Sweden's Axfood starts an online pharmacy and Britain's Hut Group acquires from Rocket Internet in Germany. Across the Atlantic, Amazon steps up the delivery game by offering pickups within 2 minutes, while Target expands this very service. Over in China, some innovative store concepts caught our attention. Enjoy the read!




Wednesday, 16 August 2017





Hello dear reader,

Sweden's Axfood starts an online pharmacy and Britain's Hut Group acquires from Rocket Internet in Germany. Across the Atlantic, Amazon steps up the delivery game by offering pickups within 2 minutes, while Target expands this very service. Over in China, some innovative store concepts caught our attention. Enjoy the read!




USA & Canada


Competing for the 'last mile' ▪ Amazon is rolling out pickup points across the US where shoppers can retrieve items immediately after ordering them, shortening delivery times to minutes. Meanwhile, Target is pushing its next-day delivery service, Target Restock. This comes only a day after the retailer announced the acquisition of tech firm Grand Junction.



Money talks ▪ Apple announced plans to sell US$ 2.5 billion in bonds in Canada, with the proceeds going to “general corporate purchases” and Amazon is offering up US$ 16 billion in bonds to finance its acquisition of Whole Foods and Meanwhile, retailer Home Depot reported a net income of US$ 2.67 billion in Q2.



Metro thinks ahead ▪ Ontario’s third-largest grocery chain will accelerate its study of automation as it looks to cut costs to offset the provincial government’s plan to raise the minimum wage next year. The grocer is also looking to benefit from the lucrative prepared foods market through the recent acquisition of start-up Miss Fresh.




Europe


Online move ▪ Swedish retailer Axfood has launched a new online pharmacy service through a jointly-owned e-commerce company called Hubia. The business idea is to offer a wide assortment of pharmacy items at low prices, with fast and reliable deliveries as well as innovative add-on services.



Acquisition agreements ▪ British e-commerce company The Hut Group has acquired Berlin-based cosmetics delivery service Glossybox from Rocket Internet. Over in the US, Mars Food has purchased Preferred Brands International, a US-based manufacturer of Indian and Asian food products.


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Growing with losses ▪ Berlin-based meal box delivery service HelloFresh reached a turnover of EUR 435 million in the first half of 2017, up 49%, but profit did not reflect this growth. Due to expansion into new markets, which requires a lot of spending, the company suffered a EUR 56.7 million net loss.




Asia


Alipay eyes Japan ▪ China's e-commerce leader Alibaba will bring a version of its smartphone-based payment platform to Japan, hoping the simple technology will convince many cash-reliant shoppers to go digital. The Japanese unit of Ant Financial aims to offer an Alipay version under a new brand.



Inspiring concepts ▪ Alibaba's approach to combine online and offline retailing can be experienced in most recently opened Hema stores. Check it out on Youtube. Meanwhile, Korea-based luxury eyewear brand Gentle Monster China has opened a store in Chengdu, which leads customers into a post-apocalyptic world. Have a look.




Food Trends


Bug burgers and insect balls ▪ Swiss supermarket Coop will start selling insect-based food for humans in a push for sustainable agriculture. The products are made of protein-rich meal worm produced by start-up Essento. Food security authorities have voiced support for this kind of food.



Antipasto with ants ▪ Alternative ingredient ideas are also welcomed in New Zealand: At Wellington's The Larder restaurant, the award-winning chef cooked up a fine dining degustation menu featuring as many pests as he could find and legally use. His aim was to raise awareness for the country's endangered birds.