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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung

South African tycoon Christo Wiese sees parallels between his home country and the UK market as he looks for investment in Britain. Chinese electronics retailer Suning and Indonesia's Alfamart are busy planning new stores, while European supermarket chains ponder whether to go online or stay offline. Enjoy the read and have a great start to the week.


Ambitious store opening plans   China's largest electronics retailer, Suning Commerce Group, plans to open 40 stores at Wanda Plaza, after the company teamed up with property conglomerate Dalian Wanda+++ Indonesian convenience store operator Alfamart says it will open 1200 more stores in its home market before the year ends. ▪
Paytm tests new payment model   The Alibaba-backed mobile commerce company wants to make its online wallet usable in the offline world across large retail stores, restaurants and fuel stations. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of the company, considers a shift to tech hub Bengaluru. ▪
Fierce e-commerce competition   E-commerce major Snapdeal, which recently has acquired Reduce Data, a Silicon Valley startup, competes head-on with rival Flipkart for the pole position. Meanwhile, all e-tailers will have to register with Delhi's trade and taxes department to pay state sales levies and China's largest search engine, Baidu, is reportedly interested in investing in Indian startups. ▪
Growing online and offline   While the Co-operative Group has ruled out launching an online grocery business, saying it will instead focus on its convenience network, Axfood AB, Sweden’s second-largest grocery retailer, will push its e-commerce activities early next year and also expects an acceleration in organic growth. ▪
Milk crisis debate   The fall in milk prices over the past years has led to protests all over Europe. An extraordinary meeting of the EU Agriculture Council today is expected to address the industry’s demands. About 4,000 farmers will gather along with hundreds of tractors as ministers debate potential agriculture support measures. ▪
Primark readies for US debut   The Ireland-based discount clothing retailer is set to open its first US store on Thursday in Boston and has leased a distribution centre to support its entry. Over in Britain, department store retailers are facing tough times with high street sales recording the biggest fall since the financial crisis. ▪
Trouble for Staples-Office Depot merger   A new report suggests that the Federal Trade Commission is unlikely to approve the merger between office supply giants Staples and Office Depot. In February, Staples reached a US$ 6.3 billion deal to buy Office Depot. ▪
Facebook enters Ebay domain   As e-commerce giant Ebay celebrates its 20th anniversary, it has to gear up for a new competitor. Social media company Facebook is making it easier for consumers to use its 'Groups' feature to buy, sell and/or trade goods. ▪
Sears Hometown closes stores   The home appliance retailer posted declining profits and revenues and plans to close 40-50 underperforming stores by the end of the year, on top of 63 underperforming locations closed in the first half of 2015. ▪
south africa
Lindt opens in Sandton City   Lindt & Sprüngli launched its first boutique in SA last week. The Swiss chocolatier already has retail partners such as Woolworths, Clicks and Pick n Pay in the country. Beside South Africa, the company sees Brazil, Russia and Japan as attractive markets for expansion and acquisitions. ▪
Christo Wiese eyes UK supermarkets   Citing parallels between Great Britain and his home country, South African businessman and billionaire Christo Wiese announced that his investment firm, Brait, could be making its next venture in the UK’s supermarket sector. Morrisons’ share price jumped following renewed takeover rumours.  ▪

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