Chinese heavyweight Alibaba invests billions into a courier company, while its delivery platform Ele.me looks forward to using drones. Developments in Europe are a bit gloomier as Nestlé and Arla announced a number of redundancies and Dixons Carphone shut stores. Across the Atlantic, Best Buy and Albertsons explore options in the health sector. Enjoy the read!




Wednesday, 30 May 2018





Hello ,

Chinese heavyweight Alibaba invests billions into a courier company, while its delivery platform Ele.me looks forward to using drones. Developments in Europe are a bit gloomier as Nestlé and Arla announced a number of redundancies and Dixons Carphone shut stores. Across the Atlantic, Best Buy and Albertsons explore options in the health sector. Enjoy the read!




Asia


Financial ventures ▪ Alibaba has led a consortium of investors to buy a stake of Chinese courier ZTO Express for USD 1.38 billion, which will bolster its ability to deliver around the globe. The e-commerce giant is also consolidating some of its healthcare assets into a listed unit in a deal valued at USD 1.35 billion.



Caring for customers ▪ Food delivery platform Ele.me has been given approval to work with drones in 17 newly approved routes in Shanghai, while parent company Alibaba's AI technology lets customers at cafes and restaurants place their orders via voice with a smart-ordering machine in real time.



Future goals ▪ India’s largest retailer Future Group plans to open about 10,000 stores. Founder Kishore Biyani wants to launch small-format 'Easyday' branded stores across the country. The membership-based formats should attract about 20 million members.




Europe


Cutting costs ▪ Nestlé plans to eliminate up to 500 IT jobs at its Swiss home base as it shifts work to an existing tech hub in Spain and other locations. Arla Foods has announced restructuring measures which will affect roughly 350 employees, mainly in the UK and Denmark. The dairy giant also appointed a new chairman.



More reshuffles ▪ Carphone Warehouse will close nearly 100 stores this year as the company’s new boss issued a profits warning. The mobile phone retailer grapples with changing consumer habits. Russia's O'Key Group has made major changes to its senior-level executives and created a new management team.



Targeting seniors ▪ French supermarket group Intermarché is set to launch a new format for an elderly clientele, called “Bien Chez Moi”, which will combine products and services fit for older consumers. The “active seniors” store will be located in a shopping gallery in Normandy.




US & Canada


Lucrative health sector ▪ Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is testing a new technology to help keep senior citizens healthier. The service is called 'Assured Living'. Grocer Albertsons is heading in a similar direction by providing mental health patients with a genetic test to help with their medication therapy.



Tariff ramifications ▪ In response to the announcement from the White House to implement USD 50 billion tariffs on goods imported from China, the nation’s retail association warns that the move will reduce the US gross domestic product by nearly USD 3 billion and destroy thousands of American jobs.



Fighting fakes ▪ The US Federal Communications Commission has asked Amazon and Ebay to help remove the listings for fake pay-TV boxes from their respective websites as they often fraudulently use the FCC logo. Both e-commerce companies are reportedly already taking pro-active steps to assist.




Africa


Slowing down ▪ Steinhoff Africa Retail announced that it won't pay half-year dividend and told investors it was now financially independent of its crisis-hit parent, Steinhoff International. The continent's biggest clothing retailer also revised down its targeted store openings for 2018.



Sweet intentions ▪ South African sugar producer Tongaat Hulett wants to expand its business in Angola, an oil-producing nation which has a sugar deficit of over 300,000 tonnes a year, and other nations that rely on sugar imports. The company posted a 37 % fall in full-year profit.