Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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While McDonald's shuts down a number of stores in Japan, Taco Bell gives the country another go. Meanwhile in Down Under the technology giant Microsoft is set to launch a flagship store. Read about these ventures in foreign markets, online strategies, acquisition plans and the changing face of a continent in our Tuesday issue.


asia & south pacific
Closings and openings in Japan   Fast food giant McDonald’s will axe 131 stores in Japan, revamp its menu and refurbish 500 stores this year as it tries to reduce a projected US$ 319 million loss +++ US-competitor Taco Bell returns to the country after pulling out several decades ago and will open a restaurant in Tokyo in April. ▪
Targeting Australia   Microsoft will open its first flagship store outside of North America, at Westfield Sydney later this year  +++ Denmark-based food packaging manufacturer Faerch Plast is targeting Australia as part of a global expansion strategy.  ▪
Online strategies   Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has bought a stake in online discount provider Fanli as it continues its global expansion +++ With an eye on the rapidly growing e-commerce market in India, ready-to-eat food maker MTR Foods is planning to start its own e-commerce portal. ▪
Poundland introduces Poundworld Plus   The variety store company has launched e-commerce site Poundsworld Plus as part of its strategy to drive sales growth across Europe. The company has said it will rather walk away from its agreed GBP 55 million acquisition of rival 99p Stores than be subjected to a lengthy investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority. ▪
Spanish retailer Dia gets approval   Following the announcement last November that Dia was seeking to acquire 160 Eroski outlets, the Spanish competition watchdog announced that it has given approval to the deal. However, instead of 160 stores the retailer is only taking over 144 stores for the time being. ▪
Fairtrade and leadership announcements    First Milk ’s new CEO, Mike Gallacher, has made three new appointments to the dairy co-operative’s senior leadership team in a bid to turn around its flagging fortunes +++ Supermarket operator Waitrose has extended its roll out of Fairtrade certification to its own label chocolate.   ▪
usa & canada
Staples buys promotion business   The US office supply retailer will acquire Accolade Promotion Group (APG), a distributor of promotional products in Canada. Staples also announced that Mike Edwards, one of its top executives, has left the company and will be replaced by Peter J. Scala as executive VP merchandising.  ▪
Walmart simplifies store operations   The world’s largest retail company is reportedly eliminating the position of zone manager in its stores as part of a plan to strengthen store managers +++ A worker's group in the US is seeking an injunction against the retail giant forcing it to rehire 2,200 store employees. ▪
Focus on customer experience   Kmart and the Shop Your Way loyalty programme are introducing a new pharmacy rewards programme. Members earn points every time they fill in prescriptions +++ Target wants to improve customer personalisation and is said to be building an internal data analysis centre. ▪
Tru-Cape expands    South African apple and pear distributor Tru-Cape has completed a new facility to expand operations with big plans to increase volumes for African neighbours, including Mozambique, Lesotho, Tanzania and Botswana. ▪
A continent in change   The developing economic situation across Africa indicates that the historic scenario is beginning to change. A boost in population, a rising middle class and greater impact from the service and manufacturing sectors indicates that this continent could be the next big thing. ▪

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