The Black Friday bonanza, America's post-turkey discount day, has started with an online sales explosion. While Amazon keeps customers waiting for its official launch in Australia amid fears that it might ignite a pre-Christmas price war, it's a different story in Europe, where its workers fight for better pay and plan strikes on the busiest day of the year. Enjoy the read!




Friday, 24 November 2017





Hello ,

The Black Friday bonanza, America's post-turkey discount day, has started with an online sales explosion. While Amazon keeps customers waiting for its official launch in Australia amid fears that it might ignite a pre-Christmas price war, it's a different story in Europe, where its workers fight for better pay and plan strikes on the busiest day of the year. Enjoy the read!




Asia & Australia


Disruption Down Under ▪ Contrary to widely held expectations, Amazon hasn't gone live in Down Under yet. Meanwhile, local retailers such as Wesfarmer's Bunnings have started to “keep up” with its online innovations, and analysts fear the arrival could create a "retail apocalypse".



Overseas expansions ▪ Spar China is experimenting with a variety of store formats in different Chinese regions, varying from supermarkets to hypermarkets. Korea’s E-Mart has revealed plans to launch its beauty store chain Sentence in the Middle East, while compatriot and fashion retailer F&F heads to Hong Kong.



Ikea in India ▪ The Swedish home furnishing major launched experiential retail centre 'Hej Home' in Hyderabad ahead of opening its first store at the same site in 2018. It will feature a 1,000-seater restaurant, offering both Indian and Swedish cuisine. The company plans to open 25 stores in the country by 2025.




Europe


Strikes ahead ▪ Workers at Amazon’s main distribution hub in Italy are planning industrial action this Friday, with hundreds preparing to walk out threatening to disrupt one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Strikes are also on the cards at six warehouses in Germany.



Greece comeback ▪ After leaving the country in 2015, Dutch supermarket chain Spar is set to return to the Greek market in partnership with local retail group Asteras. Across the border in Albania, the retailer has ended its first year of operation and said it now manages over 30 stores in nine cities.



Dixy goes private ▪ As expected, the board of the Russian food retailer has decided to delist its shares from the Moscow Exchange, 10 years after it went public, offering to buy out minority shareholders. The low-cost supermarket chain has struggled against fierce competition from rivals Magnit and X5.



Makeover for Harrods ▪ London’s iconic department store is poised to undergo a GBP 200 million revamp, the biggest in its 183-year history. The overhaul will see the shop floor “entirely redeveloped”, improved signage as well as more labelling on food.




USA & Canada


Holiday hype ▪ Thanksgiving is shaping up to be a record-breaking shopping day in the US with e-commerce sales up 17%. Discounter Target has announced that it will extend Cyber Monday promotions to a week. Across the Atlantic, however, British retailers are cautious about Black Friday.



Napa Valley investment ▪ Luxury-goods maker LVMH has acquired a majority stake in wine company Colgin Cellars as part of the French group’s general strategy of acquiring highly-rated wine operations. The Californian company was founded in 1992 and has achieved many top marks for their products.




What to watch


Tobacco taxes ▪ Japanese lawmakers are just weeks away from proposing changes that could erode tax advantages for big tobacco companies. Debates have started over levies on heat-not-burn products that deliver a nicotine hit without all the smoke and tar of traditional cigarettes.



How robots shape the future ▪ With innovation driving change in the UK, many consumers are choosing to shop for their weekly groceries in different ways. Online supermarket Ocado introduced cloud-based technology and swarm robotics to collect orders. Check out, how this works.