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

Hello, dear reader!
Discounter Lidl seems to be busy on all fronts, reshuffling its management team, testing a new store concept and fighting for market share in France. Meanwhile, a new supermarket giant is in the making in Italy, and emerging markets in Africa are attracting investors from China and other parts of the world. Have a great start to a productive week.

Hisense expands in Africa   The Chinese electronics manufacturer is increasing its presence in Southern African countries. In its latest move, the company has launched a new range of class leading smartphones, televisions and fridges into Zambia. ▪
Mercedes opens restaurant   German car maker Mercedes-Benz has launched a new retail and dining concept called ‘Mercedes Me’ in Hong Kong. It was created in partnership with restaurant group Maximal Concepts. ▪
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Flipkart partners with Itzcash   India's largest e-tailer has announced a partnership with Itzcash in form of a co-branded online store to make online shopping easier. Here is why Indian internet companies are increasingly relying on acquisitions. Flipkart has also said that it will set up its largest and 16th warehouse in Telangana. ▪
Lidl powers ahead   The German discount powerhouse has restructured its UK management with four senior managers having been appointed to new roles. In Ireland, the company has unveiled its very first ‘new concept’ store, and in France, Lidl aims for a market share of 8% and will invest up to EUR 450 million into its stores there. ▪
Coop merges in Italy   Three supermarket chains, Coop Adriatica, Coop Estense and Coop Consumatori Nordest, have merged to form Coop Alleanza 3.0. The new Italian retail giant will have 2.7 million members, a turnover of EUR 5 billion, and 419 outlets including 56 hypermarkets. ▪
Partnerships and acquisitions   Conviviality Retail has signed a new contract, worth GBP 4.3 million, with financial technology business Universe to provide it with point-of-sale, payment and encryption services. Meanwhile, tech giant Apple has acquired Cambridge-based software start-up VocalIQ in a bid to give its digital assistant Siri a boost. ▪
Magnit changes management  Russia’s largest food retailer has announced changes to its senior management team as it unveiled plans to consolidate all of its three retail formats and its marketing department under one director. ▪
Cost cuts at department stores   J.C. Penney has reached a deal with about 12,000 retirees and beneficiaries to accept a lump-sum payment and settle pension obligations, helping the department store operator save 35% pension obligations +++ Neiman Marcus axes 500 jobs as the upscale retailer prepares to open new stores. ▪
Targeting the festive season   Office supply chain operator Staples announced it will be closing its stores on Thanksgiving Day to give customers and employees a chance to enjoy the holiday. Meanwhile, electronics retailer Gamestop has joined a growing number of retailers in launching an enhanced layaway program. ▪
Raising stakes and buying businesses   Brait, the investment company controlled by South African billionaire Christo Wiese, has paid GBP 172 million to raise its stake in budget supermarket chain Iceland Foods to 57%. Meanwhile, Cape Town-based company Rhodes Food struck a deal with General Mills SA to acquire its food services business for an undisclosed amount. ▪
Investing into emerging markets   Global logistics company DHL aims to grow significantly in the Sub-Saharan Africa region under the leadership of its newly appointed CEO for the area, Hennie Heyman +++ Former First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan has invested in South African online wine retailer Port2Port, where he is also expected to take a directorship. ▪
Sonae exits Angola   The Portuguese retail company has sold its 49% stake in a joint venture with Condis for the launch of the Continente hypermarket chain in country. Condis now plans a new hypermarket brand called Candando. ▪

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