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Latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel reveal that there is no slowdown in the rise of the discounters in Britain, with Walmart daughter Asda bearing the brunt of the ongoing price wars. Chinese online powerhouse Alibaba ties up with BASF and Tourism Australia while more US retailers are on the hunt for top execs.


asia & australia
Alibaba teams up    The Chinese online giant is in talks to invest in Indian online payment platform Paytm. German chemical group BASF became the first multinational to open an online store on Alibaba. The giant has also partnered with Tourism Australia to promote travel packages +++ Meanwhile, another Chinese major, Xiaomi, announced its first foray outside Asia with the launch of its latest device in Brazil. ▪
A2 Milk continues to be a target   Chinese billionaire Richard Liu, founder of Alibaba rival, is interested in buying a stake of New Zealand-based A2 Milk. This comes after US dairy giant Dean Foods was said to be interested in acquiring A2 a few days ago. ▪
Australian announcements   Supermarkt retailer Coles has been told to repay more than AU$ 12 million to suppliers who were forced to pay extra rebates +++ Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprüngli  is set to open its first Queensland store in Brisbane. ▪
Relief for Nestlé India   The Swiss multi has been allowed by the Bombay High Court to export Maggi noodles, but the product will remain off shelves in India.  ▪
Discounter power ahead   Aldi and Lidl are continuing to put pressure on UK supermarkets. The latest data from research group Kantar Worldpanel reveals that the overall grocery market slipped into decline. Adding to the ongoing price wars, Lidl just has announced it is to launch a new affordable French wine promotion with 40 more wines. ▪
Asda fails and Morrisons gains   Walmart-owned Asda bears the brunt of Britain’s bitter supermarket price war with sales falling 3.5% while Morrisons has made its first market share gains in more than three years and has recorded the largest sales increase among the “big four”. ▪
Convenience retailers invest heavily   New figures released by the Association of Convenience Stores show that convenience store owners have invested GBP 177 million in their businesses between February and May as they battle win customers from the supermarkets. ▪
Amazon expands outside US   The online retail giant, which has just put its one-hour delivery in London to the test, has opened its Mexico site for business offering free delivery on orders of over 599 pesos as well as the option of picking up. ▪
On the hunt for top execs   Supermarket chain Kroger is looking for a COO after Mike Ellis abruptly retired after 40 years with the company +++ Off-price retailer Tuesday Morning is searching for a new CFO +++ Nike-founder Phil Knight plans to step down as chairman next year. ▪
Digital payment developments   Computop, a payment service provider, and Bitnet, a bitcoin payments processor, are launching a partnership that allows retailers to accept bitcoin. Meanwhile, Paypal, which came under criticism after announcing a new privacy policy, dials back on robocalling. Over in the UK, Barclaycard has added three new devices to its contactless payment line-up. ▪
digital future
Ikea brings fantasy to life   The Swedish furniture icon, which is soon opening a big store in Missouri with the largest rooftop solar array, is impressing customers with its wireless charging. It's like having magic furniture, according to a Gizmodo review. ▪
Tiny robot answers questions   Japanese Toymaker Tomy will launch a small robotic device this autumn that can provide helpful answers to spoken questions by using information from the Internet. In a promotional video, a housewife is seen asking the robot in the kitchen, “What do I cook for dinner?” ▪

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