Anglo-Dutch consumer giant Unilever continues to reshape its portfolio as does Russia's O'Key group and British wholesaler Conviviality. American retailers are hoping for a bumper festive season after promising sales and some grocers have quirky food ideas just in time for Christmas. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 18 December 2017





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Anglo-Dutch consumer giant Unilever continues to reshape its portfolio as does Russia's O'Key group and British wholesaler Conviviality. American retailers are hoping for a bumper festive season after promising sales and some grocers have quirky food ideas just in time for Christmas. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Europe


Portfolio enlargements ▪ In order to concentrate on hypermarket and neighbourhood stores, Russian grocer O‘Key Group will sell its supermarket business to X5 Retail Group. British wholesaler Conviviality is set to acquire more than 100 convenience stores from collapsed supplier Palmer & Harvey.



Buyout deal ▪ Unilever has agreed to sell its underperforming spreads business to global investment firm KKR & Co. for EUR 6.83 billion. The purchase is the biggest leveraged buyout announced in Europe this year. The Anglo-Dutch consumer company has already started to focus on faster-growing niches.



Kaufland abroad ▪ Its commitment to creating local partnerships in Romania has seen the German big-box retailer introduce its first clothing collection, made exclusively by a Romanian designer. Kaufland seems also to be interested in entering the Netherlands but so far has failed to get permission to buy a site.



Success in Italy ▪ Conad has managed to see 5% growth "even in difficult years". The Italian grocer is expecting a turnover of more than EUR 13 billion. Online fashion platform Zalando has chosen Verona to build its next its next central hub due to its proximity to southern European countries.




Asia


Digital transformation ▪ Hong Kong conglomerate AS Watson has launched its first-ever technology partnership programme to complement the efforts it is making instore with increased online and digital differentiation. The decision will ensure the company will stay innovative, says Retailytics.



Going global ▪ Shanghai Tang, Hong Kong’s home-grown fashion brand, will open stores in Paris, Milan and more cities on the mainland over the next two years. The company, which was bought by Italian textile businessman Alessandro Bastagli and other investors, will also expand online.



Sabeco for sale ▪ Vietnam is set to auction an up to US$ 5 billion stake in the country's largest brewer today. Thai Beverage is seen as the most likely buyer of the controlling stake in Sabeco. However, a second bidder has reportedly joined in according to authorities, but a name was not disclosed.




USA


Christmas spirit ▪ With consumer spending surging and the Commerce Department revising sales figures for the last months, US retailers are hoping for the best festive season in a decade. Wholesaler Costco has also reason to rejoice thanks to promising Q1 results and loyal customers.



Redefining convenience ▪ 7‑Eleven US is trialling on-demand ordering for delivery or in-store pickup via a smartphone app. The service is being tested in selected stores in Dallas. The convenience retailer says it will introduce the programme into other locations in the US next year.




Unusual and remarkable


Sparkling poultry ▪ Adding a twist to Christmas classics, Aldi is introducing a Prosecco-infused chicken into its UK stores. The dish, which is part of the discounter's Specially Selected range, features a whole chicken topped with a wine and mushroom seasoning and edible gold.



Shellfish spa ▪ US retailer Shoprite has added a little theatre in its seafood department in a bid to drive sales. A container bathes live product such as clams, oysters and mussels in a continuous stream of saltwater and maintains an ocean-like environment for peak freshness.