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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Thursday, 11 May 2017

Hello, dear reader,
Walmart has made its next move in taking on its online competitors - its e-commerce unit is opening a temporary grocery location. Meanwhile, nemesis Amazon trials a pick-up collaboration with discount heavyweight Aldi in Germany. Read about these exciting experiments and feel free to share. Subscription to RetailUpdate remains FREE.


USA & Canada gets physical   The e-commerce company, which Walmart acquired for US$ 3.3 billion in 2016, is opening a grocery location in New York, within a retail concept store. The debut comes at a time when arch rival Amazon is increasing its investment into its fresh business. ▪
Shake-up at Whole Foods   The iconic organic grocery chain has appointed a new chairwoman and five new independent directors, in an effort to show its activist investor that it is open to change. The reshuffle came on the same day as the retailer released second quarter earnings, which met analysts' expectations. ▪
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Targeting US coffee shops   British sandwich chain Pret a Manger is reportedly exploring a public offering at the New York stock exchange as part of it plans to expand in the US. The American coffee shop market with leading brand Starbucks is worth US$ 41 billion. ▪
Aldi teams up with Amazon   The German discount powerhouse got up close and personal with the US heavyweight by testing Amazon pick-up lockers in the car parks of several of its stores in Southern Germany. It could be a win-win situation for both, says Retailytics. ▪
Carrefour goes organic   As the bio segment is taking off in Spain, French retailer Carrefour has introduced its first organic store in Madrid. The company already operates a number of Bio-stores in its home market France. ▪
Reporting results   German consumer goods maker Henkel has chalked up organic sales growth of 4 per cent in the first quarter - thanks mainly to its adhesives business. +++ Ahold Delhaize sees itself on track with delivering its synergy targets. The merged entity posted an overall increase of net sales to EUR 15.9 billion in Q1, but struggles in its largest market, the US. +++ Online fashion powerhouse Zalando saw is first-quarter sales grow by a robust 23% ▪
Asia & Australia
Paytm to buy Indian rival   The Alibaba-backed payment platform has signed a non-binding agreement to acquire Freecharge, the digital wallet owned and operated by Bengaluru-based online marketplace Snapdeal. The deal is said to be worth between US$ 45 million and US$ 90 million. ▪
Myer stays optimistic   The Australian department store giant has seen a 3.3% sales drop it its third quarter, blaming a challenging environment, bad weather and less discount sales. Unfazed, CEO Richard Umbers reiterated the company's full-year guidance forecast and remains focused on driving productivity. ▪
On the rise   Convenience stores are surging in mainland China with a 13% increase in sales to US$ 18.8 billion in 2016. Freight train services between China and Europe are also growing. From January to April 2017, 886 trains were heading to European destinations, which is up 163% year on year.  ▪
What to watch
Blocking the bots   Amazon is known for its ambition to be the largest online retailer. But its mastery of the behind-the-scenes technologies is just as important. Check out what happened when the online giant blocked the programme that normally allows competitors to scan its prices. ▪
Sustainability matters   British retailer the Co-operative Group seeks to cut landfill waste by introducing corrugated cardboard pizza discs to its stores. Over in Germany, international packing group Mondi has outlined its plans for solving the issue of food waste. ▪

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