Takeovers and partnerships dominate the headlines of today's issue. Carrefour has acquired a French start-up, compatriot L'Oreal buys a Canadian beauty firm, Japan Tobacco expands its footprint in Russia and Alibaba teams up with Japanese giant Aeon. Get inspired by visionary future shopping concepts and have a great start to the week.




Monday, 19 March 2018





Hello ,

Takeovers and partnerships dominate the headlines of today's issue. Carrefour has acquired a French start-up, compatriot L'Oreal buys a Canadian beauty firm, Japan Tobacco expands its footprint in Russia and Alibaba teams up with Japanese giant Aeon. Get inspired by visionary future shopping concepts and have a great start to the week.




Europe


French takeovers ▪ Carrefour has acquired a controlling stake in Quitoque, France’s leading meal kit provider, which works on a subscription model. L'Oreal is looking overseas for its latest takeover target. The French beauty giant will buy Canadian tech start-up ModiFace. The firm has a strong reputation for digital services.



Thinking ahead ▪ German retailer Rewe Group plans to build seven additional warehouses by 2025 in order to expand its logistics capacity, investing around EUR 600 million. Italian regional grocer Gruppo Megamark will spend EUR 45 million to increase its store network and build a new distribution centre in the Campania region.


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Transformation in process ▪ Tesco’s takeover of Booker has prompted financial services firm JP Morgan to recommend its clients to buy shares of the grocer for the first time in five years. The British retailer has appointed Guus Dekkers as its new chief technology officer and expects him to strengthen the group's digital capabilities.




Asia


Tie-up for high tech ▪ Aeon, Japan's biggest retailer by sale, will join forces with an Alibaba-backed technology company to develop artificial intelligence models for its stores in China, where it operates about 430 locations. Meanwhile, Alibaba's launch of Alipay in Japan has hit a snag (Paywall) over concerns of privacy.



Tobacco deal ▪ Japan Tobacco agreed to buy Russia’s Donskoy Tabak for US$ 1.6 billion, strengthening its leading position in the country as competition from cigarette alternatives erodes its domestic market share. The Tokyo-based company already controls about one-third of the cigarette business in Russia.




USA & Canada


Walmart in control ▪ The world largest retailer is reportedly looking to make its grocery supply chain more efficient and has filed patents for drone technology that automate farming. In India, Walmart continues to invest in Flipkart and is on its way to becoming the largest shareholder, bolstering the e-tailers efforts to compete with Amazon.



Restructure struggles ▪ After reviewing its strategic options, Florida-based retail group Southeastern Grocers, which operates supermarket chains Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo, said it is preparing to file for bankruptcy and would shutter 94 underperforming stores to reduce the overall debt level by US$ 500 million.



Working class heroes ▪ Coca-Cola, the US State Department and three other organisations have launched a pilot project that will use blockchain to enforce worker rights. The initiative will create a secure, decentralized registry for labourers and their contracts, but the pilot has its limits as some of them might not have smartphones.




Image gallery


Visionary video ▪ Finnish retailer K Group surveyed over 60 grocery trade experts to create an idea of what food shopping could look like in the next ten years. The 'store of the future' would combine the best features of both physical and online grocery stores. Click here for the article and a clip of the store idea.



Spanish inspiration ▪ Industrial design is setting the stage for fresh products at Germany's Edeka Kels in Ratingen. Owner Volker Kels got his ideas from market halls in Spain, where he was fascinated by the fresh produce presentation and the enthusiasm of the sellers. Click here for inspiring pictures (captions in German).