Striking back at Amazon's Whole Foods delivery service, Sam's Club has buddied up with Instacart and parent company Walmart makes deeper inroads into the apparel space. The online rival from Seattle moves into second gear in Australia and German powerhouse Lidl unveils an updated store format in Italy ahead of Aldi's arrival.




Wednesday, 28 February 2018





Hello ,

Striking back at Amazon's Whole Foods delivery service, Sam's Club has buddied up with Instacart and parent company Walmart makes deeper inroads into the apparel space. The online rival from Seattle moves into second gear in Australia and German powerhouse Lidl unveils an updated store format in Italy ahead of Aldi's arrival.

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Europe


Going urban ▪ Lidl has inaugurated an upgrade to its Italian store format. A new outlet in Milan represents an architecturally elaborate, metropolitan store concept. It comes as no surprise that the format was revealed just a few days ahead of competitor Aldi Süd’s launch into the market, says LZ Retailytics.



Convenient takeover ▪ Forecourt operator Motor Fuel Group has acquired MRH, Britain’s largest petrol station and convenience retail operator. The deal is said to be worth GBP 1.2 billion. The combined business will operate more than 900 sites, which are predominantly company-owned and franchisee-operated.



Growth strategies ▪ Spanish minimarket operator Covirán wants to accelerate its digital transformation, its expansion in Portugal and has confirmed it will enter Morocco. Fellow retailer Dia Group also has plans (paywall) for the neighbouring country and will invest EUR 25 million in its Portuguese operations.




US & Canada


Catching up ▪ The online price gap for groceries between Walmart and Amazon has narrowed dramatically according to new research. Now, the Arkansas-based retailer challenges its nemesis in the apparel sector with the launch of four private label clothing brands and the teaming up of Sam's Club with Instacart to provide same-day delivery.



Lucrative alliances ▪ Supermarket chain Kroger has partnered with a Cincinnati-based hospital to provide health care for its employees at affordable prices. After ending a previous relationship in 2006, McDonald's and the Walt Disney company have reunited to promote Happy Meals again.



Coffee theatre ▪ Starbucks has opened the first of 1,000 planned upscale Reserve stores in Seattle. The debut is part of a broad strategy to defend against high-end coffee rivals like Blue Bottle Coffee. Starbucks is set to spend big on an expansion toward the higher end of the food and beverage market.




Australia & Asia


Second push ▪ Amazon has entered the next phase of its expansion Down Under with its 'fulfilment' programme now available to the country's retailers. Local third-party businesses can access the 'Fulfilment by Amazon' service, which selects, packages and ships products on the seller's behalf.



Japanese deals ▪ E-commerce major Rakuten acquired Bitnet, a bitcoin wallet start-up, to help it work on blockchain technology and applications such as a new cryptocurrency called Rakuten Coin. Meanwhile, US online marketplace Ebay has acquired the Japanese assets from its joint venture partner Giosis to expand its footprint in the country.



Ikea expands in Southeast Asia ▪ Filipinos are bracing for the arrival of the Swedish furniture-maker after it found a local franchise partner in firm Ikano, which is involved in finance, real estate and retail. Ikea has already stores in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and also wants to launch in Vietnam.




Africa


Eyeing Kenya ▪ South Africa-based Shoprite has posted a 6.3% increase in turnover in the first half of its financial year. The supermarket operator is set to launch in Kenya, taking advantage of the disarray in the grocery sector there, where Uchumi has just closed another outlet.



Profit jump ▪ Botswana's Choppies flagged up to a 30% increase in half-year profit, buoyed by improved performance at its South African operations. The budget retailer operates in seven African countries and runs 82 stores in South Africa.