While Amazon is getting ready to launch Down Under, Alibaba spreads its wings in Russia. Walmart works on its e-commerce offerings in the US and Lidl partners with start-ups in Germany to support tech pilots. Also featured in this issue are some remarkable delivery ideas, from utilising a bus network to automated packaging systems.




Tuesday, 14 November 2017





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While Amazon is getting ready to launch Down Under, Alibaba spreads its wings in Russia. Walmart works on its e-commerce offerings in the US and Lidl partners with start-ups in Germany to support tech pilots. Also featured in this issue are some remarkable delivery ideas, from utilising a bus network to automated packaging systems.




USA & Canada


Fighting Amazon ▪ As it looks to make deeper inroads into the e-commerce fashion business, Walmart gets serious about offering department store chain Lord & Taylor dedicated space on its website, where the Hudson's Bay unit will start selling its high-end products. The big box retailer is also in the process of adjusting its online pricing strategy.



Thinking ahead ▪ Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev is replacing its North American chief, Joao Castro Noves, to stem a years-long sales decline in its largest market. Company veteran Michel Doukeris will take the helm. Meanwhile, discounter Target has unveiled its first "next generation" store in Texas.



Reducing emissions ▪ Canadian grocer Loblaw is tackling its carbon footprint and has taken the first step toward moving its entire corporate-owned trucking fleet to electric vehicles with the goal to make commercial grocery deliveries with zero emissions.




Europe


Acquisition in Slovakia ▪ Polish investment fund Enterprise Investors has purchased the Slovakian banners of Hungarian retail cooperative CBA. The company operates more than 300 stores under different banners in the country. Through the investment, CBA might get the boost to climb into the top 5 ranks in Slovakia.



Discounter decisions ▪ As part of its ongoing revamp strategy, Aldi Süd is about to reposition its private labels in Germany and has hired Scholz & Friends as its new marketing agency. Archenemy Lidl has joined forces with accelerator project (paywall) Retailtech Hub to support emerging retail technology and partner with start-ups.



Italian treats ▪ The world’s biggest food-themed amusement park will open this week in Bologna. The creator of Fico Eataly World is Oscar Farinetti, the man behind the Eataly food emporium. The EUR 120 million investment was financed by institutional investors and wants to attract 4 million visitors.




Asia & Australia


Negotiations in Russia ▪ Chinese online major Alibaba is in preliminary talks with Moscow-listed retail chain M.Video about a possible cooperation. Options include the former taking an equity stake in Russia's largest electronics retailer or the two companies set up a joint venture.



Getting ready ▪ Amazon has revealed more details of its planned entry to Australia and indicated that it will start taking orders before Christmas, with some predicting the launch to be around Black Friday. The US powerhouse has hosted an event in Sydney offering a glimpse of what operating Down Under could mean for businesses in New Zealand.



Thriving online ▪ Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten enjoyed a net profit of US$ 640 million for the nine months ended September, up 64% on the previous year. China's JD.com reported unexpected good results in Q3 with net earnings of US$ 151 million.




Innovative ideas


Working on delivery ▪ Japanese parcel courier Yamato unveiled an automated packing system that can box goods about 10 times as fast as humans. Over in Britain, online retail delivery could soon become a part of the London bus network under a strategy to decrease pollution and congestion in the capital.



Help for disabled customers ▪ Sainsbury’s has become the first supermarket to introduce “dementia-friendly” lavatories and is set to install large, colourful “way out” signs in all of its stores to prevent customers with the degenerative condition becoming confused.