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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A couple of days after Coca-Cola Femsa expanded its footprint in Latin America, the billion-dollar merger of the two leading Japanese Coca-Cola bottlers creates a new market leader by sales volume in the country. In the UK market, Aldi is seen to have moved on from the ‘incumbent market disruptor’ to ‘an established and mature market player’ backed up by the latest figures. In the US, the online grocery markets heats up with investments in Instacart and FreshDirect. Have a good day and enjoy the read. 

asia & australia
Japanese bottlers merge   Japan's two leading Coca-Cola bottlers, Tokyo-based Coca-Cola East Japan and Fukuoka-based Coca-Cola West, agreed to merge next spring. The newly created company will have annual sales of more than US$ 9.95 billion +++ Coca-Cola India expects a recovery in consumer demand and sees growth in the core portfolio as well as in new products. ▪
Alipay at airports   Payments with Alibaba's online payment platform will become available at 10 international airports by the end of October. The launch will mainly include international airports in Asia but also Munich Airport in Germany and Auckland Airport in New Zealand. ▪
Lidl prepares launch Down Under   Expectations of the German discounter preparing its market entry in Australia grow stronger as the company continues to apply for trademarks in the country and is reportedly seeking contact to potential suppliers. ▪
Aldi UK flying high   While the discounter’s sales increased by GBP 812 million to GBP 7.7 billion in the year to 31 December 2015, analysts see Aldi to have become ‘an established and mature market player’. However, operating profits shrank due to the price wars to GBP 255.6 million by 1.8%. The company announced plans to spend GBP 300 million next year to revamp its stores and pay staff more than any of their rivals. ▪
Shutting platforms   German grocery e-commerce business Emmas Enkel (German content, paywall) will close its online shop unexpectedly as of 30 September 2016. Only last May had the Metro Group raised its stake in the the start-up to 93%. Over in the US, online home furnishings retailer Dot & Bo has abruptly closed its doors last Friday.  ▪
Changes at the top   After 40 years, Luis Cantarell, who heads Nestlé's Europe, Middle East and North Africa zone, is stepping down to be replaced by Marco Settembri, currently head of Nestlé's water division, next January +++ In the US, Lands' End's CEO Federica Marchionni has resigned. Joseph Boitano and James Gooch will act as co-interim CEO. At Staples, interim CEO Shira Goodman will be permanently installed as CEO.  ▪
Online groceries on the rise   High-end supermarket Whole Foods deepens its relationship with grocery deliverer Instacart by taking a stake in the 4-year-old start-up. Online grocery service FreshDirect, which operates on the East Coast, receives an additional funding of US$ 189 million. ▪ alienates manufacturers   Allegations have been made against the e-tailer, which has recently been acquired by Walmart, to be selling high-end pet food products without the manufacturers' consent. ▪
Innovative moves   While membership-only retailer Sam's Club rolls out its scan-and-go checkout nationwide, speculations have it that parent company Walmart is considering to pilot a similar move +++ Under its programme 'Ignite', consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is dedicating store space to innovative products from start-ups ▪
Unusual and remarkable
Iceland's cold case   The Icelandic government is considering launching a lawsuit against British supermarket Iceland calling for a ban on using the name in the European Union. ▪
Parents matter   As the first retailer in the UK, online fashion store Asos has signed up to LinkedIn’s global Bring In Your Parents initiative. On 4 November, Bring In Your Parents Day, employees show their parents their workplace and what they do +++ To prevent employees from quitting in order to care for ailing parents, Yahoo Japan is considering a four-day workweek for its employees. ▪
Vote distracts consumers   This year's unusual election cycle in the US is expected to have a strong impact on consumer spending during the second half of 2016, but whether it will be good or bad remains completely in the open. ▪

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