Consumers and sellers are benefitting from a glut of cut-price sweeteners as holiday warfare sets in. Over in Asia, e-tailers up the ante ahead of their own sales extravaganza, Singles’ Day. And the latest round of quarterly results is out, with plenty of good news for investors. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Wednesday, 01 November 2017





Hello ,

Consumers and sellers are benefitting from a glut of cut-price sweeteners as holiday warfare sets in. Over in Asia, e-tailers up the ante ahead of their own sales extravaganza, Singles’ Day. And the latest round of quarterly results is out, with plenty of good news for investors. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




USA


Price wars ▪ Amazon has slashed seller fees on low-priced packaged goods in a bid to improve its online grocery selection. Best Buy will offer unlimited free shipping for the holiday season for the third year in a row. Walmart is taking the threat of Lidl on its home turf seriously, moving to cut prices on key items to match the German discounter’s.



Results breakthrough ▪ Investors are hopeful that US food producers are finally shaking off a prolonged sales slump at home and internationally. Kellogg’s surprised with its first quarterly sales increase in more than two years, while confectionary giant Mondelez beat Wall Street’s estimates in its third quarter.



Digital developments ▪ Target is joining the ranks of retail giants looking for seamless physical and digital integration. The discounter announced a new app called “myCheckout” for staff to process customer transactions when merchandise is unavailable locally. Electronics giant LG has joined Amazon’s lineup of Prime Exclusive Phones.




Europe


New initiatives ▪ German discounters Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are launching gift cards redeemable across all stores in their home country. Fellow retailer Lidl plans to introduce an e-commerce platform in Poland for customers to buy wine online (paywall).



Food fight ▪ Supermarket meal deals have been slammed by a health group, after its study revealed some of the combos surveyed contained up to 30 teaspoons of sugar. Supermarkets in the UK say they can no longer hold dairy prices as costs surge, with grocer Morrisons making the first move.



Cutting plastic ▪ British grocer Waitrose is experimenting with punnets that use tomato leaves. If successful, it could save the retailer up to 3.5 million plastic trays a year. German retailer Rewe says it will no longer sell wrapped bananas, eliminating 85 tonnes of plastic foil a year.




Asia & Australia


Woolworths on a roll ▪ The Australian supermarket has outpaced arch rival Coles again, with food sales up nearly 5% for the first quarter. The chain benefitted from spending more than AU$ 1 billion to cut prices and enhance customer service, enticing big basket spenders back.



Sales bonanza ▪ E-commerce titan Alibaba is set to launch this year’s Singles’ Day with a bang, planning to make the sale a global affair. Japanese retailer Aeon wants to model its own sales event on the day, as it looks to boost a normally sluggish November.



Takeover target ▪ Rising Philippine tycoon Dennis Uy is making a move to buy local convenience chain FamilyMart from its Filipino and Japanese owners for an undisclosed amount. If approved by the local competition commission, Uy is expected to drive expansion into provincial areas.




Keep an eye on


Verdict on its way ▪ All eyes are on Tesco this week, with British grocers gearing up for the provisional findings over its proposed takeover of Booker. Some analysts are tipping a 95% chance the GBP 3.7 billion deal will get the green light.



The next big threat ▪ Grocers in the UK are facing another tech disruptor in the form of shopping service INS, after it has been revealed some of the world’s biggest manufacturers have signed with the provider. The group says it will slash grocery bills by up to 30% by cutting out supermarkets and selling directly to consumers.