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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

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European retail giants, Edeka and Spar,  enjoy solid growth, Walmart attacks Amazon head on with a new super-low shipping fee and Macy's fails to meet Wall Street expectations, but still has aggressive expansion plans. Read these stories and more in today’s RetailUpdate.


asia & Australia
Alibaba fears losing its crown   The king of e-commerce took the surprising step of appointing a new chief executive, 43-year-old Daniel Zhang Yong last week. Though it holds 60% of the market, senior executives fear Alibaba could lose its leading position. This move appears to be a reaction to many Chinese consumers now favouring niche retailers. ▪
Indian retail consolidates   A recent high-profile deal saw Future Group and Bharti Retail join forces. Analysts say the partnership will command a network of 579 retail stores in 243 cities. Future Retail will rename its retail operations Bharti Retail. ▪
Westfield see sales rise   The Australian shopping centre group enjoyed a 5.7% rise in specialty retail sales across its international sites in the first quarter of 2015. The pleasing result was driven by flagship centres, such as London. ▪
Uniqlo has a French partner  The Japanese fashion retailer and French company Lemaire have announced a global collaboration. The two brands will launch an exclusive range branded ‘Uniqlo and Lemaire’. ▪
Solid growth for two retail giants   German-based Edeka (Paywall), which recently signed a contract with renowned vegan food company Veganz, enjoyed 2% growth in their last financial year. In the Netherlands, SPAR International enjoyed a 1.2% rise in sales helped by its entry into 10 new markets. ▪
Metro hopes for market change   The declining rouble is less of a concern to Metro Group CEO, Olaf Koch, than the effect poor relations between the West and Russia have on their Russian partners and employees. Meanwhile, Metro has extended management board member Pieter Haas’ contract (Paywall). ▪
Staples to expand in Romania  The US office supply and online giant announced a partnership with Dacris, a major distributor of office supplies in Romania, and Bidvest Waltons, South Africa’s leading office products company. ▪
Walmart lowers shipping fee   The world’s largest retailer is testing a new unlimited shipping service, where goods will arrive within three days and cost $49 less than Amazon’s shipping fee. ▪
J.C. Penny fights back   The retailer surprised analysts by reporting a smaller-than-expected loss of US$ 167 million in the first quarter that ended May 2. This is compared to a US$ 352 million loss in the same quarter last year. The company now aims to become the “preferred shopping choice of middle America.” ▪
Macy's falls short but stays aggressive    The department store chain failed to meet Wall Street projections for the first quarter with a drop in net sales of 1%. However, Macy's continues to pursue an aggressive strategy with plans to open 32 new stores by 2018. ▪
consumer behaviour
Consumers not so shy   Shoppers aren’t as averse to sharing private information, such as their mobile phone location, as you might think. This is according to new research by G.E. Lighting in partnership with Retail Week. ▪
U.S. consumers reinforce stereotype   Americans are known for their generosity, and it seems they like to give at the cash register. The survey of 3,030 U.S. consumers of all ages revealed 71% have donated to a charity at the register. ▪

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