Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Thursday, 09 February 2017

Hello, subscribers
Walmart is determined to help its ailing British supermarket arm Asda win back market share. Meanwhile, the fintech affiliate of Chinese powerhouse Alibaba is pushing ahead with its global expansion plans and aims to raise more than US$ 3 billion for an acquisition spree. These stories and a lot more are featured in today's issue. Enjoy the read!


Alibaba's global initiatives   While its affiliate, Ant Financial, is in discussions to raise more than US$ 3 billion for the company's global expansion, Alibaba is teaming up with major freight carriers, including UPS and DHL, to drive down the cost of overseas shipping. Over in India, the online giant is in talks with operators to provide free internet in the country. ▪
Spar succeeds in China and SA   The Dutch-headquartered international retail group has posted a near 17% rise to US$ 2 billion in sales in South Africa, and in China, Spar has expanded its store network, opening a new hypermarket in the Guangdon region. ▪
Source Great British Foods at IFE 2017
IFE 2017 (The International Food & Drink Event) takes place 19-22 March at ExCeL London. The UK's biggest food & drink event will be packed with innovative food & drink products from 1,350 suppliers. IFE is divided into 9 easy to navigate sections, including a Great British & Irish foods section. Find inspiration for your retail shelves at the show - get your free trade ticket at
Nakumatt improves supply chain   The Kenyan supermarket chain has completed the first phase of its Warehouse Management System integration project at its Nairobi logistics hub. Once successfully installed, it will provide supply chain efficiencies across East Africa. ▪
Ambitious strategies   Russia's Detsky Mir, which has opened more than 200 stores in the last two years, has raised US$ 355 million in an initial public offering. The country's largest toy retailer is valued at almost US$ 1 billion and will start trading on Feb. 10. Meanwhile, South Africa's Foschini Group wants to open 100 stores for its recently acquired Damsel in a Dress fashion brand, mainly in Germany and Spain. ▪
Cutting back   British supermarket operator Waitrose is putting 600 jobs at risk as it plans to shut six stores. Due to losses in the regions, Blokker, a Dutch chain of household items, is set to close 69 of its 190 stores in Flanders and Brussels, and French cosmetics giant L’Oréal is exploring the sale of The Body Shop chain, which has become one of its worst performing brands. ▪
Profits in Scandinavia   Danish brewer Carlsberg has posted a 5% increase in operating profit, but is concerned by a shrinking Russian and Chinese beer market. Swedish retail group ICA Gruppen also reported positive results with consolidated net sales in the fourth quarter of around EUR 2.84 billion.  ▪
USA & Canada
Walmart to the rescue   The US big-box retailer is putting its purchasing power behind its struggeling British arm Asda, determined to bring the supermarket back to health. Over in Africa, Walmart has decided to slow down its expansion plans due to costly mistakes in other developing markets. In Mexico, however, the retailer has reason to rejoice as its Walmex unit reports a 5% sales rise in January. ▪
Dollar General offers jobs   The US discounter has announced plans to create around 10,000 new jobs this year. The company is also set to open 1,000 new outlets as well as two new distribution centres. The announcement comes as it tests a new, smaller-store format under a new banner.  ▪
Whole Foods disappoints   Squeezed by increased competition, the Texas-based supermarket chain reported a disappointing first quarter with a net income of US$ 95 million and also lowered full-year sales and earnings guidance. It was the chain’s sixth consecutive sales decline ▪
Sustainability matters
Protecting the environment   Italian retail consortium Supermercati Uniti Nazionali plans to equip all 600 supermarkets with biodegradable and compostable bags, while Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is determined to install 14,000 solar panels on the roofs of its headquarters, which is one of the largest solar energy projects in the Netherlands. ▪
Reducing sugar and emissions   European soft drink manufacturers, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi, have announced plans to reduce added sugars by an extra 10% by 2020 in Europe. Over in Ireland, food industry leaders have doubled their sustainability targets in 2016, according to a report from Bord Bia. ▪

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