Hoping to find an amicable solution, Swiss food giant Nestlé continues with negotiations to end a boycott of its products. Australian supermarket giant Coles is set to close the gap with competitor Woolies and undeterred from its growth slip, Walmart powers ahead, announcing a new partnership in Canada. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Thursday, 22 February 2018





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Hoping to find an amicable solution, Swiss food giant Nestlé continues with negotiations to end a boycott of its products. Australian supermarket giant Coles is set to close the gap with competitor Woolies and undeterred from its growth slip, Walmart powers ahead, announcing a new partnership in Canada. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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US & Canada


Big plans ahead ▪ Ramping up its efforts in Canada, Walmart is partnering with online service Food-X Uban Delivery to bring home delivery to Vancouver. The big box retailer is also targeting an e-commerce sales growth of 40% in the coming year and preparing to roll out a new website with unique brand partners.



Joint efforts ▪ Walgreens Boots Alliance and Express Scripts are expanding their buying activities to include speciality brand drugs. The move will be supported by purchasing organisation ValoremRx, which will source the pharmaceuticals to simplify the global supply chain and lower costs for patients.



Ambitious strategy ▪ Canadian food major Maple Leaf is set to become "the most sustainable protein company" in the world and has started an ambitious brand renovation. The firm has raised its dividend after a Q4 profit jump and has acquired two plant-based protein brands in the last 12 months.




Europe


Damage control ▪ Nestlé is in talks to end a boycott of its products by several European retailers in a row over pricing. The Swiss food group hopes to soon find a solution "to this highly regrettable situation". European buying group Agrecore has stopped ordering Nestlé products to seek better supply terms.



Focus on food ▪ Italian grocer Coop has launched D'Osa, a new private label line dedicated to home cooking, in response to growing consumer demand. Over in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn promotes potatoes. The retailer has introduced new varieties and an improved store layout for the vegetable.



Reporting results ▪ British Walmart unit Asda insists that its turnaround remained on track despite reporting a slowdown in sales growth in its last quarter. Dairy giant Arla saw its revenues increase last year, boosted by a strong brand performance, and said earlier this month that it will invest over EUR 500 million in 2018.




Asia & Australasia


Catching up ▪ Australian supermarket major Coles will expand its click-to-collect offering to over 520 more supermarkets in a bid to close the gap to rival Woolworths, which has a total of 970 collection locations. Both retailers are trialling different business models for online shopping.



Leaving Taiwan ▪ Hong Kong cosmetics retailer Sa Sa will close all its 21 stores in Taiwan by the end of March after six straight years of losses and will concentrate on other markets including mainland China. 260 employees are affected.



... and the US ▪ Brisbane-based jewellery chain Michael Hill International posted a 66% drop in first-half profit. The company, which has stores in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, is exploring options for its US exit, including selling the business.




Trends to watch


Blended commerce ▪ More stores will close, rising costs threaten to crush margins and speedy retailers get even speedier. These are three predictions for the year ahead, according to global multi-industry consulting firm AlixPartners. Click here for the rest of the forecast.



Smart solutions preferred ▪ Americans prefer shopping at traditional supermarkets which use technology to preserve food quality and offer a convenient experience. Neighbouring Canadians are mainly happy with their favourite grocers despite revelations of an alleged industry-wide bread price-fixing scheme.