Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Monday, 13 February 2017

Hello, dear reader!
Embattled retailer Sears plans a comprehensive restructuring that will cut at least US$ 1 billion and L.L. Bean might be dropping its legendary return policy. Meanwhile, a start-up spun out of Oregon State University has unveiled a two-legged robot to improve home deliveries. Read about these developments and have a pleasant start to the week.


USA & Latin America
Survival strategies   Long-struggling department store chain Sears has announced an overhaul of its operations that will save up to US$ 1 billion. The plan involves reducing corporate overheads and improving its supply chain. Fellow retailer L.L.Bean is also looking to cut costs and reviews its shipping and return policy. ▪
Start-up stir ups   A group of engineers from Oregon State University unveiled Cassie, a walking robot shaped like a flightless bird, which will tackle home deliveries in any terrain. Meanwhile, Alabama-based Shipt will launch its on-demand grocery service in Charleston with deliveries from Whole Foods Market, and discount giant Target is set to support health-and-wellness newcomers through a "mini-accelerator". ▪
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
Walmart downsizes in Brazil   Despite the fact that the Brazil unit of the US big-box retailer reported positive results for the third quarter, the company has closed five stores with more to follow. Around 300 jobs are reportedly in jeopardy, mainly in commercial and administrative areas. ▪
Asia & Australia
Checkout adjustments   Australia's Woolworths is replacing nearly all of its traditional checkouts with self-service at some inner-city stores as part of its multimillion-dollar programme to win back customers. Rival Coles goes in the other direction, limiting its customers to 12 items on self-service in a move to fight thefts at the till. ▪
Focus on Chinese consumers   Hong Kong-based conglomerate Swire Pacific plans to become one of the biggest bakery chains in the mainland as the demand for better quality food products increases. Meanwhile, Chinese drinkers have developed a growing thirst for Australian wines, which enjoyed a 51% surge in exports last year. ▪
Profit jump for JB Hifi   The Melbourne-based consumer goods retailer has delivered record half-year results with a 23.6% rise in sales to A$ 2.6 billion, reaffirming synergy benefits from its recent acquisition of The Good Guys. Computers and home appliances were among the key drivers of the interim result.  ▪
Transatlantic acquisitions   In order to offer shoppers a single place to make all web purchases, German start-up has bought San-Francisco-based Zen Shopping, an app to simplify online shopping. Meanwhile, British consumer goods multinational Reckitt Benckiser has sealed the deal to buy baby formula producer Mead Johnson for US$ 17.9 billion. ▪
Passion for freshness   Amazon has expanded its AmazonFresh food delivery service in the UK to 260 postal areas, up from 69 at the time of its launch, and German retailers Globus, Edeka and Lidl were rewarded for having the best fresh produce department at trade show Fruit Logistica.  ▪
Spar opens Express   The retailer has launched its first three Spar Express forecourt stores in the Netherlands, with two more to follow. The outlets, which have their location at Texaco service stations, will focus on a convenient food-to-go range. ▪
Insider Insights
Benefits for the Body Shop    Last week, L’Oréal announced it was considering the sale of The Body Shop. The move was applauded by those who never thought the iconic chain was a perfect fit to the French cosmetics giant and could help the British brand to rediscover the foundations it was built upon. ▪
Costly supply business   With only a handful of large chains holding more than 70% of the market share, the South African supermarket industry is highly concentrated. The University of Johannesburg takes a look at the considerable buying power of the dominant retailers and how it affects local suppliers. ▪

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