While big-box retailers are hitting on Amazon with restrictions on Whole Foods, the online disruptor is going after corporate customers in a big way. German discounter Aldi has enjoyed an impressive transformation in Poland and French grocer Auchan continues its expansion in Senegal. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Wednesday, 25 October 2017





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While big-box retailers are hitting on Amazon with restrictions on Whole Foods, the online disruptor is going after corporate customers in a big way. German discounter Aldi has enjoyed an impressive transformation in Poland and French grocer Auchan continues its expansion in Senegal. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




USA & Canada


Blockbuster deal ▪ Canada's Hudson's Bay has agreed to sell its Lord & Taylor flagship in New York for US$ 850 million to workspace company WeWork. The latter will also lease space at Galeria Kaufhof in Frankfurt and other HBC stores. The agreement comes after a recent management shake-up at the struggling retail group.



Amazon on fire ▪ The online giant announced a membership programme aimed at businesses in the US and Germany, which offers speedier shipping. In addition, Amazon takes on Etsy with the launch of a handmade gift shop. Meanwhile, Whole Foods faces lease restrictions by large mall tenants like Target and Best Buy.



Digital efforts ▪ After posting a rise in sales in its self-operated home-delivery service Albertsons is set to expand the availability of its click-and-collect offering. Target is rolling out a way to shop using augmented reality technology. The feature will allow online shoppers to use their smartphone camera with discounter’s website.




Europe & Africa


Aldi steps up in Poland ▪ The Northern unit of the German discounter has introduced a dedicated organic range to its fruit and vegetable departments in the Eastern European country, following its decision to revive its Polish branch. Although still behind competitors Biedronka and Lidl, Aldi Nord is quickly closing the gap.



Sainsbury's branches out ▪ The British grocer is launching its first-ever range of men's formalwear, as well as a premium menswear range, both under its private label clothing line, Tu. The company has also revealed that it will expand its mini store format Habitat inside its supermarkets.



Auchan expands in Senegal ▪ Since opening its first supermarket in Dakar in 2015, the French retailer has continued its rollout in the African country. At the end of last month, the company acquired nine stores from local competitor Citydia (in French) to increase its network. The deal is said to be worth EUR 13.7 million.




Asia & Australasia


Online pork for China ▪ Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, owned by Hong Kong-headquartered WH Group, has signed an agreement with e-commerce giant JD.com to sell its pork products exclusively online on the latter's fresh food platform. The companies will also cooperate on big data, cold chain logistics and traceability.



Optimistic outlook ▪ Auckland-based hardware chain Mitre 10, New Zealand's biggest home improvement retailer, posted a double-digit gain in full-year profit in a "highly competitive market". Despite mounting pressure, Retail NZ is estimating Kiwis will spend a record NZ$ 17.4 billion this Christmas.



Myer dispute continues ▪ The outgoing chairman of the ailing department store chain hits back at Solomon Lew and described the investors' meddling in the company as a "train wreck". It comes after Lew stepped up its attack on Myer by voting against the new chairman as well as other board appointments.




Weird and wonderful


Sneakers and socks ▪ While Nike tries to win over disillusioned investors and struggles with stagnant sales and renewed competition from Adidas, stretchy sock sneakers have become the must-have item of the season. Originating with athletic brands, they are on offer at Zara and other chains.



Pet robot from Sony ▪ The Japanese tech giant is planning to roll out a dog-shaped robot similar to its discontinued Aibo with updated components. It will feature improved movement and internet connectivity that will enable it to control household appliances.