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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

Male shoppers in Great Britain are about to enjoy fashion at rock-bottom prices thanks to German discounter Aldi. In the US, Neiman Marcus proves that instore experience matters and Nordstrom enters haute couture space. Read about established fashion retailers and newcomers, more mega deals, winners, losers and a lot more in today's issue.

asia & australia
Growth strategies   Singapore's leading online grocery service, RedMart, has raised US$ 26.7 million to expand to other Asian markets +++ Australian-based logistics heavyweight Brambles plans to spend US$ 1.5 billion to boost growth and is forecasting a high profit despite concerns about a slowdown in China. ▪
Profit falls   Hong Kong-based Li & Fung, the world’s largest supplier of clothes and toys to retailers, reported that operating profit slumped 20% +++ Australian automotive retailer Super Retail Group has suffered a 25% slide in its full-year profit following the closure of its FCO chain in New Zealand. ▪
Wesfarmers annoys Woolies   Supermarket operator Coles, one of Wesfarmers flagships, continues to grow sales at a faster rate than rival Woolworths, with reports of a bumper profit. Even the retail group's poor cousin, the Target department store chain, is finally showing signs of a turnaround.  ▪
Uniqlo cuts working week  Japanese retail giant Fast Retailing, parent company of clothing chain Uniqlo, will test a four-day work week, allowing its employees to take three-day weekends in exchange for longer work hours. The company also plans to open seven new Uniqlo stores in Malaysia. ▪
Aldi UK launches fashion for men    The German discount giant offers trendy fashion items at rock bottom prices for male shoppers for the first time in the UK. German Retail Blog describes Aldi's ingenious strategy. The discounter is not the only one to give the likes of M&S  a headache: Sainsbury's just recently introduced its own fashion brand and is about to build a clothing empire.   ▪
Fat Faces to open US store   Despite a 7% drop in profits, casual clothing chain Fat Face presses ahead with the opening of its first store in Portland, Maine, in November. The company plans to increase investment and has already launched a US website. ▪
Deutsche Post speeds with buses   Just like Amazon, Europe's biggest mail service, is examining plans to transport parcels with long-distance buses to speed up deliveries. Meanwhile, Amazon has announced in Britain that it will no longer be delivering (paywall) to Collect+ stores. Over in Poland (paywall), the online giant has invested PLN 1.4 billion. ▪
usa & canada
Pharma and health deals    Canadian pharmaceutical giant Valeant has agreed to pay US$ 1 billion for Sprout Pharmaceuticals, which just won FDA approval for Addyi, the first drug to boost a woman’s libido +++ Walgreens and Providence Health & Services are entering a strategic clinical collaboration to expand instore health clinics to Oregon and Washington. ▪
Ahold and Sears report results   Dutch retailer Ahold reported flat second-quarter sales in the US, but enjoys strong growth in Europe +++ Department store company Sears announced a net income of US$ 208 million and is in the black for the first time since 2012. ▪
Offers for fashionistas   Department store operator Nordstrom is entering the haute couture space with the introduction of a new shop called Space and upmarket retailer Neiman Marcus is offering customers a unique perspective in the dressing room with a mirror that gives customers a realistic view of their digital image. ▪
Survey results
Technology can't destroy experience   Despite the increasing influence of digital technology, instore experience remains important in all major purchase decisions, according to a new survey. And it's getting better: A study by Deloitte reveals that technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed.  ▪
Prosecco overtakes champagne   British shoppers are swapping Champagne and other sparkling wine for Prosecco which has seen a big jump in sales over the last year, according to an analysis of grocery sales data by IRI. ▪

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