Traditional retailers such as Walmart and Albertsons continue to invest in technology and delivery options to fend off Amazon, while the latter is considering to move into former Toys 'R' Us stores. Chinese rival Alibaba doesn't stay idle and is set to acquire Pakistani online platform Daraz, and Instagram brings its shopping app to Europe.




Wednesday, 21 March 2018





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Traditional retailers such as Walmart and Albertsons continue to invest in technology and delivery options to fend off Amazon, while the latter is considering to move into former Toys 'R' Us stores. Chinese rival Alibaba doesn't stay idle and is set to acquire Pakistani online platform Daraz, and Instagram brings its shopping app to Europe.




US & Canada


Logistics tie-ups ▪ Courier giant Fedex will open 500 office stores inside Walmart locations in the US, which will help both companies attract new customers and handle online order returns. Warehouse club Pricesmart also bets on optimising e-commerce for its members and has bought Miami-based logistics service Aeropost.



Going digital ▪ US grocer Albertsons is preparing to expand its online grocery offerings with a new marketplace that will allow vendors to sell directly to the retailer’s customers. The platform, which is currently open to general registration for sellers, is scheduled to officially launch this summer.


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Physical expansions ▪ Increasing its brick-and-mortar footprint, Amazon is reportedly considering moving into former Toys 'R' Us sites across the US as the toy retailer begins its final wind down. Meanwhile, department store Nordstrom is opening the first Canadian location of its discount Rack chain north of Toronto.




Asia & Australasia


Eyeing Pakistan ▪ Alibaba is considering acquiring e-commerce platform Daraz, a unit of Rocket Internet in Pakistan. The move comes after the online giant's Ant Financial bought a stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank to develop mobile payments and digital services in the country.



Losses at Fonterra ▪ The New Zealand-based dairy cooperative is on the hunt for a new boss after chief executive Theo Spierings resigned amid a dire NZ$ 348 million profit loss over the past year, which included a one-off Danone settlement and the impairment of Chinese food manufacturer Beingmate.



Massive writedown ▪ Embattled Australian department store operator Myer, which is operated without a chief executive after Richard Umbers departed last month, has reported an AU$ 476 million net loss for the first half year after writing down the value of its business by half a billion dollars.




Europe & Africa


Social commerce ▪ In a significant push into e-commerce, Facebook-owned Instagram expands its shoppable post features to business users in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Outside Europe, 'shopping on Instagram' will be available in Canada, Brazil and Australia.



Online progress ▪ Ocado posted a double-digit revenue growth in the first quarter but warned that sales had been impacted by recent adverse weather conditions in the UK. In France, Fnac Darty, beauty firm Sephora and rail operator SNCF (in French) have partnered with Google to test voice shopping.



Brewing demand ▪ Belgium-based beermaker Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to build a US$ 100 million brewery in Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania, to meet the booming demand. The company is also building a brewery in Nigeria and considers the continent one of its fastest-growing territories.




What to watch


Amazon casualties ▪ It is a bleak outlook for grocers in the US, says Bloomberg. Regional chains are filing for bankruptcy and retailers have to heavily invest in technology to fight the online challenge. Meanwhile, Amazon powers ahead with another push for merchants to sell goods to other countries.



Convenience trouble ▪ One of the most successful store formats in Japan's retail industry is losing shoppers to drugstores and e-commerce. Overall customer traffic at seven major convenience chains dropped considerably in the last two years according to the Japan Franchise Association.