Since the beginning of the year, thousands of jobs in UK retail have been either cut entirely or revealed to be at risk with Debenhams being the latest high street retailer to announce a shake-up. The battle between Amazon and Walmart continues, not only in the US, where Amazon is offering Whole Foods grocery deliveries but also in India. Enjoy the read!




Friday, 09 February 2018





Hello ,

Since the beginning of the year, thousands of jobs in UK retail have been either cut entirely or revealed to be at risk with Debenhams being the latest high street retailer to announce a shake-up. The battle between Amazon and Walmart continues, not only in the US, where Amazon is offering Whole Foods grocery deliveries but also in India. Enjoy the read!

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Europe


High street worries ▪ British department store Debenhams plans to cut 320 jobs to reduce costs. Canada's Hudson's Bay, which has just turned down an EUR 3 billion bid for its struggling Galeria Kaufhof unit, goes down the same path by slashing 400 jobs at the German chain's headquarter in Cologne.



More jobs at risk ▪ As Toys 'R' Us urgently seeks buyers for its European business, the retailer puts more than 3,000 jobs in jeopardy, says the Guardian. Three factories and 900 jobs are facing the axe at 2 Sisters. The British poultry giant recently was caught in a controversy over food standards.



Swedish competition ▪ Ica Gruppen posted a 2.7% net sales growth in 2017 to EUR 11.05 billion, its e-commerce sales climbed 50%. LZ Retailytics compares the Swedish grocery leader's performance to that of competitor Axfood and says the latter is on its way to fight for the top spot.




US & Canada


Delivery decisions ▪ Amazon is set to start delivering Whole Foods groceries in four US markets, and crowdsourced start-up Deliv, which partners with the likes of Macy’s, Best Buy, Petsmart and Walmart, will offer same-day supply of prescription medications.



Catching up ▪ Walmart is asking vendors to supply it with more merchandise priced at US$ 10 and up, as part of a major push to finally turn a profit at its online business. The focus is on dry grocery products such as sauces, soaps and general merchandise items.



Lingerie deal ▪ American apparel giant Hanesbrands has purchased Australian retailer Bras N Things, which operates 170 stores. The acquisition is said to be worth half a million dollars. In 2016, Hanesbrands paid US$ 1.1 billion for underwear and socks group Pacific Brands.




Asia & Australia


Indian challenges ▪ As Amazon India is preparing to launch its own brand of personal care products in the country's fast-growing cosmetics market, arch-rival Walmart has reportedly offered to double the valuation of Flipkart, in which the retailer is about to become a stakeholder, to US$ 20 billion.



Strengthening ties ▪ Following a lukewarm reception in China for its own system, IT giant Apple will now accept Alibaba's Alipay payment app across its 41 brick-and-mortar retail outlets in the country. It is the first third-party mobile payment system to be accepted at any Apple store worldwide.



Developments Down Under ▪ Chinese online giant JD.com will open a local headquarter in Melbourne to gain closer access to brands and retailers across Australasia. After poor January sales and gloomy trading conditions, troubled Australian department store chain Myer issued another profit warning.




Thoughts for the weekend


Lidl stays in USA ▪ The German discounter has experienced strong headwinds after its debut across the Atlantic last year, mainly because local competitors are trying to scare away the foreign intruder. German Retail Blog elaborates why Lidl should remain in the US.



Aliens and robots ▪ While Alibaba is set to make a movie about the interaction between humans and robots to "explore a futuristic world", US news platform Quartz explains why artificial intelligence has replaced aliens as mankind's biggest world-destroying fear.