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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Thursday, 21 July 2016

Hello, dear reader!
Unilever's billion-dollar acquisition of US start-up Dollar Shave triggers speculation. Australia's Metcash receives clearance to take over units from Woolworths. Danish dairy company Arla reveals ambitious plans and discount giant Lidl is determined to become Spain's best employer. In the US, some inspiring tech projects are taking shape and the US Justice Department has cleared AB InBev's acquisition of rival SABMiller. Read these stories and more in today's issue.

Asia & Australia
Metcash gets approval   In a "difficult decision", the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has cleared the potential A$ 250 million sale of Woolworths’ Home Timber & Hardware business to rival Metcash, which already owns hardware chain Mitre 10. ▪
Top brand on Alibaba platform   US-based 3M company announced the launch of a top brand pavilion on Alibaba’s B2B platform, which is the first of its kind on the site. Meanwhile, the Chinese online powerhouse is set to become a more active start-up investor to expand its footprint outside China. ▪
Apple Pay launches in Hongkong   The city is the third major market in the Asia-Pacific, where the contactless mobile payment service has been introduced this year following mainland China and Singapore. A day ago, Apple Pay has arrived in France. ▪
Accelerating growth   Arla Foods has outlined an ambitious strategy to grow in Britain. The Danish dairy company is determined to turn its brand into a GBP 400 million business by 2020 +++ Spanish supermarket operator Condis has invested EUR 6.5 million to open 26 convenience stores and remodel 10 in the past half year. ▪
Lidl's good intentions   Celebrating its ten-year relationship with Fairtrade, the German discounter has launched a Bolivian coffee project. In Spain, Lidl seeks to become the best retail employer, while British news has it that rival Asda has poached (paywall) the company's chief operating officer, Chris Walker, to reshuffle its leader team. ▪
Mondelez to buy in Britain   The American snack food giant is reportedly in talks with Birmingham-based business Burton's Biscuits to buy back the Cadbury biscuit licence in a deal worth up to GBP 200 million. However, the talks are at an early stage and may not result in a deal. ▪
usa & canada
Unilever acquires start-up   The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant is moving deeper into men's grooming by buying California-based start-up Dollar Shave Club for US$ 1 billion. It is regarded as one of the food industry's pricier deals, but might help Unilever to stay on top of its game. ▪
Irish success and online growth   Dublin-based fast-fashion retailer Primark has opened its fifth store in the US with another five shops in the pipeline as it continues its expansion in the country. +++ Online retailer Ebay reported healthy second quarter results and expects up to US$ 8.95 billion in revenue for 2016. ▪
Kroger invests in health   The Cincinnati-based supermarket giant expands into the specialty pharmacy market and announced that one of its subsidiaries will buy Florida-based ModernHealth. The company will be folded into Kroger's Axium Pharmacy business. ▪
US go-ahead for giant beer merger  The US Justice Department has approved Anheuser-Busch InBev's roughly US$ 108 billion acquisition of rival SABMiller.  The green light comes with a number of conditions such as restrictions on future craft beer and distributor takeovers.   ▪


virtual reality projects
Artificial intelligence   US department store operator Macy’s will assist customers in navigating the store and has incorporated artificial intelligence from IBM Watson to test how well the technology can deliver information to shoppers. ▪
Immersive experience   Texas-based electronics retailer Gamestop, which reports record sales thanks to Pokemon Go, plans to grow its virtual reality business to US$ 3 billion by 2019. Meanwhile, Mall of America has joined the virtual reality community and offers customer experience with leading-edge technology. ▪

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