Alibaba invests in a European luxury wholesale platform and becomes one of the major shareholders in tech giant Foxconn. Russia's second biggest grocer, Magnit, eyes efficiency gains from sharing transport infrastructure, and Walmart's South African unit recorded its biggest loss at the stock exchange in Johannesburg. Have a great start to the week!




Monday, 28 May 2018





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Alibaba invests in a European luxury wholesale platform and becomes one of the major shareholders in tech giant Foxconn. Russia's second biggest grocer, Magnit, eyes efficiency gains from sharing transport infrastructure, and Walmart's South African unit recorded its biggest loss at the stock exchange in Johannesburg. Have a great start to the week!




Asia


Big stakes ▪ China’s three biggest internet conglomerates – Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu – will become major shareholders in Foxconn after the technology firm’s upcoming USD 4.3 billion initial public offering.To drive its luxury business, Alibaba has taken a minority interest in virtual showroom start-up Ordre.



Initiatives in India ▪ Amazon appears to be restarting its investments in the country as India-based digital insurance start-up Acko confirmed that the online retailer led a new round of funding for its business. Private equity firm Samara Capital is in advanced talks to buy Aditya Birla’s supermarket chain More.



Spirits in Myanmar ▪ Pernod Ricard and Yoma Strategic Holdings have joined forces to produce and distribute whisky in Myanmar. The French beverage giant is the first global producer of wine and spirits that has established a formal presence in the Southeast Asian nation.




Europe


Postal growth ▪ Magnit plans to expand its reach by launching shops in thousands of Russian Post offices. The first five stores will open at the end of June. The country's second biggest grocer also hopes to save on transport costs through the joint use of logistics infrastructure.



Spar announcements ▪ The Amsterdam-based international retailer has launched a new flagship store in the UK with partner Blakemore Retail. In the Netherlands, Spar is set to develop a distribution centre in Heerenveen in order to support the current growth of its logistics processes.



Merger pressure ▪ Sainsbury’s has admitted it will cut management jobs as part of its tie-up with Asda. The British grocer is already under fire from the union and could face legal action as it was pressing ahead with a plan to cut paid breaks, annual bonuses and premium pay for Sundays.




USA & South Africa


E-commerce engagement ▪ United Supermarkets, a unit of retail giant Albertsons, has upgraded its online platform to improve customer engagement and enhance metrics for the mobile shopper app. Wholesaler Spartan Nash announced that its Family Fare Supermarkets will offer same-day grocery delivery via Instacart.



Grim outlook ▪ Walmart’s Massmart subsidiary recorded a massive loss on the Johannesburg stock exchange last week after the retailer announced that its profits for the six months to end June would drop nearly 70% due to restructuring and constrained consumer spending in South Africa.



Positive progress ▪ Partnerships with key partners and a focus on premium products helped sportswear retailer Foot Locker to beat analysts' estimates for its first quarter. During the period, the company, which operates in 24 countries, opened 11 new stores, remodelled or relocated 43 stores, and closed 37 stores.




Awards and accolades


Top independents ▪ Lebensmittel Zeitung has compiled a ranking of the largest independent grocers in Germany. Edeka merchants dominate the list, but Rewe Petz from the Westerwald region ranks at the top. Click here to have a look at the stores (captions in German).



Best and worse ▪ British icon Selfridges was awarded as the 'Best Department Store in the World' for the fourth time in London, while bookstore WH Smith has been rated the UK’s worst high street retailer in a survey by Which? Shoppers criticised its customer service and store standards.