Another alliance is shaping up in France as Carrefour and Système-U have signed a purchasing agreement. British discounter Poundworld joins the high street casualties and Sainsbury's invests in its Argos unit. Also included in this issue is a ranking and analysis of the top players in European retail. Enjoy the read and have a relaxing weekend.




Friday, 27 April 2018





Hello ,

Another alliance is shaping up in France as Carrefour and Système-U have signed a purchasing agreement. British discounter Poundworld joins the high street casualties and Sainsbury's invests in its Argos unit. Also included in this issue is a ranking and analysis of the top players in European retail. Enjoy the read and have a relaxing weekend.




Europe


Joining forces ▪ Carrefour has struck a five-year purchasing alliance with fellow retailer Système-U. Both companies intend to favour French producers. In Poland, Carrefour has signed agreements with seven Polish fruit and vegetable farmers to boost its supply of fresh produce in the country.



Tech investment ▪ Sainsbury's will expand the team at its subsidiary Argos by 25% to ramp up innovation and improve the shopping experience. The catalogue and online retailer is looking to fill 150 new permanent positions with technology specialists who can "think big" on digital.



High street woes ▪ Poundworld is planning to close about 100 stores, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk. The discount retailer, which operates 355 stores and employs about 5,500 people, joins a growing list of UK retailers struggling to cope with rising costs.



Full speed ahead ▪ Italian discounter MD aims to launch 180 new stores by 2021 and create 2,200 new jobs. Austrian supermarket chain Billa plans to open between eight and ten new outlets in three cities in Bulgaria, where it already employs 4,500 people.




US & Canada


Unstoppable Amazon ▪ The Seattle-based online juggernaut doesn't show any sign of slowing down with its shares at an all-time high after it more than doubled its profits to US$ 1.6 billion in the first quarter. Click here for an interactive display of how Amazon became the world's biggest retailer.



Store concepts ▪ Grocer Wegmans will open a multilevel supermarket in a Massachusetts's mall. The two-storey 'unique' outlet offers 70,000 items. Fellow retailer Rouses Markets is also eager to trial new ideas. Its experience-focused store in Alabama includes a barbecue station with house-smoked meats.



Cost-saving plan ▪ Minneapolis-based wholesaler Supervalu considers to sell its supermarket chain Shop ‘n Save and has entered into a sale-leaseback for eight of its warehouses to boost results amid investor pressure. Proceeds from the sales will be used to reduce outstanding debt.




Asia


Indian initiatives ▪ Alibaba-backed online grocer BigBasket is in talks to make an investment in delivery start-ups DailyNinja and Milkbasket. Meanwhile, Swedish furniture chain Ikea says it will launch its first store in Hyderabad in July, with more than 7,000 products on display.



Exiting China ▪ South Korean retailer Lotte has agreed to sell one of its six hypermarket and supermarket units in China to Wumei Holdings, which operates Wu-Mart stores, for about US$ 230.2 million. Last year, most of Lotte stores were shut down in China amid political tensions between the two countries.




Weekend reads


Top players ▪ Caught between discounters and e-commerce, the European grocery retail market is consolidating fast. LZ Retailytics has compiled a ranking of the top performing companies, and German Retail Blog wonders what the figures reveal to the critical eye.



Inside Alibaba ▪ The New Zealand Herald visited the Chinese online behemoth in Hangzhou and gives an insight into the e-commerce empire. Down Under, Alibaba is working with dairy giant Fonterra and New Zealand Post to track customers' orders using blockchain technology.