Welcome to our first issue in 2018! Online titans Alibaba and Amazon remain in the headlines. The former enters a partnership with carmaker Honda and the latter has revealed some remarkable stats, while traditional retailers are looking for strategies to expand or survive. Get informed and check out what the pundits predict for the year ahead.




Wednesday, 03 January 2018





Hello ,

Welcome to our first issue in 2018! Online titans Alibaba and Amazon remain in the headlines. The former enters a partnership with carmaker Honda and the latter has revealed some remarkable stats, while traditional retailers are looking for strategies to expand or survive. Get informed and check out what the pundits predict for the year ahead.




Asia


Offloading stores ▪ In continuing efforts to consolidate its international portfolio, Marks & Spencer is selling its 27 outlets in Hong Kong and Macau to its long-time franchise partner Al-Futtaim. It leaves the Dubai-based company with 72 M&S stores across Asia and the Middle East.



Digital developments ▪ Following the footsteps of competitor Alibaba, JD.com has opened its first 7Fresh supermarket in Beijing. To ensure freshness of products, the e-commerce company said it would source directly. Customers can have their food prepared and consume it inside the store.



Automotive decisions ▪ Japanese carmaker Honda will team up with Alibaba on developing services for connected cars. The Chinese e-commerce major recently entered a cooperation with US car company Ford. Meanwhile, China is suspending the production of more than 500 car models that do not meet its fuel economy standards.




Europe & Africa


Ambitious targets ▪ Netherlands-based Spar International intends to open 140 stores in France and to grow its turnover to EUR 1.1 billion by 2019. Equally determined is Britain's Coop Group, which plans to invest GBP 160 million in the expansion of its business, launching 100 new outlets and creating 1,600 jobs.



More irregularities ▪ Scandal-hit South African retailer Steinhoff has warned that the company may be forced to restate its results for years before 2015. The global retail group, whose empire includes France’s Conforama furniture chain and Poundland in the UK, has been battling for survival since December.



Serious talks ▪ German Retail Blog had the opportunity to interview Pieter Haas, the CEO of Metro entity Ceconomy about his survival plan in a digital world. The online platform also spoke with British Retail Consortium-boss Helen Dickinson about the consequences of Brexit for UK consumers.




USA & Canada


Amazon's milestones ▪ The e-commerce giant announced that it has shipped over 5 billion items worldwide through its Prime service. The company also said that in 2017 it has added more members than ever before, without revealing numbers. Research suggests that Amazon has around 90 million Prime members.



Alibaba rejected ▪ A US government has blocked Ant Financial’s acquisition of Moneygram over national security concerns. The US$ 1.2 billion deal’s collapse represents a blow for Alibaba-boss Jack Ma, who owns the Chinese payment platform together with some of his executives.



Innovative initiatives ▪ Grocery leader Kroger is said to be in talks with Ace Hardware to offer the cooperative an opportunity to open inside its stores. Kroger is also set to expand its “Scan, Bag, Go”-service to 400 outlets. Fellow retailer Albertsons has launched a convenience and fuel concept store which features a walk-in beer cave.




Predictions & expectations


Looking ahead ▪ Artificial intelligence and the 'internet of things' are the most significant challenges for the future according to FMCG insiders. Like all technology, both could be a blessing or a curse. Read here what the retail pundits predict for 2018 and beyond.



Emerging region ▪ Alibaba’s entry into Southeast Asia and Amazon's launch in Singapore served as proof for many investors that the region is on to something big. Here are 10 e-commerce trends that will form the landscape in this part of the world.