E-commerce investments have paid off for Walmart. The company's second quarter results show that retail can thrive. It's British unit Asda also has reason to rejoice. On the other side of the world, Alibaba enjoyed a blockbuster quarter with skyrocketing operating profits. Enjoy the read and have a relaxing weekend.




Friday, 18 August 2017





Hello, dear reader,

E-commerce investments have paid off for Walmart. The company's second quarter results show that retail can thrive. It's British unit Asda also has reason to rejoice. On the other side of the world, Alibaba enjoyed a blockbuster quarter with skyrocketing operating profits. Enjoy the read and have a relaxing weekend.




Asia


Closing the gap ▪ Alibaba reported yet another winning set of quarterly financials. Revenue was up 56% to US$ 7.4 billion, making the company almost as valuable as Amazon. At the same time, China's top online player was warned by the government to crack down on the sale of illegal private networks.



Ambitious investments ▪ Continuing its push into Southeast Asia, Alibaba is the lead investor in a US$ 1.1 billion funding round for Indonesian e-commerce firm Tokopedia. Together with other influential tech companies, the Chinese e-commerce giant has agreed to invest nearly US$ 12 billion into state-run mobile operator China Unicom.



Turnaround plans ▪ Seven & i will step up efforts to overhaul its supermarket unit Ito-Yokado. The Japanese retail giant plans a series of reforms, focusing on the subsidiary's clothing business. This comes as its flagship convenience store business competes in a challenging environment.




USA & Canada


On the front foot ▪ Walmart posted solid results for Q2, helped by surging online sales and an increase in store traffic. Total revenue rose 2.3% to US$ 123.36 billion. Here is what the analysts say. Clothing retailer Gap has also enjoyed a promising second quarter and raised its forecast.



Solar initiative ▪ Home Depot has found a new use for its store roofs. America's largest home improvement retailer is partnering with GE's Current unit and Tesla on a rooftop solar project in 50 stores. The initiative will reduce electricity grid demand by an estimated 30% to 35% annually.


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Grape deal ▪ California-based wine maker E & J Gallo has announced the acquisition of luxury brandy producer Germain-Robin for an undisclosed price. Established in 1982, the latter makes brandies from premium wine grapes and gained increasing attention during the 1990s.




Europe


Bitten by bad weather ▪ Summer has been a DIY disaster for the UK’s home improvement chains. Kingfisher, the parent company of B&Q and Screwfix, saw like-for-like sales decline 1.9% in Q2. Australian DIY chain Bunnings, whose parent company Wesfarmer acquired Homebase last year, also suffered a loss.



Asda on the mend ▪ The Walmart-owned chain, which has been struggling to cope with competition from Aldi and Lidl in the UK, has reported its first rise in sales for three years, thanks to a boost from Easter trading. A return to grocery price inflation is also likely to have helped.



Danish decisions ▪ After piloting its grocery click & collect service for some months, Dansk Supermarked is set to launch the concept in two Bilka hypermarkets. In a bid to grow its Swedish expansion, the group's banner Netto has appointed Anders Wennerberg as the new country director for Sweden.




Weekend reads


Ahold Delhaize one year on ▪ The first anniversary of the Dutch-Belgian retail giant's jumbo merger is a perfect opportunity for CEO Dick Boer to give an update on the progress. He talks to German Retail Blog about the integration process and the challenging future.



Reports from Russia ▪ This week, LZ Retailytics has taken its readers to the retail landscape of Russia, exploring the different banners which will shape the industry. It included a visit to the country's first hard discounter, the DA! banner created by Okey Group, in Moscow, where the analysts assessed the sales concept.