Price wars continue to intensify in America’s competitive retail environment, but it isn’t helping bottom lines. E-commerce giants are getting ready for India’s biggest holiday and the lucrative spending that comes with it, while in Europe retailers continue to upgrade their brick and mortar spaces. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 11 September 2017





Greetings!

Price wars continue to intensify in America’s competitive retail environment, but it isn’t helping bottom lines. E-commerce giants are getting ready for India’s biggest holiday and the lucrative spending that comes with it, while in Europe retailers continue to upgrade their brick and mortar spaces. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




USA


Price wars ▪ Target has slashed prices on thousands of items, as part of its promise to compete with rivals like Walmart and Amazon. The move sent its stocks down further, which have already been pressured by Kroger’s disappointing results after the race to the bottom took its toll on the retailer.



Free the fees ▪ Postmates has made a major play in the online delivery space by axing delivery fees for orders over US$ 20, joining the ranks of companies taking a crack at Amazon. Walmart is rolling out its money transfer service in another 23 states, celebrating by waiving fees on domestic transfers for September.



Down but not out ▪ Struggling retailers RadioShack and Gymboree have had rare wins in their ongoing financial battles, with their bankruptcy plans cleared. RadioShack will shift focus to online and independent dealers, while Gymboree will implement a recapitalization programme to eliminate US$ 1 billion in debt.




Europe


Store strategies ▪ German retailer Metro is investing heavily in refurbishments for its hypermarket brand Real, with its new Food Lover concept featuring profoundly. But LZ Retailytics says the true key to success will be staff. Carrefour is deeming its snacking concept Bon App! a success, with plans to roll the format out in France two years after piloting it.



Amazon’s R&D plans ▪ The e-commerce heavyweight is betting on machine learning, with plans to open a new R&D hub in Barcelona. The facility will be housed in the same building as its Seller Support Hub, designed to help online companies from Southern Europe break into Amazon.


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Shoes to fill ▪ Sainsbury’s long-serving chairman, David Tyler, will step down next year. The UK’s second largest grocer is working with headhunters to find suitable replacements. Dutch food group Ahold Delhaize is planning a raft of leadership changes including the departure of supermarket CEO Denis Knoops, effective today.




Asia & Australia


Festive fights ▪ Diwali is kicking off early this year as online giants Amazon and Flipkart look to get a jump on the holiday. The fierce rivals have upped the verbal swordplay as they fight to corner the lucrative market. Meanwhile, commentators say a pre-Christmas launch of Amazon in Australia is on the cards.



First time for everything ▪ Vietnamese grocer Saigon Co.op is launching a TV reality show to find and train the next generation of entrepreneurs. New Zealand discount grocer Pak ‘n Save – known for its large store format – is getting into convenience mode, with plans to launch its first mini market.



Thailand moves ▪ South Korean retail giant E-Mart is taking action following its decision to pull out of the Chinese market. The company is reportedly in talks to sell its five stores in the country to a Thai conglomerate. UK grocer Tesco is entering into a joint venture to develop property in the Thai market.




What to watch


Big opportunity ▪ Africa’s food market is likely to be worth more than US$ 1 trillion by 2030, as business wakes up to the increasing opportunity in the world’s second largest continent. The power of entrepreneurs and the free market is driving Africa’s economic growth from food production.



Crazy for cocoa ▪ A generation of young chocoholics is behind China’s booming chocolate market – expected to grow by US$ 6.2 billion in the next three years. Demand in the world’s most populous country has confectionary manufacturers licking their lips.