German discounter Lidl expands its presence in China by adding another platform to sell its items. Sweden's H&M suffers a double-digit drop in earnings, while the survival of Britain's Palmer & Harvey is on a knife-edge and Ikea has entered the booming market for on-demand services with the acquisition of an online marketplace.




Friday, 29 September 2017





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German discounter Lidl expands its presence in China by adding another platform to sell its items. Sweden's H&M suffers a double-digit drop in earnings, while the survival of Britain's Palmer & Harvey is on a knife-edge and Ikea has entered the booming market for on-demand services with the acquisition of an online marketplace.




Asia


Extending Chinese presence ▪ Lidl has opened an online shop at JD.com, where it offers food, healthcare products as well as personal and beauty care. The company also plans to introduce a range of home-grown brands. A few months earlier, the German discounter has launched a webshop on Alibaba's Tmall.



More brick-and-mortar ▪ Blending online with offline, Alibaba announced a joint venture with New Huadu Supercentre, a grocer in Fujian province. Over the past years, the online e-commerce giant has bet big on physical stores - buying stakes in electronics chain Suning and supermarket Sanjiang. Alibaba also operates 13 Hema stores across the country.



Store launches ▪ Following a successful opening in Singapore in May, Apple is reportedly planning to introduce its first Thai store in Bangkok and also working on its retail debut in Macau and Seoul. Meanwhile, Disney is testing a new prototype in Shanghai, China and Nagoya, Japan as well as in the US and Europe.




Europe


Survival strategies ▪ In a bid to rescue Palmer & Harvey, tobacco firm Imperial Brands confirmed that it is working on a deal to ease the debt crisis at UK’s biggest cigarette distributor. Meanwhile, Swedish fashion chain H&M reports a 20% earnings drop in Q3, losing out to online retailers such as Asos, Zalandos as well as discounter Primark.



Smart cart ▪ German supermarket operator Edeka is piloting a shopping trolley, equipped with a digital screen and a scanning device with the aim to make it easier for customers to navigate through the store. However, suppliers might not agree with this smart idea as the shopper might miss their promotions.



Growing with drive ▪ Italian hypermarket operator Bennet has opened its fifth grocery pick-up station in the vicinity of Turin, where shoppers can order online and collect them free of charge. The concept is also called drive and competitors Coop Italia and Esselunga are expected to expand rapidly with it.




USA


Easy assembling ▪ Following a trial in London last year, Swedish flat-pack giant Ikea has bought US start-up TaskRabbit, which links freelance workers with jobs. Many of the 60,000 independent contractors on the platform are already familiar with assembling furniture.



Concessions offers ▪ To prevent further European Commission antitrust fines, Google will spin-off its shopping service and treat it the same way as rivals. The tech giant has also rolled out a number of changes to how it displays search results for products in Europe.



Minimizing taxes ▪ US retailers approve President Donald Trump's proposed tax reform which looks to cut the corporate tax rates to their lowest rate in decades. According to the National Retail Federation, which supports the proposal, high taxes suppress the wages of average US workers.




Insider Insight


Staying on top ▪ The story of Walmart e-commerce has had its ups and downs over the years — but lately, it's up, up, up. Marc Lore, the retail giant's online boss, shares the moves the company is making to compete with Amazon and Target. It's important to look at not just the technology but what it enables, he says.