The consolidation process in the US drug retailing sector continues with another huge acquisition. A major push into the Egyptian market is on Carrefour's agenda, while Lidl secures its leading role in Romania. Walmart, Home Depot and Australia's Wesfarmers unveiled their most recent results and at least one of them has reason to be concerned.




Wednesday, 21 February 2018





Hello ,

The consolidation process in the US drug retailing sector continues with another huge acquisition. A major push into the Egyptian market is on Carrefour's agenda, while Lidl secures its leading role in Romania. Walmart, Home Depot and Australia's Wesfarmers unveiled their most recent results and at least one of them has reason to be concerned.

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US & Canada


Mega merger ▪ Albertsons is set to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid, creating a company with US$ 83 billion in annual revenue. The deal gives the grocer more power to compete with bigger chains in an industry fearing the entry of Amazon and is the latest in a wave of consolidation in the pharmacy sector.



Walmart stumbles ▪ The world largest retailer reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as well as a sharp drop in online sales growth during the holiday period, sending its shares tumbling. However, some analysts are not overly concerned, arguing that Walmart is still moving full steam ahead for a better business tomorrow.



Home Depot soars ▪ America's leading home improvement chain reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales that topped expectations, powered by a strong US housing market. Earlier this month, the Atlanta-based retailer announced that it will hire 80,000 temporary workers for an expected busy spring and summer season.




Europe


Romanian hub ▪ Lidl is about to establish an IT centre of excellence in Bucharest that will provide e-commerce and management solutions for the digital platforms of the Schwarz Group-owned discount banner in around 30 countries. The German retail conglomerate is the market leader in Romania.



Food alliances ▪ British grocer Morrisons will buy Yorkshire-based Chippindale Foods, a major producer of free-range eggs, to support a sustainable supply chain. French vegetable company Bonduelle announced to acquire Conagra Del Monte's processed fruit and vegetable business in Canada for US$ 43 million.



Eyewear flagship ▪ Sunglasses brand Ray-Ban has chosen London as the location of its first standalone store in Europe, which is set to open this spring. The company said that the new store would be a celebration of its “commitment to offering customers the world’s best eyewear shopping experience”.




Australasia & Middle East


Expansion in Egypt ▪ Dubai-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim, the operator of Carrefour in the Middle East, has signed an agreement with Egyptian authorities to open 100 additional Carrefour stores in the country, where it currently operates 11 hypermarkets and 25 supermarkets.



Wesfarmers' worries ▪ First-half profit at the Australian conglomerate has plunged nearly 90% amid deepening woes at its troubled Bunnings UK business and Target department stores. Adding to the problems is the slow sales growth at its supermarket unit Coles, Wesfarmers' biggest business.



Better results ▪ Shopping mall operator Scentre Group has reported a hefty profit rise, driven by rising footfall in its centres, and Australian and New Zealand-listed dairy company A2 Milk enjoyed a 70% jump in total revenue for the six months to December 2017 thanks to surging sales of infant formula, mainly in China.




Sustainability matters


Biodynamic partnership ▪ German drugstore leader dm has teamed up with organic certification association Demeter, which has developed a seal that goes further than the EU Bio label. It will be used on the retailer's private label products to endorse dm's organic credentials.



Saving energy ▪ Sweden's Ikea is urging UK households to sign up to a campaign, which aims to use a “collective switch” to save them money with an energy tariff that is 100% renewable. Meanwhile, Dutch brewer Heineken stated that it has already surpassed its 2020 target for CO2 emissions in production.