While its business as usual at Toys 'R' Us in Canada, the toy retailer will possibly close all its stores in the US. Troubled Australian retailer Myer suffers another setback. Spanish grocer Eroski remodels more of its store network and compatriot Zara expands its click-and-collect roll-out. Enjoy the read and have a great start to the week ahead.




Monday, 12 March 2018





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While its business as usual at Toys 'R' Us in Canada, the toy retailer will possibly close all its stores in the US. Troubled Australian retailer Myer suffers another setback. Spanish grocer Eroski remodels more of its store network and compatriot Zara expands its click-and-collect roll-out. Enjoy the read and have a great start to the week ahead.

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US & Canada


Toy trouble continues ▪ After struggling to keep its bankruptcy reorganisation plan alive, Toys 'R' Us is preparing for mass liquidation and the closure of its US stores. The failure is considered as 'bad luck' and 'bad planning'. Its profitable Canadian business, however, is carrying on its operations as usual at the moment.



Digital decisions ▪ Upscale department store operator Nordstrom has acquired two start-ups, BevyUp and MessageYes, to booster its power online. Meanwhile, Boxed, the site for buying food and other items in bulk, has turned down a US$ 400 million acquisition offer from Kroger to remain private.



Kitchen initiative ▪ Weight-loss company Weight Watchers is joining the crowded meal kit market with the launch of WW Healthy Kitchen, a collection of “quick prep” kits that will be sold in grocery stores. Following the announcement, shares at competitor Blue Apron dropped to a record low.




Europe


Spanish goals ▪ Retail group Eroski plans to transform 50 more supermarkets to the 'Contigo' model this year with a special focus on the Balearic Islands. Meanwhile, Inditex-owned fashion chain Zara announced that it will be expanding its automated click-and-collect points with the help of robots.



Costly error ▪ British beverage giant Convivality, which operates franchises such as Bargain Booze and Wine Rack, has issued a profit warning after what it describes as an 'error in its forecast'. The mistake has cost the retailer dearly, wiping more than GBP 300 million of its market value.



Plastic bans ▪ As part of wider sustainability efforts, Lidl Ireland has announced new targets for plastic reduction in its own-brand packaging. Fellow discounter Aldi also plans that all packaging on its private-label products will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022 in the UK.




Australia & Asia


Focus on India ▪ US health product company GNC and franchise partner Guardian Healthcare are set to expand in the South Asian country with the goal to make GNC products available in 4,000 new stores. Coca-Cola is also looking to broaden its footprint, aiming to localise two thirds of its product portfolio in India.



Value downgraded ▪ Struggling retailer Myer has to deal with another blow: Standard & Poor's is pulling Australia's only listed department store from its ASX 200 benchmark index. The retailer's overall value has declined to AUS$ 363 million from an all-time high of AUS$ 2.4 billion more than eight years ago.



Solid performance ▪ New Zealand retail chain Briscoe Group doesn't have to worry about waning success as the company has posted a record profit. Annual sales topped NZ$ 600 million and growth in its online offering was up 40%. However, the retailer is aware that the year ahead "will not be easy".




Insider Insights


No Sunday shopping ▪ A Polish law banning almost all trade on Sundays has taken effect, with most retailers closed for the first time since liberal shopping laws were introduced in the 1990s. The change is stirring up a range of emotions, says the Guardian. Large format operators are facing a difficult situation according to LZ Retailytics.