Streamlining operations and improving delivery options are dominating today's headlines. Canada's Loblaw reduces its workforce, Russia's X 5 aims to get rid of its convenience banner and Germany's Rewe invests in e-commerce to stay on top. Meanwhile, Amazon, Carrefour and Giant Eagle are busily working on their delivery platforms.




Tuesday, 17 October 2017





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Streamlining operations and improving delivery options are dominating today's headlines. Canada's Loblaw reduces its workforce, Russia's X 5 aims to get rid of its convenience banner and Germany's Rewe invests in e-commerce to stay on top. Meanwhile, Amazon, Carrefour and Giant Eagle are busily working on their delivery platforms.




Europe


Focus on key banners ▪ X5 Retail Group will put all of its Moscow-based Perekrestok Express convenience stores up for sale as the Russian leader sees its main growth opportunities in proximity stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets. The group has just opened its first Karusel outlet (paywall) with a new foodservice-centric concept.



Delivery debut ▪ Carrefour has introduced 'Merci Voisin' (Thanks, neighbour) in France. It is a delivery platform, which allows customers to have their online orders delivered by other shoppers. The retailer has also named former Fnac Darty manager Matthieu Malige as its new CFO, effective immediately.



Lidl gears up ▪ The discount giant is creating 500 new jobs in Britain when it will open its largest distribution centre in Peterborough, central England. It is part of its GBP 1.45 billion investment in the country over the next two years. The new site is the retailer's 15th warehouse in the UK.



Increasing investment ▪ Germany’s Rewe Group wants to accelerate its efforts to modernise its store network and logistics as well as spending more on digitisation and training. The Cologne-based retailer will ramp up its investments to more than EUR 2 billion in 2018, says CEO Lionel Souque.




USA & Canada


Cost-cutting drives ▪ Loblaw is laying off 500 of its office workers but expects to create more jobs this year. The Canadian retailer is making major investments in omnichannel, financial services and other growing areas. Last week, fellow retailer Sobeys announced it would cut executive positions.



The last mile ▪ Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle debuts with home delivery in central Ohio and partners with Deliv to expand its click-and-collect service. Meanwhile, Amazon is working on a 'smart doorbell service' as well as on a solution for direct-to-trunk delivery in collaboration with plate maker Phrame.



Privatisation on hold ▪ US department store chain Nordstrom has abandoned plans to take itself private this year, because of difficulties in arranging debt financing. The iconic company wants to restart the process of going private after the holiday season. Shares have dropped as a result.




Asia & Australasia


Looking beyond homes ▪ While Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri are fighting for dominance in the household market for voice-activated assistants, its Chinese competitor Alibaba wants to grow the footprint of its smart speakers in sectors such as retail, hotel and air travel industries.



Considering options ▪ New Zealand-based T&G Global is mulling over a potential sale of its Enzafoods unit as it wants to focus on growing, sourcing and marketing fresh produce. Staying in the island state, meat-packing giant Hilton Food is set to invest EUR 33 million in a processing factory in Auckland.




What to watch


More drone trials ▪ Alphabet’s X unit is testing its Project Wing drones in southeastern Australia, where the flying machines are making deliveries right to people’s yards. Google is working with Guzman y Gomez to deliver Mexican food and pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse.



No more fakes ▪ Online giant Ebay introduced a new service to protect its shoppers from getting stuck with counterfeit designer handbags. The programme uses third-party industry experts to authenticate the luxury items valued at US$ 500 or more and exploit any fake merchandise.