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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Monday, 04 April 2016

Hello, dear reader!
US retailer Kroger surprised the industry with a significant announcement. Dairy giant Müller is looking at growth options in Scotland, while Tesco is committed to support its farmer suppliers. China aims to crack down on "smugglers' with new tax rules, and the minimum wage is raised in America. Have a great start to the week and don't forget to share. RetailUpdate remains FREE.

asia & australia
China raises tax   To encourage domestic consumption and crack down on 'smugglers', the Chinese government will raise fees on packages ordered from abroad. Last week a change in tax rules on online goods was announced. Australian baby food producer Bellamy's is confident that the new tax will not have a big impact. ▪
Forays into fashion and finance    Indian e-commerce major Flipkart has acquired Bengaluru-based mobile payments company PhonePe as it looks to catch up with rivals Snapdeal and Paytm. Meanwhile, Mumbai-based conglomerate Reliance Industries has launched online fashion platform and says that it will offer the largest collection of private labels for women. ▪
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Cigarette maker seeks clarity   ITC Ltd., Asia’s second-largest cigarette maker and part-owned by British American Tobacco, has shut its cigarette factories in protest against a new government rule demanding bigger health warnings on its packs. The Kolkata-based company is requesting clarification. ▪
Amazon excels in Spain   The online giant plans to create about 3,000 jobs over the next three years in Spain. This is more than three times as many as announced last November. Over in Germany, Amazon is in talks to become shareholder of digital mapping service HERE, owned by a group of German carmakers. ▪
Dairy decisions   British retailer Tesco has confirmed a new pricing for dairy farmers' milk and stressed that it will continue to support its suppliers +++ In Scotland, dairy group Müller warns about 229 job losses as it will close dairy processing plants. The company is currently looking at other growth options. ▪
Store debuts in Rome and Madrid   Milan-based supermarket chain Esselunga, which outperformed the market last year, plans to launch its first superstore in Rome, while French organic supermarket, Bio c' Bon, aims to grow in Spain and is set to open two new outlets in Madrid. ▪
usa & canada
Kroger takes on Whole Foods   In a move that caught the industry by surprise, the Cincinnati-based retailer has formed a “strategic partnership” with Lucky’s Market, a speciality grocer from Colorado. Analysts think that the deal gives Kroger a weapon against the likes of Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market. ▪
Mars Petcare buys in California   The global leader in pet-food sales and subsidiary of candy bar maker Mars, has acquired Whistle, a San Francisco-based startup that makes smart dog collars to track a pet’s location and fitness. The price tag on this deal is reportedly US$ 117 million. ▪
Minimum wage improved    California legislatures approved a plan to raise the minimum wage to US$ 15 an hour by 2022, which will directly impact retail chains and is criticised by opponents as 'job killer'. New York State is expected to follow suit. ▪
Foschini searches locations   The South African clothing and apparel retailer is looking for retail space, mainly premium shopping destinations, to bring its recently acquired UK chains Phase Eight and Whistles to its home market. ▪
Adidas enters Uganda   The German sportswear designer and manufacturer confirmed that it will be opening a retail outlet in the Uganda through a franchise partner yet to be named. So far, Adidas has outlets  in Egypt, Algeria and South Africa. ▪
Jobs and threats in Zimbabwe   Biscuits maker Arenel and supermarket operator Choppies aim to create job opportunities in the country, while its president, Robert Mugabe, is pressing ahead with a new law that will force foreign owned businesses to give control to black Zimbabweans. This could affect the likes of BAT and Nestlé. ▪

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