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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Hello, dear reader!
Unilever enters the air purifier market with the acquisition of Swedish company Blueair. Canada's Couche-Tard is on the cusp of purchasing US rival CST Brands and a pharmaceutical takeover is on the cards in Russia. Over in Britain, Morrisons sells stakes in US-based grocery delivery service Fresh Direct. Have a great day and if you enjoy your Wednesday bulletin, please share.

Japan & Australasia
Strategy change pays off   Yamada Denki, one of the largest consumer electronics chains in Japan, saw operating profit surge in its latest quarter. The company reckons this is due to a strategy shift from digital electronics to highly profitable white goods. ▪
Digital decisions   Fresh food delivery company Aussie Farmers Direct is fuelling competition in the Australian retail industry with the launch of an online-only supermarket, stocking grocery brands at low prices +++ Start-up Shoptiques began business in Australia in June and says that boutiques on the platform have seen 80% growth in orders since then. ▪
Domino's expands Down Under   The pizza restaurant chain announced it will open more than 300 stores in Australia and New Zealand. To reach this goal, Domino’s is looking at buying ailing Australian rival Eagle Boys. The company is also set to test the newest version of its driverless delivery robot. ▪
Pharma deal and other bargains   Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever is making its foray into the air purification market with the acquisition of Blueair, a Swedish maker of household air purifiers, for an undisclosed sum +++ Russian drugstore operator Pharmacy Chain 36.6 is reportedly in negotiations to acquire rival network Rosta. ▪
Morrisons sells US stake   The British supermarket operator is obviously focusing on the domestic market and its core business. The company has offloaded its 10% stake in US online food retailer Fresh Direct for GBP 45 million, five years after it invested in the firm. ▪
Cross-border partnerships   German hypermarket chain Kaufland has announced plans to roll out Electronic Shelf Labels across its entire store network and has selected British specialist Displaydata as supplier +++ Munich-based Linde AG and US industrial gas supplier Praxair are in early-stage talks about a merger to create a market leader with a value of more than US$ 60 billion. ▪
USA & canada
Acquisition ambitions   Canadian convenience-store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard is reportedly in the lead to purchase Texas-based rival CST Brands, a chain with more than 1,000 stores, in a deal worth at least US$ 3.4 billion, and San Antonio-based grocer H-E-B will buy six supermarket sites from Sun Fresh Market. ▪
On the fast track   Supermarket chain Ralphs plans to roll out its online grocery shopping service in California. After opening a flagship store in the new World Trade Centre in New York on Tuesday, footwear brand Skechers aims to have more than 1,600 locations up and running by the end of the year. ▪
Healthy housing sector   Atlanta-based home-improvement retailer Home Depot reported a second-quarter net income of US$ 2.44 billion, beating analysts' forecasts. The solid report came as government data showed continued health in the US housing sector. ▪
thought-provoking reads
Aldi family feud   The heirs of the discount empire are battling for control of the chain. Their public feud has upended decades of obsessive discretion at Aldi. Bloomberg takes a closer look at the family dispute and its spill into the public view. ▪
Tough delivery conditions   Start-ups in the hyper-competitive food delivery face a notoriously tricky business. Quartz investigates their pricing system, which is sometimes borderline criminal, and the Guardian explains why Deliveroo couriers in Britain are right to strike. ▪

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