With e-commerce changing customer expectations, retailers are stepping up their game - Home Depot invests billions into its supply chain, Macy's is looking for technical support with its latest partnership, while Google approaches physical merchants. Across the Atlantic, Lidl is a step closer to entering another market, and Deliveroo reveals ambitious growth plans.




Wednesday, 13 June 2018





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With e-commerce changing customer expectations, retailers are stepping up their game - Home Depot invests billions into its supply chain, Macy's is looking for technical support with its latest partnership, while Google approaches physical merchants. Across the Atlantic, Lidl is a step closer to entering another market, and Deliveroo reveals ambitious growth plans.




Europe


Prepared to launch ▪ Lidl Serbia has officially opened one of Southeast Europe's largest distribution centres near Belgrade. It marks the start of operations in the country, where it will launch its first store at the end of the year. The logistics hub has the capacity for supplying 100 stores (paywall).



Delivery competition ▪ Deliveroo will allow restaurants to use their own riders for orders placed through its takeaway food app and plans to sign up 5,000 eateries in Britain in a direct challenge to rival Just Eat. In Romania, food delivery platform Foodex has been launched in Bucharest.



Solid results ▪ British American Tobacco said that trading in the first half of the year was in line with expectations and stays positive for full-year results despite currency headwinds. UK online retailer Boohoo enjoyed a strong start to the year, thanks to double-digit growth across the board in Q1.



Polish acquisition ▪ Croatian retailer Studenac, which operates a chain of 384 neighbourhood grocery stores in the country, has been bought by Polish private equity firm Enterprise Fund VIII for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is conditional upon obtaining antimonopoly approval.




US & Canada


Tech investment ▪ Macy's is partnering with start-up b8ta to expand its pop-up concept Market. As part of that relationship, the department store chain has taken a minority stake in the tech firm, which allows shoppers to try out technology before they buy it and helps brands to build physical stores.



Supply chain upgrade ▪ Home Depot is set to invest USD 1.2 billion to facilitate quicker deliveries. The company plans to bring 170 distribution centres online. Meanwhile, Tesla has finished its partnership with the home improvement retailer and will sell its solar energy products via its own stores.


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Online tools for offline vendors ▪ Google is adding a number of new features to its shopping platform aimed at physical and local merchants. Enhancements such as a competitive pricing feature and “See What’s In Store” were launched, which will let retailers provide a list of their inventory for free.




Asia & Middle East


Joining forces ▪ Middle Eastern shopping platform Noon has partnered with e-commerce giant Ebay to give shoppers in the region the opportunity to easily buy products online from the US and other parts of the world. The agreement follows the acquisition of Souq by Amazon last year.



Cashing in ▪ Bengaluru-based digital payment major Paytm is determined to enter the physical point-of-sales terminal business and plans to roll out POS machines at merchant outlets across India. The company is opening card payments at retail locations as well.




Good intentions


Comprehensive information ▪ Dutch retailer Albert Heijn is making it easier to eat less sugar by adding more information on the labels of its 11,000 own brand SKUs. Across the channel, Asda has linked up with tech company Foodmaestro to offer online nutritional search aid for customers with complex dietary needs.



Healthy advice ▪ US grocer Weis Markets has launched Plant Powered, a chain-wide themed health-and-wellness programme to inform shoppers about plant-based foods. It features in-store signs identifying a variety of healthy vegan products that can easily be incorporated into everyday meals and snacks.