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

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Retail continues to expand worldwide: Walmart is opening new stores in China, Lidl is investing in Italy and Argos plans to modernise its operations through expansion. These stories and more are in today’s RetailUpdate. Enjoy.


asia & Australia
Walmart to expand in China   In a renewed push to attract Chinese grocery shoppers, the U.S. retail giant plans to open 115 new stores in China by 2017. Chief executive, Doug McMillon, says this will expand Walmart's Chinese footprint by nearly a third. ▪
Alibaba applies the brakes   In an effort to slow down expansion, the e-commerce giant will cease hiring this year. Chairman, Jack Ma, believes their 30,000-strong labour force is sufficient to maintain operations.  Over in India, Alibaba has increased its investment by acquiring 25% of Micromax Mobile, India’s largest domestic mobile phone manufacturer. ▪
Top retailers will meet at C-star
C-star is the official satellite event of EuroShop, the world's largest retail trade fair, and will take place on May 13-15 2015 in Shanghai. At C-star you will see the latest retail trends and developments geared to the needs of the Chinese market. With a comprehensive supporting program, C-star will be the perfect place to conduct business and expand your knowledge.
Come and join us at C-star!
Metcash appoints new chairman   Former CEO of Lion and Nestlé Oceania Rob Murray has been appointed chairman-elect of Metcash. It is hoped that Mr Murray’s expertise will reverse the grocery wholesaler’s two-year slide in sales and earnings. ▪
Lidl to invest in Italy   German discount chain Lidl has announced plans to invest over EUR 1 billion in Italy within five years. As part of the plan they expect to recruit over 2,000 employees in two years and open 15 new outlets by the end of 2015. ▪
Delhaize struggles while Kesko thrives   Belgium retail group Delhaize reported weaker-than-expected figures for its fiscal first quarter. Their operating profit for the quarter was down 11.2%, while revenues were up just 2.2%. In comparison, Finland’s Kesko group saw its underlying operating profit surge up 39%. ▪
Argos to open more stores   In a bid to modernise, the catalogue retailer plans to open 200 new digital stores, including outlets in some Homebase and Sainsbury stores +++ Meanwhile, British shoppers are refusing to let go of the Argos catalogue despite the retailer’s attempts to transform its stores. ▪
Change is afoot for two leading retailers   Target is reported to be testing a system that automatically recommends sponsored videos to web users based on the content they read +++ Doug Baker, CEO of environmental technology firm Ecolab, has been named as lead independent director of the Target board +++ Meanwhile, Kroger has announced plans to spend US$ 95.5 million to remodel 17 stores. The company will also build 11 new stores in the Indianapolis area. ▪
Uber offers same-day deliveries   It is reported that Uber plans to launch a same-day online delivery service called “Uber Merchant Delivery Program”. It is thought that about 400 retailers, including Neiman Marcus, are considering being part of the service. ▪
J.C. Penney expands in-store partnership   The U.S. apartment store chain is expanding its in-store partnership with Sephora by introducing the global beauty retailer to 25 more stores. ▪
consumer trends
Human contact restored   In response to customer feedback, Morrisons is re-introducing staffed express checkouts to its supermarkets. They say customers will receive quick, personal service and more choice +++ Perhaps surprisingly, a new survey by location-based mobile platform Retale found that Millennials prefer not to interact with cashiers. ▪
Consumer scepticism   According to Marketing Sciences, U.K. consumers are becoming more sceptical about artificial ingredients in food and drink. This news comes after PepsiCo in the U.S. stopped using aspartame in select diet brands after use of the artificial sweetener led to declining sales. ▪

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