Billion-dollar deals - German pharma company Merck has sold its consumer health business to US household goods giant Procter & Gamble and Japan's Itochu is set to get a controlling stake in convenience store Familymart. Mobile checkouts are being trialled by Walmart and Britain's Sainsbury's experiments with delivery bikes.




Friday, 20 April 2018





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Billion-dollar deals - German pharma company Merck has sold its consumer health business to US household goods giant Procter & Gamble and Japan's Itochu is set to get a controlling stake in convenience store Familymart. Mobile checkouts are being trialled by Walmart and Britain's Sainsbury's experiments with delivery bikes.




US & Canada


Growth supplement ▪ Procter & Gamble agreed to buy the consumer health business of Merck for US$ 4.2 billion in cash. The announcement came shortly before the US consumer goods giants revealed its third-quarter earnings, which just beats estimates. The company also unveiled sustainability agenda 'Ambition 2030'.



Pay and go ▪ Walmart will test a new technology that arms store staff with mobile devices for checking out customers from the floor. The trial will start in over 350 “Lawn & Garden Centers” across the US. Nordstrom has similar intentions. The department store's Rack unit aims to introduce mobile checkouts in Canada.


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Joining forces ▪ The importance of brick-and-mortar is reflected in a new collaboration between Amazon and Best Buy. The consumer electronics giant will exclusively sell Amazon's new smart TVs. The online giant is reportedly also making plans to integrate Whole Foods Market into its Prime subscription service.




Europe


Dairy decisions ▪ Müller Milk & Ingredients offers British farmers fixed-price milk contracts as part of its supply deal with discounter Lidl. The UK dairy processor, which operates in England and Wales, is also putting its foodservice delivery option under review, with some 250 roles at risk of redundancy.



Russian results ▪ Despite a slowdown due to cold weather, X5 Retail group posted a 20.2% increase in first-quarter revenue, fellow retailer Lenta enjoyed a 19.9% rise. The O'Key group, however, reported a 6.9% decline for the period, due to the group selling off its supermarket business to X5 Retail.



Eco-friendly delivery ▪ British supermarket major Sainsbury’s is trialling the UK’s first electric cargo bike grocery delivery service, starting this week. The trial is designed to examine the speed and efficiency of a greener grocery delivery method and, if successful, is likely to be rolled out.




Asia & Middle East


Diversification plans ▪ Japanese trading house Itochu is set to acquire a controlling stake in convenience store chain Familymart. The company said the tender offer would be for US$ 1.12 billion. Virtual mall operator Rakuten will invest US$ 1.86 billion to prepare for its entry into Japan's mobile phone service market



Smart hub ▪ Alibaba has agreed to step up investments in Thailand. Founder Jack Ma met with the country's prime minister and signed several agreements, including one to set up a 'smart digital hub'. At a ceremony for a free-trade zone, Ma warned that a US-China trade war will have no winners.



Factory of the future ▪ American multinational snack company Mondelēz invested some US$ 90 million in the state-of-the-art biscuit manufacturing plant in Bahrain, which will serve as a hub for exports to the Gulf region and a number of African states, reducing the company's logistics costs.




Slideshows


Compact and digital ▪ Metro Cash & Carry bets on smaller stores in France. The assortment is reduced, but virtually expanded and full of technology with various digital services. The wholesaler wants to build up to 20 compact branches in the country. Click here for images (captions in German).



Showroom feel ▪ American sneaker brand Greats will open a store in Manhattan today. The 500-sq.-ft. outlet features clean lines and a hip ambience. In addition to exclusive products, the store will serve as a community hub for Greats fans, with regular events. Click here for pictures.