Devastating hurricane Harvey is expected to cost Texan retailers billions in the sales, however, home improvement retailers might see some financial benefit. Celebrating its takeover of Whole Foods, Amazon started an aggressive price strategy, but can the online giant really compete with rival Walmart? Check out what the experts think.




Tuesday, 29 August 2017





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Devastating hurricane Harvey is expected to cost Texan retailers billions in the sales, however, home improvement retailers might see some financial benefit. Celebrating its takeover of Whole Foods, Amazon started an aggressive price strategy, but can the online giant really compete with rival Walmart? Check out what the experts think.




USA & Canada


Facing the flood ▪ Hundreds of food stores remained closed across Texas yesterday as the area dealt with Hurricane Harvey. So far it is estimated to have cost retailers more than US$ 1 billion in lost sales. However, shares of Home Depot and Lowe's climbed as these companies are likely to benefit from rebuilding efforts.



Considering options ▪ Following pressure from an activist investor, Canadian retail group Hudson's Bay is planning to review all available options, from the sale of retail assets and real estate to going private. In the US, fragrance discounter Perfumania has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to close stores as it focuses more on selling online.



Target streamlines ▪ The US discount retailer is attempting to simplify its mobile app strategy by merging its popular Cartwheel savings app into the main Target app, before eventually closing Cartwheel for good. The change is notable because Cartwheel is actually Target’s more popular application.




Europe & Middle East


Aldi poaches Lidl man ▪ The German discounter has appointed Finn Tang as new Managing Director for its Danish operations. He joins from arch rival Lidl. The move is seen as an expression of Aldi Nord's fundamental strategy change - 95% of its top management usually came from inside the company - and a declaration of war to Lidl.



Hypermarket worries ▪ Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés posted positive 2016 sales growth overall with mixed performances at banner level. Turnover at its hypermarket Hipercor plunged 5.7%. Although there are measures implemented to improve the performance, LZ Retailytics does not anticipate positive sales growth for the banner before 2019.


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Growth alliance ▪ In partnership with Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim, US teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch will open its first store in Saudi Arabia, at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah. The franchise agreement between the two companies will see the brands eventually expanding into Oman and Bahrain.




Asia & Australia


Delivery partnerships ▪ Japanese automaker Toyota will develop fuel cell trucks exclusively for convenience store powerhouse Seven-Eleven Japan. Over in Australia, supermarket major Coles has quietly started a home delivery trial with the taxi service Uber, as it ramps up its online offerings.



Initiatives in India ▪ Amazon has shown interest in picking up a minority stake in Indian e-grocer Grofers after the internet behemoth's talks with Bigbasket failed to culminate in a deal. In a bid to build volumes and help bring down prices, Ikea will use India as a hub for making sofas and furniture for its global stores.




Insider Insights


Dealing with Amazon ▪ Its effort to revolutionise the US retail grocery business got under way with deep price cuts, but can Amazon really expect to compete with its top rival Walmart when it comes to affordable groceries? Meanwhile, experts claim that wholesaler Costco isn't paying enough attention to the online behemoth.



Walmart's efforts ▪ The world's biggest retailer is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to take on Amazon in the battle for retail market share. The recently announced shopping partnership with Google being one of its latest moves. However, experts doubt that it will have much impact on the industry.