Alibaba is betting nearly US$ 3 billion on bricks and mortar with a major investment in China's top hypermarket player. Meanwhile, the drink kings of the world are taking it up a notch, as Coca-Cola finds a sugar-free alternative that doesn’t have consumers gagging and Diageo goes after one of its former Chairs. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 20 November 2017





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Alibaba is betting nearly US$ 3 billion on bricks and mortar with a major investment in China's top hypermarket player. Meanwhile, the drink kings of the world are taking it up a notch, as Coca-Cola finds a sugar-free alternative that doesn’t have consumers gagging and Diageo goes after one of its former Chairs. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Asia


Backing bricks and mortar ▪ E-commerce giant Alibaba is taking a big step forward in tackling China's US$ 500 billion food retail sector. The internet king will invest US$ 2.9 billion for a major stake in China’s top hypermart operator, Sun Art Retail, which operates 400 hypermarkets under the Auchan and RT-Mart banners.



Flagship openings ▪ Japanese optical brand Owndays has opened its largest store in the Philippines, at SM Megamall in Manila. Check out the site and its impressive offerings here. Canada Goose has Japanese shoppers flocking to its first Asian flagship (paywall) for its popular down jackets.



European imports ▪ Irish dairy company Ornua has ramped up its ambitions to break into the Asian market with the launch of Kerrygold butter in South Korea. French sports gear retailer Decathlon opened its first Indonesian store in Tangerang City. The 2,000sqm space is the country’s largest sports store.




USA & Canada


Coca-cola adapts ▪ The soft drink giant’s first investor day in eight years has triggered talk of reinvention. The company says it has solved the stevia aftertaste problem, a big win in the high-stake race to find palatable alternatives to sugar. Its CEO also fuelled speculation about whether it will get into alcohol, quipping ‘never say never’.



Stronger together ▪ Grocer Albertsons is deepening its reach into the Hispanic community after investing in Latino-focused El Rancho Supermercado. Walmart is ramping up its same-day delivery service with partner Deliv, launching the offering to San Jose after years serving as a test market.



Fashion forward ▪ Calvin Klein and Amazon are launching holiday pop-ups together in New York and Los Angeles. Katrina Lake has taken her online clothing startup Stitch Fix public, the first female-led IPO in the US this year. Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap’s robust quarterly results have sparked talk of a turnaround in the apparel sector.




Europe


Fast food ▪ Speculation is mounting that retail giant Amazon will soon launch its mealkits in the UK, after a patent for the catch phrase “We Prep. You Cook” was filed. Grocer Sainsbury’s is trialling a takeaway pizza service, in what it is touting as a first for UK supermarkets.



Pay up ▪ Beverage giant Diageo has sued Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya to recover a US$ 40 million payment made to him after he was ousted from Indian subsidiary United Spirits last year. The maker of Guinness claims he breached a US$ 75 million agreement to not compete or interfere.



Store counts ▪ Dutch grocer Spar plans to double its store network in Albania by the end of the year. LZ Retailytics believes the chain is in a good position to cement its place in a market where other international names have failed. Russian retailer X5 is celebrating the opening of its 11,500th store.




Interviews with insiders


Beautiful alliance ▪ Jet president Liza Landsman talks about why its acquisition by Walmart has been such a success. The e-commerce company has delivered standout innovations for its owner, which she says is down to the retail giant letting it maintain its entrepreneurial spirit and giving it the freedom to ‘let Jet be Jet’.



Amazon of the skies ▪ Low-cost airline AirAsia is betting on e-commerce, with the creation of an online market place to sell duty free and other items. Its CEO Tony Fernandes talks about the revolution underfoot as the airline looks to move beyond simply selling tickets.