German retailer Metro and sportswear firm Adidas invest in technology and online presence. US retailer Supervalu considers a possible sale and Nestlé faces more boycotts from major European retailers. Carrefour thinks about efficiency measures in Argentina and Bayer's mega acquisition of Monsanto received the green light in the US.




Tuesday, 10 April 2018





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German retailer Metro and sportswear firm Adidas invest in technology and online presence. US retailer Supervalu considers a possible sale and Nestlé faces more boycotts from major European retailers. Carrefour thinks about efficiency measures in Argentina and Bayer's mega acquisition of Monsanto received the green light in the US.




Europe


Tech adjustments ▪ German retail giant Metro is set to invest big time in its IT department to become an 'international tech player' in the food and wholesale sector, while Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted is convinced that the website “is the most important store we have”. He revealed plans to close a number of outlets to ramp up online offerings.



More pressure for Nestlé ▪ The ongoing dispute between the Swiss food giant and major retailers in Europe continues to escalate. German supermarket group Edeka has written to its stores recommending that they drop more Nestlé items (paywall, in Geman) and Coop Switzerland also boycotted more products.


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Wind of change ▪ French grocer Auchan will open its first superstore format called Auchan Zoriany in Ukraine as it expands into the region. Dutch-Belgian retail giant Ahold Delhaize faces another retirement: Mats Jansson will be replaced as chairman of the company's supervisory board by Jan Hommen.



Home brand expansions ▪ Lidl Italia and fellow discounter Penny have launched new private label product lines which focus on sustainable foods. UK fashion e-tailer Asos plans to offer its first own-brand homeware range, and Switzerland's Coop has introduced a dairy line sourced from cows fed exclusively on Swiss hay.




South America & US


Argentinian crisis ▪ Carrefour says it is experiencing "a complex economic situation after three years of losses" in Argentina. The French retailer considers store closure and staff redundancies. Carrefour has 585 stores across the country and employs 18,000 workers.



Takeover approval ▪ German drugs and pesticides group Bayer is another step closer to merge with Monsanto after it has reached a deal with the US Justice Department for its US$ 62.5 billion bid to acquire the agrochemical multinational. EU antitrust regulators approved the purchase in March.



Exploring next steps ▪ Under pressure from an activist investor, US wholesaler and retailer Supervalu is reportedly working with an adviser to consider options including a potential sale. The future looks brighter for Lucky's Market. The Colorado-based organic supermarket chain plans a 40% growth in its retail presence.




Asia


Betting on artificial intelligence ▪ Hong Kong-based start-up SenseTime has raised US$ 600 million from Alibaba and other investors, valuing the three-year-old AI firm at more than US$ 3 billion. JD.com has entered an agreement with the Chinese city of Xiangtan, where it will invest US$ 1.6 billion on a new smart logistics initiative.



Eyeing foreign markets ▪ Swedish furniture chain Ikea has started to open smaller and more compact stores in Southeast Asian to boost its presence in the fast-growing region, targeting the burgeoning middle class in emerging economic centres such as Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Udon Thani and other cities.




Customer service


Bad performance ▪ More grocers than ever offer delivery service for customers in the US, but they appear to be falling short of user expectations when comparing how soon people want to receive orders versus how fast delivery occurs, says Texas-based delivery service Dropoff.



Payment made easy ▪ PayPal is expanding into traditional banking through partnerships with smaller banks to offer consumers debit cards connected to their PayPal accounts. The online payment company will launch the new banking products in the first half of 2018, following a trial phase.