Amazon's operations are shaping up Down Under, and Lidl reveals bold growth plans for Ireland. In the US, Walmart is reacting to the German retailer's entry and Norway appears to be Europe's discount-densest country. Get inspired with our weekend reads and feel free to share.




Friday, 04 August 2017





Hello, dear reader

Amazon's operations are shaping up Down Under, and Lidl reveals bold growth plans for Ireland. In the US, Walmart is reacting to the German retailer's entry and Norway appears to be Europe's discount-densest country. Get inspired with our weekend reads and feel free to share.




Asia & Australia


The invasion begins ▪ Amazon has appointed one of its German directors, Rocco Braeuniger, as country manager for Australia, as the e-commerce giant prepares to roll out a full retail offering locally. The company also unveiled the location of its first warehouse on the continent, an industrial area outside Melbourne.



Alibaba and its allies ▪ Kering, the French parent company of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurant and Puma, has dropped a lawsuit against the Chinese online giant and will instead cooperate in the fight against fake goods. To strengthen its grocery business, Alibaba's Tmall will invest an additional US$ 300 million in online food vendor Yiguo.




Europe


Ambitious expansion plans ▪ Lidl is set to increase its store network in Ireland to as many as 200 outlets, which would involve an investment of EUR 300 million. As of today, the German discounter operates 152 shops in the country. In Finland, Kesko plans to open the first 15 stores of its new health retail chain this autumn.



Carrefour pushes online ▪ The French powerhouse is one of the first retailers in Poland to introducing click & collect service points for online purchases in its smaller, franchised stores. In other news, it was revealed that Carrefour Turkey has taken over (paywall) 12 stores from Migros and 8 from Kipa.


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Greek partner wanted ▪ Netherlands-based Spar International is looking to re-establish its brand in Greece after its local partner Veropoulos sold its business last year. The country is important for the retailer, particularly as Spar is establishing a foothold in the neighbouring countries of Albania and soon, Cyprus.




USA & Canada


From the footwear front ▪ Montreal-based retailer Aldo Group is about to create a footwear powerhouse by acquiring this business from Connecticut-based Camuto Group. Both companies are family owned. Meanwhile, shoe manufacturer Timberland has opened a concept store that will be completely transformed every six weeks.



Workforce alignment ▪ Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond plans to "realign" its store management structure, which will result in the reduction of about 880 department and assistant store manager positions. The changes are estimated to generate future annual pre-tax cost savings of approximately US$ 16 million.



Billion-dollar pharma deal ▪ Healthcare company PharMerica has agreed to be acquired by a newly formed company controlled by buyout firm KKR for US$ 1.4 billion. Drugstore chain operator Walgreens Boots Alliance will be a minority investor in the company. The deal is expected to close early next year.




Weekend reads


Discount prevails in Norway ▪ The Scandinavian country is dominated by discounters. They will continue to outgrow other grocery formats. Big retailers such as Norgesgruppen, Coop Norge and Raitangruppen are all focusing on expanding their discount banners. LZ Retailytics takes a closer look at the Norwegian retail scene.



Walmart stands to win ▪ The US retail heavyweight is defending its grounds against the aggressive expansion of discounters Lidl and Aldi, according to an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co, who emphasises Walmart's quick reaction with price adjustments as well as its efforts in e-commerce in an increasingly competitive environment.