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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Wednesday, 05 April 2017

Hello, dear reader,
The media-shy owners of coffee company Keurig and doughnut chain Krispy Kreme are reportedly in talks to add another American company to their growing portfolio. Meanwhile, discounter Aldi and Save-A-Lot prepare themselves for rival Lidl's entry into the US market. Get informed about the latest news and have a great day.

USA & Canada
JAB to buy bakery chain   Boosting its burgeoning food empire that already spans coffee, bagels and doughnuts, private investment group JAB, a unit of the reclusive German Reimann family, is in advanced talks to acquire Missouri-based bakery chain Panera Bread for US$ 7 billion. No final agreement has been made so far. ▪
Preparing for Lidl   As the German discount giant gets ready to enter the US, Aldi has opened its first remodelled store in the Mid-Atlantic area, exactly where its competitor is expected to operate, and discount rival Save-A-Lot has appointed an experienced Lidl executive, Kenneth McGrath, as its new CEO. ▪
Survival strategies   Struggling office supply chain Staples, valued at roughly US$ 7 billion, is reportedly in talks to sell itself to private equity firms. Meanwhile, discount shoe retailer Payless failed to avoid bankruptcy and filed for chapter 11. Ralph Lauren is also shaking things up and closing its Polo flagship in Manhattan in a bid to reduce costs. ▪
Petco's digital investment   The pet supply chain operator boosts its digital initiatives with the purchase of PetCoach, a Philadelphia-based start-up that helps owners take better care of their animals. Its boss joins Petco as VP of strategic innovation and digital experience ▪
Expanding in Britain   Aldi has opened a GBP 59.5 million distribution centre in Cardiff, creating 422 jobs, while Amazon has entered the lucrative business-to-business (B2B) supply market in the UK with the launch of Amazon Business, which is already available in Germany and the US. ▪
E-commerce in Austria   After having introduced the country's largest online food shopping service in Vienna last September, Interspar Austria has announced an expansion of the service to Salzburg and surrounding areas, which will give the retailer access to around three million customers. ▪
Asia & Africa
Betting on China   French multi Carrefour has opened its 27th store in Shanghai and is also offering an app for its online customers. Meanwhile, South Korean retail conglomerate Lotte Group is determined to continue to invest in its China business despite rising diplomatic tensions over the deployment of a US missile defence system. ▪
Bigbasket thinks big   India's leading online grocer prepares for its next fundraising exercise, targeting an investment of over US$ 150 million, and is reportedly in talks with Internet giants Tencent and Amazon as well as Chinese business conglomerate Fosun. ▪
Uchumi gets support   The Kenyan supermarket operator, which struggles to pay off debts it owes to its suppliers, will receive another taxpayer-funded financial bailout to support its business. The retailer said it is mulling re-entry into Uganda and Tanzania markets where it exited two years ago. ▪
Sustainability matters
Lagging efforts   Australian supermarkets Coles and Woolworths have been criticised by environmental experts for overusing plastic, including wrapping everything from vegetables to fruit in plastic packaging. Competitor Aldi is also under fire despite its environmental ban on plastic bags. ▪
Responsible retailers   Swedish fashion major H&M has made a landmark pledge to use 100% recycled or sustainably-sourced materials in its products by 2030. Over in Britain, department store icon Marks & Spencer has commissioned the UK's national animal cruelty prevention association to audit its dairy farms.  ▪

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