Even the most successful retail giants have to deal with pitfalls and obstacles in everyday business life. German discounter Lidl is struggling with its expansion in the US and has some serious real estate issues, while Walmart stumbles with its last mile package delivery plan. As expected, both companies are determined to solve their problems. Enjoy the read!




Tuesday, 31 July 2018





Hello ,

Even the most successful retail giants have to deal with pitfalls and obstacles in everyday business life. German discounter Lidl is struggling with its expansion in the US and has some serious real estate issues, while Walmart stumbles with its last mile package delivery plan. As expected, both companies are determined to solve their problems. Enjoy the read!




United States


Ambitious plans ▪ Following its USD 1.9 billion remodelling initiative, Aldi plans to add more than five additional stores in New Jersey, where it currently operates more than 40 locations. The German discounter runs nearly 1,800 US stores in 35 states. This number could increase to 2,500 by the end of 2022.



Under investigation ▪ Lidl's stagnating US expansion (in German, paywall) keeps the justice system busy. In an exclusive report, Lebensmittel Zeitung reveals that several lawsuits against the German discounter are pending because the company is said to have breached contracts with local real estate developers. Lidl denies the accusations.



Delivery issues ▪ Walmart has quietly retreated from its initiative to have its store employees courier items after their usual shift. It was described as an attempt to tackle the challenging 'last mile' of delivery. Ride-hailing company Uber also abandoned a project and announced that it will stop developing self-driving trucks.




Europe


Staff scientists ▪ British icon Marks & Spencer wants its workers to become digitally savvy and has announced that it is establishing a data academy to train staff to ensure that it is “fit for the digital age”. The retailer has enlisted tech educator Decoded to teach more than 1,000 employees in the first 18 months.



Brexit ramifications ▪ Aldi has asked its food suppliers to begin contingency planning in case the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal. The German discounter, which operates 700 stores in the UK, asked suppliers questions around what proportion of EU staff they employ and the implications of tariffs for their products.




Asia & Australia


Lucrative partnerships ▪ Starbucks and Alibaba are joining forces on coffee delivery, as the American coffee chain seeks to rebound from a sales slump in China. Meanwhile, the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse wants to invite 200 top overseas brands to the China International Import Expo 2018 in November in Shanghai.



South Korean decisions ▪ Retail conglomerate Lotte plans to launch an e-commerce department after it announced earlier this year that it will invest USD 2.69 billion into online activities. Meanwhile, the retailer calls it quits in China and will sell some of its five department stores, two months after offloading most of its 99 Chinese supermarkets.



Supporting farmers ▪ Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has partnered with non-profit organisation Rural Aid to support the country’s farmers and rural communities impacted by drought. The retailer invested AUD 1.5 million into a programme that will deliver hay for cattle feed and provide other essential items.




Store ideas


Urban in Portugal ▪ The Portuguese unit of French hypermarket chain Intermarché plans to open its first ‘ultra proximity’ (paywall) store in Lisbon this August. The concept is targeting urban consumers. Next location for this format could be Porto. Click here for some images (in Portuguese).



Hugo in London ▪ Upmarket fashion retail group Hugo Boss is set to open its first ever standalone Hugo store in the UK next month. Coming to Westfield London shopping centre, the store is part of the company’s two-brand strategy which involves streamlining its portfolio to two lines – Hugo and Boss.