A marriage between toy titans could be on the cards, and if it goes ahead it will create a powerhouse in play and put a 20-year quest to merge to bed. Alibaba’s annual shopping extravaganza has been deemed a financial success, generating billions in sales. Over in the UK, retail giants are reaffirming their commitment to the country. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 13 November 2017





Hello ,

A marriage between toy titans could be on the cards, and if it goes ahead it will create a powerhouse in play and put a 20-year quest to merge to bed. Alibaba’s annual shopping extravaganza has been deemed a financial success, generating billions in sales. Over in the UK, retail giants are reaffirming their commitment to the country. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




USA


Toy story ▪ Hasbro has made a move to acquire rival Mattel in the latest attempt to combine the two brands. A union would give greater negotiating power to the duo in a difficult environment. Iconic dollmaker American Girl has revealed its first retail concept, which features customised dolls.



Supporting veterans ▪ Patriotic retailers are saluting military personnel and their families as Veterans Day draws to a close. Big-box retailer Walmart launched a showcase of licensed army gear and now employs 188,000 veterans targeting a massive 250,000. Its online rival Amazon employs more than 17,000.



Fighting to survive ▪ Struggling retailer J.C. Penney’s drive to stay afloat is paying off, with its latest sales figures exceeding analyst expectations. Grocery chain Bi-Lo might be close to default, but that hasn’t stopped its private-equity owners from getting rich off the struggling supermarket.




Europe


UK commitments ▪ German discounter Lidl is opening its largest ever warehouse in the country. The GBP 55 million Exeter-based distribution centre will employ 500 locals. Amazon is making Cambridge the heart of Alexa and drone innovation with its new office dedicated to the causes.



Working for Amazon ▪ The online giant is apparently on the hunt for insurance staff in Europe, with commentators saying it could signal its broader ambitions in the sector. Over in the UK, it is demanding one of its main grocery delivery partners overhauls its treatment of staff after an investigation revealed drivers were earning less than the minimum wage.



Big plans ▪ Just days after pulling the plug on its planned IPO, major food processor Bakkavör has made a u-turn and will list its shares after all. Dutch retailer Jumbo is reportedly planning to expand into Belgium, with LZ Retailytics calling it a ‘courageous’ move.




Asia


Successful singles ▪ Alibaba enjoyed unprecedented success with its annual Singles’ Day posting a record US$ 25.3 billion in sales, while rival JD.com reported sales of US$ 19.1 billion. Overseas retailers also cashed in on the shopping bonanza including UK retailer Waitrose, which expects sales in China to have quadrupled on the day.



Coffee kings ▪ America’s Blue Bottle Coffee is ramping up in Asia, with plans to open in South Korea before tackling China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries in the region. Rival Starbucks plans to open two stunning stores at Japanese tourist hotspots, Dogo Onsen and Miyajima.



Dream big ▪ Chinese discounter Miniso plans to add another 500 stores in Vietnam over the next two years, as part of its goal of having 10,000 stores in 100 countries by 2019. The company expects revenue to reach US$ 15 billion by then.




Keep an eye on


Down to the wire ▪ Shareholders will today vote on the proposed GBP 143 million takeover of convenience chain Nisa by the Co-op. After a raft of stormy shareholder meetings, it is expected to be a close call. At least 75% of votes in support is required to proceed.



Tech invasion ▪ Sydney’s CBD has been dubbed ‘Silicon Place’ by locals as overseas tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple flock Martin Place. The global heavyweights have helped drive the city’s vacancy rate to a near-decade low.