China's internet giants are determined to succeed on the world stage and in Silicon Valley emerges the weird feeling that the golden age of start-ups is over. Thought-provoking, isn't it? While Walmart is about to finalise a deal with a department store operator to create an online mall, the Canadian department store operator HBC is in crisis mode. Enjoy the read and have a great start to the week ahead.




Monday, 23 October 2017





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China's internet giants are determined to succeed on the world stage and in Silicon Valley emerges the weird feeling that the golden age of start-ups is over. Thought-provoking, isn't it? While Walmart is about to finalise a deal with a department store operator to create an online mall, the Canadian department store operator HBC is in crisis mode. Enjoy the read and have a great start to the week ahead.




Americas


Shakeup at HBC ▪ The department store operator Hudson’s Bay Company is looking for a new CEO: Jerry Storch will leave the struggling retailer come November. Executive Chairman of HBC, Richard Baker, is filling the gap for now. Baker stressed that the company will stick to its investment strategy in Europe where its department store chain Kaufhof is in deep water.



Allied against Amazon ▪ Walmart is in talks with Lord & Taylor to give the department store chain dedicated sales space on its e-commerce shop. The move is regarded as the first step to create an online mall. The world's largest retailer has also started to sell private label groceries on its Jet.com website.



Tackling issues ▪ Meat processing giant JBS has reached an agreement with local authorities in Southern Brazil to resume operations at seven slaughterhouses that had been shut following a court-ordered asset freeze. The JBS Board has selected a new chairman as well as four new members.



More support for Sears ▪ The struggling department store chain has received a new US$ 40 million loan from its CEO, Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund ESL Investments. It is the second financial injection the retailer has been given this month, after borrowing US$ 100 million from Lampert earlier.




Europe


Perfect deals ▪ Sweden's Ica Gruppen got the green light from Lithuanian authorities to buy Palink, the country's second largest grocer, which will strengthen the group's competitiveness. Enhancing its market position in Britain is Germany's Fuchs Group. The German spice giant acquired Bristol-based herb company Bart Ingredients.



Digital drive ▪ German drugstore operator dm is determined to take on online pure players such as Zalando. The company has announced that it has reached its goal of crossing the EUR 10 billion sales mark and will invest significantly to stay on top in an increasingly competitive market.



Ambitious ideas ▪ Hardware chain Bunnings wants to open over 100 stores in the UK in the coming years. The unit of Australia's Wesfarmers will also experiment with smaller format stores. Belgium's Delhaize focus is on the rooftop, where the retailer is testing a new 'urban farm' initiative, a garden and a greenhouse.




Asia & Australia


Big spender ▪ India’s online leader Flipkart is planning more start-up investments and buyouts as it seeks to widen its lead over Amazon India and diversify its business. The company is reportedly in talks with food-delivery app Swiggy, services firm UrbanClap and furniture retailer UrbanLadder.



Strikes at Woolies ▪ Australian supermarket giant Woolworths faces widespread industrial action with as many as 2000 workers to potentially go on strike in the coming weeks over pay and job security. The workers are pushing for more full-time work, greater redundancy pay-outs and wage increases of AU$2 an hour.




Thought-provoking reads


End of start-ups ▪ While every city in the US is still dreaming of becoming a hub of innovation for engineering and business graduates, the pendulum has begun to swing back in Silicon Valley. Big businesses and executives, rather than start-ups and entrepreneurs, will own the next decade, says TechCrunch.



Beware of the BAT ▪ Similar to their US counterparts Google, Amazon and Facebook,Chinese internet giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, dubbed BAT, are aiming to grow worldwide and spending huge sums into innovation. Meanwhile, the online retail giants of the two nations are competing on neutral ground.