The combination of Sainsbury's and Asda shocked the retail world in Britain over the weekend. Amazon generates extra revenue by increasing membership fees, Walmart looks for tech experts and Alibaba's Jack Ma will receive an honorary doctorate in Tel Aviv. Enjoy the read!




Monday, 30 April 2018





Hello ,

The combination of Sainsbury's and Asda shocked the retail world in Britain over the weekend. Amazon generates extra revenue by increasing membership fees, Walmart looks for tech experts and Alibaba's Jack Ma will receive an honorary doctorate in Tel Aviv. Enjoy the read!




Europe


Shock deal ▪ Sainsbury’s and Walmart’s Asda confirmed they are to merge to create Britain’s biggest supermarket group by market share, surpassing current leader Tesco.



Research initiative ▪ Ahold Delhaize has partnered with a unit of the University of Amsterdam to explore the retail applications of artificial intelligence, for example how to better manage the flow of goods. The research will take place at the company’s Albert Heijn retail chain.



Store expansions ▪ Lithuania's Maxima Group, which recently purchased Polish chain Stokrotka, plans to add 100 new outlets in Poland. In Russia, retailer O'Key is set to expand (paywall) its discount format Da! The company recorded annual sales revenues of EUR 2.32 billion.




US & Canada


Price hikes and talent search ▪ Amazon has increased the price for its membership by 20%. The decision might deliver more than US$ 1 billion in extra revenue this year. Meanwhile, Walmart is on the hunt for digital experts in California and wants to hire 150 tech workers for its research hub.



Streamlining operations ▪ Health specialist GNC has announced to close 200 stores in the US and Canada as part of its ongoing plan to optimise the company's portfolio. New store openings are limited this year. GNC operates 8,905 outlets worldwide. The company has suffered a profit loss in the first quarter.



Colgate disappoints ▪ The world's largest toothpaste said that first-quarter sales were below its expectations as demand in emerging markets was muted. Organic growth slowed, even as the company spent more on advertising and invested in price to spur demand for its products.




Asia


Enhancing freshness ▪ While Alibaba boss Jack Ma visits Israel to meet with the prime minister and to get honoured by Tel Aviv University, its logistics affiliate Cainiao plans to open 100 fresh food warehouses around China to help connect rural agricultural products with online shoppers.



Logistics investment ▪ JD.com, China's second-largest e-commerce company, has bought a stake in China Logistics Property Holdings through a subsidiary. Proceeds from the sale will be used for the development of logistics park projects and as general working capital.




Africa & Latin America


Mounting pressure ▪ Christoph Wiese, the former chairman of South Africa’s Steinhoff International has filed a US$ 4.8 billion lawsuit against his former employer. This comes after the troubled retail conglomerate agreed to end a bitter dispute by selling half of German furniture chain Poco.



Positive outlook ▪ Botswana supermarket chain Choppies has reason to rejoice. Its half-year profits rose 19%, buoyed by an improved performance at its South African stores. The budget retailer expects that the growth will continue in the second half of the year.



Nestlé in Chile ▪ The Swiss food giant has opened a US$ 120 million pet food factory in the Chilean city of Teno, which will produce food for dogs and cats to meet the growing demand in Latin America. The factory is said to have one of the highest standards of quality and food safety.