In Europe, Marks & Spencer is revising its strategy and a Lithuanian grocer eyes a Polish chain, while in the US, Walmart and Kroger flex their electronic muscle. Amazon and Paypal are continuing to expand into Asia and a major public offering took place in Hong Kong. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Thursday, 09 November 2017





Hello ,

In Europe, Marks & Spencer is revising its strategy and a Lithuanian grocer eyes a Polish chain, while in the US, Walmart and Kroger flex their electronic muscle. Amazon and Paypal are continuing to expand into Asia and a major public offering took place in Hong Kong. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Europe


Eastern expansion ▪ Lithuanian grocer Maxima is negotiating to buy Poland’s Emperia, which owns a chain of 410 convenience stores. Over in Siberia, Russia's Lenta signed the deal to purchase 22 supermarkets from multinational retailer Holiday Group. Competitors Magnit and X5 Retail were also interested in the company.



Scaling back ▪ British icon Marks & Spencer has announced that it will slow the rollout of its successful ‘Simply Food’ convenience banner, although the retailer has posted a 2.6% increase in the first half of its financial year. Here is how the analysts interpret the results.



Italian successes ▪ Discounter Eurospin has achieved its target of opening 50 new stores this year and reported a yearly turnover of EUR 4.7 billion with the goal to increase it to EUR 5 billion. Also enjoying revenue growth is drinks manufacturer Gruppo Campari with sales reaching EUR 1.3 billion in the first nine months.




USA & Canada


Mobile moves ▪ Walmart Pay is close to surpassing the mobile payment platform of tech giant Apple. The big-box grocer says it is enrolling tens of thousands of new users a day. Meanwhile, supermarket major Kroger snubs Amazon and has decided to expand its use of the Google Cloud Platform to advance its e-commerce.



Struggling Sears ▪ With revenue still sliding, the department store chain might have to sell off 140 more stores to help ease its underfunded pension plan dilemma. Just some days ago, the ailing retailer announced the closure of 63 stores following the end of the holiday shopping season.



Merged loyalty ▪ Customers at Shoppers Drug Mart or any of Loblaw's stores will soon use a new, unified loyalty programme. The anticipated move comes more than three years after the Canadian grocery giant acquired the pharmacy chain.




Asia


Another Echo ▪ Amazon has continued its hardware push into Asia by launching its Echo products in Japan. It is also making its Alexa voice assistant available there. Adding these new devices might help boost the US online giant's presence in the country but it is unlikely to topple Rakuten.



Stellar debuts ▪ China Literature, the e-publishing business backed by Tencent, enjoyed an impressive public launch in Hong Kong, raising over US$ 1 billion from the listing. California-based service Paypal has launched in Paytm-dominated India. The country's lucrative payment market is predicted to grow to US$ 500 billion by 2020.




Keep an eye on


Costco in France ▪ Having succeeded in spreading its treasure-hunt shopping experience across the US, Asia and the UK, the world largest warehouse club is infiltrating France, the global heart of refined taste. Bloomberg ponders whether this uniquely American import can convince the French to buy brie in bulks.



Powerhouse forces ▪ The joint initiatives of Chinese internet giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are helping the mainland chip away at the lead held by the US in artificial intelligence innovation. However, Chinese internet R&D remains well behind other global companies.



Mortal combat ▪ The Mall Group, Thailand's second-largest retailer, is on the lookout for a "strategic partner" to help fend off global e-commerce majors such as Alibaba and Amazon. Its chairwoman has said she feels "paranoid" about the situation, which compares to a war.