French heavyweight Carrefour has revealed cost-saving measures for its operations in Belgium, while Nestlé is in a savings push in France. Online powerhouse Amazon has ramped up its game in India, ready to overtake rival Flipkart, and Ingvar Kamprad, the legendary founder of flat-pack furniture giant Ikea, passed away in Sweden.




Monday, 29 January 2018





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French heavyweight Carrefour has revealed cost-saving measures for its operations in Belgium, while Nestlé is in a savings push in France. Online powerhouse Amazon has ramped up its game in India, ready to overtake rival Flipkart, and Ingvar Kamprad, the legendary founder of flat-pack furniture giant Ikea, passed away in Sweden.




Europe


Strategy shift ▪ Carrefour plans to close two loss-making hypermarkets in Belgium and scale down several others, which could impact more than 1,000 employees. The French retailer wants to invest in growing channels and aims to open 30 supermarkets and neighbourhood stores as well as 70 e-commerce pick-up points in the country.



Axing jobs ▪ Swiss food company Nestlé plans to cut as many as 400 jobs in France, mainly in support services and HQ functions, as it sees to cut cost and boost efficiency. The group, which employs 13,000 people in the country, already announced job losses at its skincare research centre in Nice.


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Taking Sweden to the world ▪ Ingvar Kamprad, the Ikea founder who created a global empire, has died at 91 in his home in Sweden. He is regarded as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century, who revolutionised the way in which furniture is sold around the globe.




USA


Overseas expansions ▪ Challenging rivals Alibaba and Amazon, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is set to enter the US by the end of this year. In a surprising move, it was announced that Lidl will open a store in New York City. The German discounter is usually looking for suburban or rural locations.



Competitive edge ▪ Following its acquisition of online grocery marketplace Shipt last year, US discounter Target is launching same-day delivery for the first time. E-commerce site Boxed, which sells bulk grocery items, seems to be in high demand. After Kroger expressed interest in the start-up, Amazon is reportedly up for a bid as well.



Disappointing results ▪ Colgate-Palmolive reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales despite spending more on advertising and cutting prices to spur enough demand. The toothpaste maker claimed higher costs for raw materials and packaging for the slump.




Asia & Middle East


Booze alliance ▪ Japanese brewing and distilling group Suntory is partnering with Chinese powerhouse Alibaba to launch online sales of whiskey and other liquors in China. The former has opened a store on e-commerce platform Tmall and will also sell through Alibaba's brick-and-mortar stores.



Record investments ▪ Amazon accelerates its efforts to race past larger domestic rival Flipkart and is set to spend US$ 1.3 billion to expand in India. The global online retail giant has already ramped up its grocery e-commerce operation in the country with the launch of hyperlocal deliveries.



Spar enters Saudi Arabia ▪ The Netherland-headquartered international retailer has expanded into the Saudi Arabian market and opened three stores in Riyadh in partnership with Saudi conglomerate Al Sadhan Group. Spar wants to have a total of 40 outlets in the country.




Store spaces


Successful pop-ups ▪ Spanish fashion chain Zara has opened its first-ever click-and-collect store in east London while it refurbishes its flagship in the centre of the city. Meanwhile, Smiley Foods has partnered with licensee Trendy Foods and Carrefour to create a unique candy station in Belgium.



Wellbeing in Finland ▪ Retail pharmacy company Oriola-KD and Kesko have launched the first 'Hehku' stores, developed under their beauty and wellness joint venture. Along with the physical outlets, an online platform has also been introduced, offering its selection of almost 10,000 products.