Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Canadian operator Couche-Tard continues its merger spree with its fourth acquisition this year which is also the largest in the chain’s 36-year history. In Australia, Woolworths has scrapped its unpopular loyalty scheme while Walgreens in the US becomes the first retailer to have its loyalty card supported by Android Pay. Find out about these stories and more. Enjoy!

Asia & Australia
Loyalty scheme revamped   Australian supermarket giant Woolworths is responding to customer complaints by overhauling its unpopular loyalty programme +++ Mainly thanks to China's appetite for baby food and formula, Tasmania-based organic baby food maker Bellamy's more than quadrupled its profits in the year to 30 June. ▪
Alibaba pushes forward   While the Chinese online giant plans a major UK push for its Chinese payment service, it also pushes further into the social media and entertainment segment. ▪
Standing in the pillory   A recent report reveals that Australian supermarket chain Coles was aware it was underpaying more than half of its employees. Japanese discount store Daiso faces a court trial in Australia for selling potentially dangerous products. Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M has reacted to accusations of forcing children to work overtime in factories in Myanmar. ▪
Payment options   German start-up BlockPay, which enables merchants to accept one or more digital currencies at zero cost, pushes its platform to new levels with an imminent crowdfunding. Contactless payments in the UK soared to a record of GBP 9.27 billion spent during the first half of the year compared with GBP 7.75 billion over the whole of 2015. Over in the US, Walgreens has become the first retailer to integrate its loyalty program with Android Pay. ▪
Tesco stores open all night   In line with the new night timetable for the London underground, Tesco will open additional stores along the Victoria and Central lines for 24 hours on weekends. The supermarket chain denied reports that it was planning to exit Hungary. ▪
USA & Canada
Canadian acquisitions   Convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard has completed the purchase of US convenience store retailer CST Brands. The acquisition is reportedly in the region of USD 4.4 billion, including debt. Grocery and pharmacy giant Loblaw has entered a definitive agreement with QHR Corporation to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of the healthcare technology group. ▪
Amazon's innovations   The e-commerce powerhouse plans to open a drive-up grocery store in Seattle and launches an offer to its Prime members to test drive cars. In Germany, Amazon is trialling parcel lockers at Shell petrol stations and the Polish unit of the etailer announced possible investments in the country. ▪
Office Depot CEO to retire   Following the announcement of Roland Smith to step down from his role as CEO early next year, the office supply retailer is on the hunt for a successor. ▪
Worthwhile reads
It's in the name   Apple is changing the way it brands its stores by replacing the word "store" with the individual location of each particular outlet. Employees at the stores are likely to go under one of the new job titles "Pro", "Creative Pro" and "Technical Expert". Over in the UK, supermarket chain Morrisons has invented the position of  "Bake Officer", whose responsibilities focus on trends around the latest edition of hit TV series "The Great British Bake Off". ▪
It's about the looks   "The appearance barrier" describes the phenomenon of being distracted by your own physical appearance on video calls preventing from fully engaging in the discussion. Some adjustments around positioning and behaviour might help. ▪

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