German discount giant Aldi is getting serious in China, while its nemesis Lidl is trialling new metropolitan formats and adapts to local architecture in Romania. Meanwhile, Irish chain Dunnes has finished its group reshuffle and US retailer Supervalu has started to experiment with smaller outlets. Enjoy the read and have a relaxing weekend.




Friday, 09 March 2018





Hello ,

German discount giant Aldi is getting serious in China, while its nemesis Lidl is trialling new metropolitan formats and adapts to local architecture in Romania. Meanwhile, Irish chain Dunnes has finished its group reshuffle and US retailer Supervalu has started to experiment with smaller outlets. Enjoy the read and have a relaxing weekend.

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Asia


Chinese push ▪ In one of its biggest expansion plans ever, Germany's Aldi wants to open physical stores in China (paywall, in German) and is putting together a team of managers with European retail experience. The move comes nearly one year after the discount powerhouse launched an online shop on Alibaba's Tmall platform.



Amazon invests ▪ The online giant is reportedly ready to sign a deal with the Vietnam E-commerce Association to open up its platforms to local small and medium enterprises. Across the Pacific, Amazon is backing Toronto-based start-up and smart home technology provider Ecobee.



Decisions in India ▪ Online major Flipkart will construct the country's largest integrated logistics park in Bengaluru as a way to battle it out with rival Amazon. In a bid to reduce costs, German sportswear giant Adidas is restructuring its Indian operations and will close some non-performing stores.




Europe


Store alignments ▪ Lidl will open its first outlet in the Romanian city of Sighisoara. The store is adapted to the town’s medieval architecture. The German discounter has recently developed several new formats to establish itself in urban centres. The latest model is a 'metropolitan' concept in Frankfurt (paywall).



Corporate rejig ▪ Irish chain Dunnes Stores has finished a major restructuring process by assimilating 40 individual companies into a principal entity within the group. The move comes just months after it became apparent that the retailer has been undergoing significant changes at the top.



Reporting results ▪ Casino has delivered a cautious outlook with a 20.1% rise in its 2017 operating profit. The French retailer said it will step up its online offerings. Meanwhile, Britain's John Lewis Partnership, which owns Waitrose, has revealed diving profits in its full-year results and cut its staff bonus to a lower level.




US & Canada


Urban format ▪ Minnesota-based retailer Supervalu is the latest to follow a popular retail trend - creating smaller stores. The company's banner Cub is set to open its first store embedded into a residential complex in Minneapolis with a format 'fit for this neighbourhood'.



Cautious forecast ▪ Supermarket giant Kroger reported quarterly net sales that met analysts' estimates but expects margin pressure to squeeze earnings in 2018. The Cincinnati-based retailer plans to accelerate investments in its Restock Kroger initiative with the benefits of the tax reform.



Pleasing shareholders ▪ Discussing second-quarter earnings with its investors, wholesaler Costco revealed that it will ramp up its grocery delivery offerings. Although Abercrombie & Fitch delivered a strong quarterly performance, the teen apparel retailer will close 60 more stores later this year.




What to watch


Trade agreement ▪ Eleven Pacific nations have signed the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Chilean capital Santiago. The agreement encompasses a population of 500 million people and exports of US$ 2.5 trillion. Last year, US President Trump pulled out of the deal.



Online growth Down Under ▪ New research by Australia Post estimates that total e-commerce spending on physical goods grew 19.2% in 2017 to A$ 21.3 billion. Clothing and fashion was a key driver for online shopping and with Amazon's arrival last December it is expected that the shift to online shopping will accelerate.