The merger between two American toy titans has hit a snag as Mattel has reportedly rebuffed Hasbro's acquisition approach, claiming the proposal undervalues the business. Amazon's Whole Foods sends further ripples through the industry with another round of price cuts, while management shake-ups keep German big players in suspense.




Thursday, 16 November 2017





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The merger between two American toy titans has hit a snag as Mattel has reportedly rebuffed Hasbro's acquisition approach, claiming the proposal undervalues the business. Amazon's Whole Foods sends further ripples through the industry with another round of price cuts, while management shake-ups keep German big players in suspense.




USA & Canada


Toy marriage in jeopardy ▪ Hasbro's approach to taking over rival Mattel has been declined by the latter, casting uncertainty over the potential combination of the world's largest toy companies. As a result of the report, Mattel shares dropped. It is not clear whether negotiations between the two companies will continue.



In holiday mood ▪ In time for Thanksgiving, Whole Foods has slashed prices on more grocery bestsellers and holiday staples, challenging rivals Sprouts Market and supermarket giant Kroger. The latter plans to introduce a new private label apparel brand in 300 of its outlets.



Target stumbles ▪ Despite reporting positive sales, the US discounter issued a disappointing profit forecast for the key holiday quarter as it continues to depend on price cuts to drive traffic to its stores and online. Analysts say Target is making the right move, but needs to be bolder and more creative.



Challenges ahead ▪ Amid ongoing restructuring of its business, Canadian retail giant Loblaw will close 22 unprofitable stores and launch a home delivery service in collaboration with Instacart. The Ontario-based company has also reported third-quarter sales and profit gains.




Europe


Pharmacy rollout ▪ Russian retailer Magnit will expand its network of pharmacies to 50 outlets within existing minimarket and hypermarkets. It is a cautious approach, says LZ Retailytics as main competitor X5 Retail Group is targeting a store count of 850 pharmacies at the same time.



Staff shake-ups ▪ Former Lidl CEO Sven Seidel is joining the executive board of mail order and e-commerce giant Otto Group, where he will be responsible for multichannel retail. German drug maker Bayer has hired the head of Nestle’s baby food business to revive its embattled consumer health division.



Significant openings ▪ UK retailer the Co-op is set to launch seven new stores in London in the next two weeks. Russia's Lenta has opened five new hypermarkets in Moscow, and French fresh good grocery Grand Frais is expanding in Italy with the introduction of a second outlet near Turin.




Asia


Stellar results ▪ Net profit at Chinese social messaging app provider and entertainment conglomerate Tencent grew 69% to US$ 2.72 billion in the third quarter, boosted by a healthy growth in its core gaming business as well as the online advertising segment.



Markdown at Muji ▪ The Japanese retailer has announced its largest-ever price cuts, offering reductions on about 2400 items of furniture, clothing, food and household goods. Muji, which operates 850 stores mainly abroad, has also overhauled logistics and simplified packaging to lower overheads.




Remarkable discoveries


Fresh initiatives ▪ British retailer Asda is introducing camel milk to its shelves. ‘Camelicious’ is marketed to people with lactose intolerance. Over in the US, a fight is about to break out over fruit-and-vegetable packaging with tiny holes. The patented wrapping has been used without paying for it.



High expectations ▪ While retailers are seeking new ways of communicating more directly, their customers obviously prefer to use their smartphone for shopping. According to App Annie consumers will spend over 6 million hours buying online on Black Friday and predicts that it will be the biggest mobile shopping day ever in the US.