Chinese tech giants are venturing deeper into physical retail with Alibaba buying the remaining stake in delivery service Ele.me and competitor JD.com investing in another supermarket chain. Poland's Eurocash will roll out a liquor store concept, Lidl UK partners for augmented reality and Canada's Loblaw gives an e-commerce initiative a go.




Tuesday, 27 February 2018





Hello ,

Chinese tech giants are venturing deeper into physical retail with Alibaba buying the remaining stake in delivery service Ele.me and competitor JD.com investing in another supermarket chain. Poland's Eurocash will roll out a liquor store concept, Lidl UK partners for augmented reality and Canada's Loblaw gives an e-commerce initiative a go.

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Asia & South Pacific


Delivery boost ▪ Alibaba is planning to acquire the rest of Shanghai-based food delivery giant Ele.me, as part of its so-called New Retail strategy. The Chinese online major has agreed to buy out shareholder Baidu. Over in India, its US counterpart Amazon has set up 15 specialised fulfilment centres to ramp up its business for Amazon Now.



Challenging the leader ▪ Long-time collaborators Tencent and JD.com have each bought minority stakes in Chinese supermarket and department store operator Better Life, which operates 529 stores. It is not the first time that the two conglomerates joined forces. Last year, they have invested in e-commerce firm Vipshop to battle Alibaba.



Australian alliances ▪ Packaging giant Hilton Food Group and supermarket operator Woolworths have agreed to restructure their meat processing joint venture in Australia. US wholesaler Costco and Perth Airport are set to build a massive warehouse in the airport precinct - more than triple the size of a normal supermarket.




Europe


3D deal ▪ Lidl has signed a four-year agreement with UK technology firm Virtual Resolution as it continues its expansion in Britain. The Yorkshire-based company specialises in 3D visualisation and augmented reality and will help the German discounter in areas such as public engagement and the planning process.



Focus on formats ▪ Polish wholesale operator Eurocash plans to roll out its liquor store pilot concept 'Duży Benon' on a national level. After posting record sales, Irish retailer SuperValu wants to invest in new stores, and Tesco is reportedly set to trial its discounter brand in an empty unit, spearheaded by a former Aldi manager.



Buying and selling ▪ Norway's Tomra Group has agreed to purchase New Zealand company BBC Technologies with its traceability platform Freshtracker. UK poultry giant 2 Sisters Food Group is looking to offload Donegal Catch, the Irish frozen fish brand it owns under its Green Isle Foods division.




US & Canada


E-commerce initiative ▪ Canadian grocer Loblaw partnered with Metrolinx for a new service that allows commuters to order groceries online and pick them up at one of five 'Go Transit' stations in the Toronto area. The move is seen as a reaction to Amazon's recent entry into Canada's grocery market.



Recruitment choices ▪ Value retailer 99 Cents Only Stores, which operates 391 stores, has appointed grocery veteran Jack Sinclair as its new CEO. Department store retailer J.C.Penney has teamed up with a young social media star to launch an exclusive line of girl's apparel and was 'blown away' by the response.




What to watch


Travel retail ▪ Brick-and-mortar retailers struggling in traditional malls should look no further than the skies for inspiration. With a concentrated flow of foot traffic, airport retailers have an opportunity to create a memorable impact as the airport retail market is expected to reach US$ 125.1 billion by 2023.



Takeover explorations ▪ Shareholders are set to vote on Tesco's GBP 3.7 billion acquisition of Booker this week, with CEO Dave Lewis hoping investors will back his bid to create the UK's largest food business. Meanwhile, British authorities started investigations into the merger of Nisa Retail and the Co-op. A first decision is expected in April.