Business relations between China and France seem to be at an all-time high. Carrefour has signed a deal with Tencent, and e-commerce major JD.com is about to open an office in Paris. Meanwhile, job cuts are on the agenda at Sainsbury's and Kimberly-Clark. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Wednesday, 24 January 2018





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Business relations between China and France seem to be at an all-time high. Carrefour has signed a deal with Tencent, and e-commerce major JD.com is about to open an office in Paris. Meanwhile, job cuts are on the agenda at Sainsbury's and Kimberly-Clark. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Europe


Transformation plan ▪ Carrefour's strategy for 2020, unveiled yesterday in Paris, includes a multimillion-euro cost-cutting programme and a ramped-up digital strategy to boost growth. LZ Retailytics takes a closer look at the French retail giant’s targets and challenges.



Management shake-up ▪ Less than 24 hours after Tesco revealed that more than 1,700 jobs were under threat, Britain’s second largest supermarket group, Sainsbury's, announced plans to axe thousands of store management roles. The grocer said that employees whose roles disappear would be offered alternative jobs.



Record year ▪ X5 Retail Group reported a 25.5% jump in 2017 sales. Growth at Russia's biggest grocer has been driven by its Pyaterochka banner as consumers have turned more price-sensitive after a sharp drop in the rouble. The retailer opened almost 3,000 mostly low-cost stores last year.




USA & Canada


Global restructuring ▪ Personal care giant Kimberly-Clark is laying off about 13% of its workforce and closing factories worldwide. The company expects to cut up to 5,500 jobs in an effort to reduce expenses as it faces stiffer competition for consumer staples like tissues and paper towels.



Modest growth ▪ Although consumer goods maker Procter & Gamble second-quarter profit topped analysts’ estimates, it didn't convince its activist shareholder Peltz and other investors. The company's biggest challenge is proving that it can remain relevant in an era of niche consumer brands and Amazon, says Bloomberg.



Done deal ▪ Tokyo-based Seven & i Holdings has agreed to sell and divest some of its convenience stores to clear the way for its proposed US$ 3.3 billion acquisition of retail fuel outlets from Texas-based Sunoco. The purchase of 1,030 stores in 17 US states was completed on Tuesday.



Challenging Amazon ▪ A start-up called Bolt wants to give e-commerce retailers a better shot at competing with Amazon. The payment platform has launched a new checkout app. Founded in 2014 by a Stanford student, the company’s initial focus was using digital currency in online checkout.




Asia


Cross-border expansion ▪ In a bid to connect conventional retail to online services, Chinese social media giant Tencent, along with local retailer Yonghui Superstores, has agreed to take a stake in Carrefour China. Meanwhile, Alibaba-rival JD.com is ramping up its European presence with an office in France.



Japanese developments ▪ Department stores in Japan have reason to rejoice as sales at existing locations grew for the first time in three years, edging up 0.1% to US$ 53.9 billion according to the industry association, which also revealed that urban consumers spent more on luxury items.




Consumer trends


Generational differences ▪ Aruba, a unit of Hewlett Packard, conducted a global study to better understand the shopping habits of young Millennials and Baby Boomers. Marketing company Acosta went a step further and looked at how demand changes as generations move into different phases of life.



Functional snacks ▪ From popcorn dusted with turmeric to chips made with fermented ingredients, proof abounds that the snack category is not only innovative but also fast-growing in the US. Consumers eagerly seek feel-good snack products with an added benefit according to nutritionists.