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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Friday, 19 August 2016

Hello, subscribers!
British retailer Laura Ashley is finally ready to reach the Chinese market; in the UK, Asda backs off from its price war, and in the USA, Walmart reports better-than-expected results. Have a great day, and if you enjoy this edition, please share.

asia & australia
Laura Ashley takes on China   After several attempts, the British retailer is finally poised to launch in China and will open a website via Alibaba-owned Tmall +++ According to New York-based research firm eMarketer, the Chinese mainland, which is already the largest e-commerce market, will overtake the USA in annual retail sales by the end of the year. ▪
Woolies under pressure   Shareholders are urging Australia’s largest retailer to end seven months of uncertainty and complete a deal to offload their hardware assets Home Timber & Hardware (HTH) and Masters Home Improvement. ▪
South Asia growth strategies   There is no stopping US convenience store chain 7-Eleven: Having accumulated 60,000 global stores, they now plan to open one in Vietnam, which will be the company’s 11th country +++ Meanwhile, with a huge facility in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh, soft drink giant PepsiCo believes growth opportunities in the country will continue to increase. ▪
Asda backs off price war   The Walmart-owned UK retail chain has reported a 7.5% drop in sales for the three months to 30 June. However, despite this disappointing result, Asda has no plans to  increase its price-cutting regime. ▪
Amazon creates more jobs   As reported on Tuesday, the e-commerce giant will set up a warehouse in Doncaster, UK, in December. Now they have announced plans to open a delivery warehouse in Essex, which will create 1,500 permanent jobs +++ In not so good news, Nottingham food manufacturer The Pizza Factory may lay off up to 350 production staff after losing its contract with Tesco. ▪
Ikea opens order and collect    At the end of the month, the Swedish furniture giant will open a new 900-square-metre order and collection point in West Stratford City, UK +++ What effect did Brexit have on British retail? New official sales figure for July show growth in all sectors. ▪
Walmart beats expectations   The USA’s largest retailer has reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for the second quarter with net income reaching US$ 3.8 billion. Walmart sees this as proof that its decision to focus on its online business, including the US$ 3 billion purchase of e-commerce site, was the right path. ▪
American Apparel seeks buyer   The retailer, which six months ago emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has hired global investment bank Houlihan Lokey to find a buyer. ▪
Target spends on restrooms    In response to customer complaints over its policy to allow transgender people to choose  restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, the US discount retailer will spend US$ 20 million to add a private bathroom to each of its stores by next year +++ Walgreens is being asked for assurance by the American Civil Liberties Union that its partnership with a Catholic system won’t limit access to birth control in the St. Louis area . ▪
thought-provoking reads
The online Rio effect   According to data specialist Summit, online searches for items from Brazil have increased considerably during the Rio Olympic Games, with searches for Brazilian food items 300% higher and drinks up by 250%. ▪
What shoppers really want   The thing that US grocery shoppers value the most is fresh produce, according to a new report by sales and marketing agency Acosta. This is followed by competitive pricing and selection. ▪

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