquisitions, says CEO Antonio Baravalle. The company will open its first flagship store in Milan, where customers can enjoy a 360 degree Lavazza experience.




Insider insights


New Zealand next for Amazon? ▪ Local brokerage firm Forsyth Barr has tipped the online retailer to expand into the country after it is established in Australia, saying it is the “logical extension to Amazon’s investment in the region”.



Hershey ramps up ▪ The confectionary king shared its plans to dial up e-commerce efforts to better accommodate its online shoppers. One business commentator says the comments highlight the fact that it’s not just brick-and-mortar shops scrambling to adjust to the rise of online shopping.