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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Thursday, 20 April 2017

Hello, dear reader,
Watch out Australia - Amazon has officially confirmed that it is heading Down Under and is set to become a game-changer in the country's retail landscape. Over in India, new alliances surface in the competitive grocery market. And is a cashless society just around the corner? Read about all this in today's issue and feel free to share the news.


USA & Australia
Active on all fronts   Online powerhouse Amazon has further detailed its ambitious growth plan for Australia, where fear grows it will crash the whole industry. In the US, the company was granted a patent for an automated on-demand clothing factory, and in Europe, the relentless giant is expanding its Amazon Pay into France, Italy and Spain.  ▪
Online moves   Walmart continues to make acquisitions in Amazon's turf, but this time the target is a Web domain,, which it purchased via its unit for US$ 9 million. Meanwhile, Ahold’s US’s e-commerce division Peapod has teamed with meal planning tech company ▪
Office Depot stays focused   Aiming to shed all of its international businesses and concentrate on the North American market, the office supply retailer has entered a deal to sell its operations in Australia and New Zealand to global investment firm Platinum Equity. ▪
Offloading or including   Tesco has unloaded its opticians business to Vision Express in the latest attempt to return to its former glory by re-focusing on grocery. Competitor Sainsbury, on the other hand, is aiming for a slice of the casual sports clothing market through a partnership with US brand Russell Athletic. ▪
Private label tie-up   Spanish retailers Dia and Eroski have entered into an agreement to create a new company, Red Libra Trading Services, which will focus on the joint purchasing of own label products. Sales and marketing policies will remain independent of each other. ▪
Earnings season   Swiss food giant Nestlé confirms its outlook for 2017 of 2-4 per cent organic growth after slowing sales growth in the first three months. Promising first quarter figures reveal that German online fashion retailer Zalando is on track to a double-digit growth. Optimism is also prevailing at Primark as its parent company, Associated British Foods, reports better-than-expected profits and has huge expansion plans for the apparel chain. ▪
Asia & South Pacific
Indian alliances   Online grocer Bigbasket and smaller rival Grofers have started merger talks, and the acquisition of Snapdeal by e-commerce leader Flipkart is likely to be finalised soon. Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble has tied up with Mumbai-based retailer Future Group to grow sales and increase market share. ▪
Aiming for a cashless society   Alibaba's financial affiliate Ant Financial is determined to spend millions to push forward to a cashless society. The company has acquired Singapore-based Lazada-subsidiary Hellopay to boost its Alipay brand and presence in Southeast Asia.  ▪
Entering China   Skyrocketing Chinese demand for kiwi fruits has prompted New Zealand's Zespri to launch a flagship store at The Beijing-based online market place also agreed to a partnership with Walmart and offers now Asda own label products. ▪
Worthwhile reads
Testing ground Seattle   It is the home town of Amazon and laboratory for the company's bricks-and-mortar experiments. But the online powerhouse is not the only global brand using the city as a testing ground. Innovation is threaded into Seattle’s DNA. The Guardian explains.  ▪
East African survival strategies   Massive debts, dwindling sales and rising competition have forced Kenyan retailers Nakumatt and Uchumi to rethink their regional strategies. According to analysts, both chains are operating on shaky ground and must sort out their problems with suppliers. ▪

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