American drugstore giant Walgreens finally won approval to go ahead with its billion-dollar merger. Alibaba rival JD.com spends a lot of money to support e-commerce in Thailand. Spanish retailers are eyeing Portugal to expand their store network, while online retailer Ocado, discounter Aldi and rival Lidl outperform their competitors in Britain.




Wednesday, 20 September 2017





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American drugstore giant Walgreens finally won approval to go ahead with its billion-dollar merger. Alibaba rival JD.com spends a lot of money to support e-commerce in Thailand. Spanish retailers are eyeing Portugal to expand their store network, while online retailer Ocado, discounter Aldi and rival Lidl outperform their competitors in Britain.




USA & Latin America


Hard-fought victory ▪ Following two years of failed attempts, Walgreens received regulatory clearance to buy 1,932 stores from Pennsylvania-based company Rite Aid for US$ 4.38 billion. That’s about 250 fewer stores than under a previous proposal, which totalled US$ 5.18 billion.



Smart moves ▪ Best Buy has outlined its next phase of growth in an investor meeting. One of the goals is to expand its smart home initiative. Meanwhile, Walmart is changing the way it stocks merchandise in its small-format stores by using technology to make the inventory management process easier.



Mexican stock offer ▪ Mexico's Femsa has announced it has reduced its shareholding in Heineken by selling stock worth EUR 2.5 billion. The surprise offer comes after Latin America's biggest independent Coca-Cola bottler and the Dutch brewer had a falling out over distribution rights in Brazil.




Europe


Portuguese expansion ▪ Spanish retailer Mercadona has opened an innovation centre in Portugal in preparation for its entry into the country. The company is not the only retailer to develop a presence in the neighbouring market. LZ Retailytics takes a closer look at grocery operators in Spain making cross-border plans.



Beefing up ▪ Meal kit provider HelloFresh announced it will add 100 IT and tech positions in its Berlin and New York offices. The hiring spree stands in contrast to the freeze recently implemented by US competitor Blue Apron and could be a sign of the company's preparation for a public offering.



Strong growth ▪ With a whopping 14.3% jump in total revenue in the third quarter, British online grocer Ocado is well ahead of the industry. Also outpacing their rivals in the UK are Aldi and Lidl. Two-thirds of Britons now shop at the German discounters as inflation hits consumer spending.




Asia


Lucrative investment ▪ Chinese online major JD.com is set to spend US$ 500 million to support the creation of e-commerce businesses in Thailand. Thanks to rising internet access, the economy in the Southeast Asia region is forecast to grow to $200 billion by 2025.



Great expectations ▪ Don Quijote is confident that its operating profit will be considerably higher than the current target, as the company rolls out mega-stores to drive sales and keep costs low. The Japanese discount store operator's planned tie-up with supermarket operator Uny will provide additional momentum.



Indian initiative ▪ Mumbai-based conglomerate Tata Group is venturing into online grocery business under Starquik brand, taking on competitors Amazon and Bigbasket. A pilot will be rolled out as an online channel for Trent Hypermarket, an equal joint venture between Tata and British retailer Tesco.




What to watch


Toy struggles ▪ A combination of high debt and severe structural changes in the industry created a toxic mix against Toys "R" Us. The speed of the collapse took investors by surprise. The toy retailer's filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean game over. Here is what the analysts say.



Embracing mobile ▪ British fashion retailers work hard to make their mobile user experience better, says a benchmark report by Ampersand. Burberry, Oasis, Warehouse and House of Fraser are the top-rated as multichannel retailers, while Dunnes Stores and Nespresso are at the bottom.