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

Hello, dear reader!
Alibaba and Apple never fail to surprise. Both giants beat analysts' expectations when reporting results. Britain's Shop Direct and Spain's Dia also enjoyed profit surges. Other FMCG companies and retailers, however, are more concerned about mergers, delivery options and store formats. Enjoy the read and don't forget to spread the word if you like our daily brief.

asia & australasia
Shaking off China's slowdown   Online emporium Alibaba reported a 32% rise to US$3.5 billion in second-quarter revenue, beating analysts' predictions. Huawei Technologies is on track to be the fastest-growing major smartphone supplier this year, and e-commerce majors Tencent and have joined forces to change mobile marketing in the country. ▪
Amcor buys US company   Australian-based packaging giant Amcor will expand its rigid plastics business in the US after acquiring Ohio-based Encon for US$ 55 million. The acquisition will deliver operational synergies, Amcor said. ▪
Results and reshuffles   Dairy giant Fonterra is restructuring its management team again. Australian managing director, Judith Swales, has been promoted to head the new unit Oceania. Electronics and furniture retailer Harvey Norman enjoys strong sales and profit growth, while competitor Dick Smith is not so lucky and downgraded its profit forecast, following weak October sales.  ▪
Supermarket sued by staff   Thousands of Morrisons' employees are to sue the supermarket giant in what is believed to be Britain’s biggest ever claim in relation to a breach of data security. This is costing the company more than GBP 2 million to rectify. ▪
Dia and Shop Direct delighted   The Spanish retail group and the British owner of home-shopping brands Littlewoods and Very have announced record sales and profits. Shop Direct says pre-tax profits grew by 78% to EUR 71.7 million and Dia sees gross sales rise by 14% to EUR 2.73 billion.  ▪
Decisions in Serbia and Poland   Serbian retail chain DIS seeks to grow with two new store formats and the introduction of quality products after a disappointing 2014. Meanwhile, Warsaw-based retail group Empik Media & Fashion (paywall) is considering getting rid of its subsidiary, department store chain Smyk. ▪
usa & canada
Creating a drugstore giant   Another mega merger in the pharmacy sector sees Walgreens Boots Alliance acquiring Rite Aid for US$ 9.41 billion. The deal will combine the second- and third-largest US drugstore chains respectively. Including assumed debt, the transaction is valued at US$ 17.2 billion. ▪
Stepping up a notch    Kroger, the largest operator of traditional supermarkets in the US, is already expanding its newly “click-and-collect” ClickList and considers offering home delivery. Meanwhile, department store operator Kohl's is turning to much smaller stores, among other things, to return to growth again. ▪
Apple fuels expectations   The company’s financial results outpaced analysts' projections, sending shares up in after-hours trading. The tech giant also offers shoppers to easily downloadable retail e-commerce apps +++ Another mobile payment service will be launched - JP Morgan Chase Bank is to introduce Chase Pay. ▪
 Latin America & Africa 
Sephora finds Brazilian partner   The cosmetics retailer has selected a new supply chain partner, logistics company Ceva, to accelerate its business in Brazil. In its home market, Sephora has just opened the doors of its flagship digital store in Paris, France. ▪
Coke invests in Liberia   The Liberian branch of the soft drink giant has unveiled an investment of over US$ 5 million to strengthen its bottling operations in the country and support new economic and social initiatives.  ▪
Delaying mergers   Food giant Kellogg's has objected to the merger between Cape Town-based Pioneer Foods and Future Life. The deal is now put on hold.  Concerns about the AB InBev and Sabmiller mega deal were also discussed in South Africa this week. ▪

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