JD.com and Google have partnered to expand and battle online rivals together. Their competitors are active as well – Alibaba opened an office in Malaysia, and Amazon is set to create 1,000 jobs in Ireland. Brazil's GPA and Sam's Club are working on new concept stores and a bidding war is brewing for GlaxoSmithKline's Indian Horlicks division.




Tuesday, 19 June 2018





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JD.com and Google have partnered to expand and battle online rivals together. Their competitors are active as well – Alibaba opened an office in Malaysia, and Amazon is set to create 1,000 jobs in Ireland. Brazil's GPA and Sam's Club are working on new concept stores and a bidding war is brewing for GlaxoSmithKline's Indian Horlicks division.




Asia & Australasia


Expanding together ▪ Google continues its foray into online retail world with a USD 550 million investment in Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com. The new partners will explore growth opportunities in Southeast Asia, Europe and America. However, tensions between the US and China might affect some of these plans, says JD.com founder Richard Liu.



Malaysian commitment ▪ Meanwhile, competitor Alibaba continues its overseas expansion in Southeast Asia and has opened its first country office in Malaysia, after having already established an international eHub in the country, where the Chinese e-tailer has invested over USD 100 million in recent years.



Costco adds more markets ▪ The American wholesale company's Japan unit plans to launch an e-commerce service in the country, aiming to take advantage of the growing popularity for online services. Costco's success in Australia has triggered speculation that it is eyeing up New Zealand locations.



Luxury acquisition ▪ Reliance Brands, owned by India’s largest retail chain, is in the final stages of negotiations to buy out Genesis Luxury, one of the country's top luxury groups. The acquisition is likely to give Reliance a dominant space in the booming luxury market and other benefits.




US & Latin America


Sam's goes digital ▪ Walmart's discount unit is working on a smaller technology-driven store concept that might compete with Amazon's cashier less format. Keeping a focus on an “easier shopping experience,” Sam's Club is developing a technology-driven store. The company has also opened a new e-commerce fulfilment centre in Memphis.



Buyout talks ▪ Video game and electronics retailer Gamestop has hired financial advisers to help with buyout discussions after Sycamore Partners expressed takeover interest, which sent shares of the brick-and-mortar chain to a new high. Gamestop has been struggling with online competition.


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Suburban convenience ▪ Brazilian retailer GPA has developed a new neighbourhood supermarket. The store model, labelled Compre Bem, is focused on perishables, mainly fruit and vegetables, bakery and butcher services and will be launched in the state of São Paulo later this year.




Europe


Bidding war ▪ Coca-Cola is reportedly one of a number of multinational firms interested in bidding for Horlicks, the milk drink brand put up for sale by British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline. Experts reckon the unit could fetch up to GBP 3 billion. Nestlé and Kraft Heinz are also potential bidders.



Job offers ▪ Amazon will add more than 1,000 new jobs in Ireland over the next two years. The new roles, mainly offered in Dublin, include software engineers, security and big data specialists. Earlier this month, the e-tailer announced that it would create another 2,500 jobs in neighbouring United Kingdom.




Worthwhile reads


Untapped market ▪ As Vietnam loosens restrictions on foreign companies, retailers from overseas are racing to bring convenience stores and supermarkets to a market dominated by small business. Manufacturers such as South Korea's Samsung have long seen the value in the country, now other companies are following suit.



Amazon-Whole Foods anniversary ▪ One year ago, the online behemoth shook the grocery industry with the purchase of struggling natural grocer Whole Foods. Some have hailed the move as game-changer, others believe the two companies have too many problems. Four grocery experts share their insights.