Its focus on fresh food is expected to turbocharge Aldi's growth Down Under. Britain's Asda is accused of bullying suppliers and is determined to speed up its cost-cutting measures. Across the Atlantic, Hudson's Bay faces challenges from an activist investor and Amazon has a new retail partner. Enjoy the read!




Thursday, 07 September 2017





Hello dear reader,

Its focus on fresh food is expected to turbocharge Aldi's growth Down Under. Britain's Asda is accused of bullying suppliers and is determined to speed up its cost-cutting measures. Across the Atlantic, Hudson's Bay faces challenges from an activist investor and Amazon has a new retail partner. Enjoy the read!




Europe


Asda under pressure ▪ The British grocer has been forced to repay dozens of suppliers after breaching the fair dealing code. But there will be no official inquiry. Being in the midst of a turnaround plan, the Walmart-owned company has cut nearly 300 jobs at its head office. A further 800 employees will get their job descriptions changed.



Cosmetic encounters ▪ Online health and beauty retailer The Hut Group is set to take over luxury skin care brand Espa for more than GBP 100 million, less than a month after it acquired cosmetics businesses RY and Glossybox. Fellow retailer Asos also bets on beauty with the launch of its own brand label called Make-up.



Innovative concepts ▪ In a bid to become more 'homely' as in simple and comfortable, Tesco recently unveiled a newly designed hypermarket store in Wales. Over in Poland, Netto has refurbished its stores to its latest international concept with wider aisles and a huge fruit & vegetable department.




USA & Canada & Mexico


More Amazon partners ▪ Kohl's is the latest retailer to team up with Amazon. The department store operator plans to add a 'smart home experience' in select locations. Meanwhile, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant will build its first fulfilment centre in Staten Island, New York. The warehouse will generate 2,250 new positions.



Disappointing results ▪ Canadian retail group Hudson’s Bay reported a US$ 201 million loss on sales of US$ 3.3 billion for its second quarter. Activist investor Land and Buildings is set to call a special meeting to remove directors if the company failed to address its underperformance.



Trade deals ▪ Mexico's government has signed an agreement with Alibaba to get Mexican products and services on to the Chinese e-commerce platform. The deal comes as Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wraps up a trip to China to discuss trade and investment.




Australia & Africa


Game changer Aldi ▪ The decision to allocate more space to fresh food, called Aldi 2.0, is one of the most dramatic moves the German discounter has made in Australia according to Morgan Stanley. The researchers expect Aldi's market share to rise from 7.8% to 15% within the next years and its stores to double to 800 outlets.



Controlling Shoprite ▪ Billionaire Christo Wiese and Steinhoff International have become the controlling shareholders of the largest grocer in Africa, after a share-repurchase deal. Shareholders in Shoprite overwhelmingly approved a motion to buy back shares from ex-CEO Whitey Basson.




Weird and wonderful


Colouring chocolate ▪ Swiss company Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest cocoa processor, has come up with a crafted "ruby chocolate", the first new natural colour of chocolate since white chocolate debuted more than 80 years ago. It has a pinkish hue and a fruity flavour.



Veggie with a glorious past ▪ Love it or loathe it, celery was once as fashionable as today’s dry-aged rib eye steak. It was cooked with care and finesse and even served in the Titanic’s first-class cabin. Cultivated in 1800, the crudité has a colourful history.