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Tesco reports a far worse than expected loss. Starbucks offers big discounts in India in an effort to boost trade and has its sights set on consumers in Finland. Stop & Shop converts food waste into energy. Read these stories and more in today's RetailUpdate.


asia & australasia
Big discounts in India   In an effort to boost flagging sales, cafes like Starbucks, McDonalds and Domino’s are offering customers big discounts. Anyone who visits a Starbucks before 4 pm gets a voucher for 40% off their next purchase after 6 pm at Starbucks stores in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Pune, Hyderabad or Bengaluru. ▪
Zomato buys NexTable   Gurgaon-based restaurant discovery platform Zomato today acquired the US-based online table reservation platform NexTable for an undisclosed amount. According to a company statement, the platform will be renamed “Zomato Book”. ▪
Axfood to test e-commerce   The Swedish food retailer is about to embark on an e-commerce pilot project to consumers. In the test, 100 Axfood employees will be able to order groceries online from Hemköp’s Torsplan store in Stockholm. Axford posted higher than expected earnings for the first quarter recently, boosted by strong sales, sending its shares up by 4%. ▪
Tesco loss far worse than expected   Britain’s biggest retailer has reported a GBP 6.38bn year-end loss, which was impacted by a GBP 4.7 billion write down on its property value, restructuring and stock charges, along with costs relating to last year’s accounting scandal. Analysts say that Tesco’s problems are not confined to Britain and the group is expected to sell its chains in eastern Europe or Asia. ▪
Starbucks to expand in Finland   In a major deal, with Finland’s Kesko Group, the coffee behemoth will open outlets in all 900 K-food stores throughout Finland. The licencing deal is part of Starbucks’ efforts to reach more retail customers, particularly in Europe. ▪
Sam’s Club to launch new service   In an effort to differentiate itself from Costco and fend off competition from, Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club is launching a new high-value service for small business owners.  The five new services are focused on financial services, identity theft protection and online marketing are believed to have the potential to save members as much as $2,300 a year. ▪
Turning food waste into energy   Stop & Shop, a subsidiary of Ahold, has set a long-term goal of preventing 90% of waste going to landfills. Using a state-of-the-art digester at their distribution centre in Freetown, Massachusetts, they plan to convert food waste into energy. ▪
Good and bad results for first quarter   Coca Cola has reported net revenues grew 1% and organic revenue grew 8% in the first quarter 2015 +++ Though net profit is down 13%, Kimberly-Clark has reported better-than-expected first-quarter growth, assisted by lower costs and price hikes +++ Fast food giant McDonalds, on the other hand, continues its poor showing with a reported 21% decline in quarterly profit. ▪
Heineken to invest in Ivory Coast   The world’s third largest brewer and Africa-focused trading firm CFAO are poised to invest $163.52 million to build a brewery in Ivory Coast. Heineken’s president for Africa and the Middle East, Siep Hiemstra, says the brewery will have the capacity to produce 1.6 million hectolitres of beer annually. ▪

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