Struggling retailer Toys ‘R’ Us has received an eleventh hour reprieve in the UK, saving thousands of jobs in time for Christmas. Over in China, JD.com pits itself against rivals, launching into the multi-billion dollar pre-loved market. Enjoy our last newsletter for the year and we look forward catching up with you again on January 3rd.




Friday, 22 December 2017





Hello ,

Struggling retailer Toys ‘R’ Us has received an eleventh hour reprieve in the UK, saving thousands of jobs in time for Christmas. Over in China, JD.com pits itself against rivals, launching into the multi-billion dollar pre-loved market. Enjoy our last newsletter for the year and we look forward catching up with you again on January 3rd.

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Europe


Lean Christmas ▪ Struggling retailer Toys ‘R’ Us has received some last minute respite in the UK. The retailer will pump GBP 9 million into its pension scheme, in return gaining support for its insolvency plan. The retailer isn’t the only one having a tough time, with a recent survey suggesting 45,000 UK retailers are in financial distress these holidays.



Tasty acquisitions ▪ Frozen food company Nomad Foods is reportedly in discussions to acquire Goodfella’s Pizza for EUR 200 million. The business is currently owned by the embattled 2 Sisters Food Group. Italian drinks giant Gruppo Campari will buy cognac producer Bisquit Dubouché for EUR 52.5 million.



Attracting business ▪ Swedish furniture king Ikea is reportedly mulling entry into the Ukraine, and could open its doors in Kiev within two years. Portugal is enjoying a burst of new openings, with Sonae MC, Auchan and Coviran opening seven new stores there.




Asia & Australia


Ambitious moves ▪ Chinese online giant JD.com has jumped into the red hot second-hand e-commerce market, launching its new platform, Paipai. India’s biggest online retailer, Flipkart, is betting on artificial intelligence with an internal unit, ‘AIforIndia’, to be overseen by its most senior leaders.



Auzzie expansion ▪ German discounter Aldi continues to ramp up in Australia with plans to increase its current network of 473 stores across the country. The retailer has confirmed it will make its way into the Eastern seaboard, South Australia and Western Australia.



Chinese deals ▪ Alibaba will team up with German automaker BMW to work on a range of connected cars, for all new models sold in China from next year. America’s Vitamin World will be pulled out of bankruptcy after being acquired by China’s Feihe International – the sole bidder for the company.




USA


Competing with e-commerce ▪ Walmart is looking to step up its big data game, embarking on a “multiyear journey” to whip its analytics into shape. Home Depot’s online foray continues with its purchase of online retailer The Company Store, as it looks to push ahead with plans to protect itself from competitors like Amazon.



Food safety troubles ▪ Major supermarket chains Aldi and Kroger have recalled some of their most popular apple varieties due to a Listeria scare in some states. Fast food chain Chipotle continues to struggle to shake off health concerns with recent reports of sick workers attracting scrutiny from officials and a slide in shares.



Inspiring ideas ▪ Grocer Hy-Vee is trialling a system to automate its farm-to-fork traceability so customers can better understand their food sources. Confectionary giant Hershey’s has stepped it up in New York City tripling the size of its Chocolate World attraction.




Africa


Selling up ▪ The fallout from the Steinhoff accounting scandal continues as its biggest shareholder and former Chairman, Christo Wiese, looks to remedy the massive dent to his fortune due to overexposure of stock. The investor has raised US$ 259 million after selling shares in South African retailer Shoprite.



Another set back ▪ Troubled supermarket chain Nakumatt has suffered another blow after a law firm representing it in court pulled out. It was allowed to step back from its cases after an advocate said the Kenyan grocer was ignoring the legal advice given, making it impossible for the firm to continue to act.