Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Monday, 20 March 2017

Hello, dear reader,
Exciting times ahead - Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever is said to prepare the sale of some of its brands and new partnerships are shaping up in the UK and America. US retailer Albertsons is in merger talks with Sprouts Farmers Market and Britain's Morrisons teams up with delivery firm Just Eat. Get informed and have a great start to the week.

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Europe
Unilever restructures   Paul Polman, chief executive of the consumer goods company, is reportedly planning to sell the margarine and spreads business for a whopping GBP 6 billion after coming under shareholder pressure over the takeover bid from Kraft Heinz last month. ▪
Morrisons delivers   As part of its ongoing drive to provide more incentives for shoppers, the UK grocer has announced a partnership with delivery company Just Eat. The deal sees them set up a takeaway service with delivery options in Morrisons stores. ▪
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Aldi expands   The German discount powerhouse, which has opened its 700th store in Kent recently, will invest GBP 450 million to increase its operations across Britain. In other news, it was revealed that Aldi has made no plans to stop truck drivers unloading deliveries, which was criticised by unions.  ▪
USA & Brazil
Merger talks   US supermarket operator Albertsons is said to be in early-stage discussions to add organic foods-focused chain Sprouts Farmers Market to its portfolio. Late last year, Albertsons was interested to buy regional grocer Price Chopper for US$ 1 billion, but dropped its pursuit at the beginning of the year.  ▪
Growth plans   After acquiring 33 supermarkets from bankrupt retailer Haggen last year, discounter Smart & Final still sees the opportunity for 100 more new stores in California. A few days ago, the company posted a net income decline for 2016, which was attributed to the acquisition.  ▪
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Meat concerns   Walmart has asked its Brazilian suppliers to clarify alleged cases of meatpackers bribing authorities to subvert inspections, after police raided dozens of premises. Brazil is now in damage control with its president meeting ambassadors from countries that import Brazilian meat. ▪
Asia & Australia
Soft drink sorrows   Coca-Cola and Pepsico are feeling the impact of challenges over water in India. The beverage multis are being boycotted over local brands in the Southern part of the country. Over in Singapore, Coca-Cola is better off as it was just added to online marketplace Lazada, together with Nestlé and Redmart. ▪
Apple bets on China   With the aim to attract talent from the country's best universities, the US tech giant announced plans to set up new research centres in Shanghai and Suzhou, and will invest US$ 507 million. Together with facilities in Beijing and Shenzen, all four centres will open later this year. ▪
Successful shopping centres   Australian shopping malls are turning over an average of A$ 1 billion-plus in annual sales and are 'the most sophisticated in the world' according to an industry expert. Attraction for investors remains strong as the A$ 240 million retail redevelopment Macarthur Square in Sydney shows. ▪
Keep an eye on
Australian alerts   Forget Kaufland, Lidl is the one to watch, according to a research analyst, who believes that the retail battle Down Under will be fought over the discounter space. Meanwhile, Amazon has not yet started its operations in the country, but already makes bold promises such as to deliver a 10am order by dinner. ▪
Roaming robots   San Francisco got a glimpse of the future last week. A Yelp/Eat 24 delivery robot has been spotted cruising around. Although it didn't appear to be 'working', there were some notable things about it which led to the conclusion that robots are coming. Yes, they are! ▪

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