The German discounter Aldi is on a roll. In the US, Aldi gives Walmart a run for its money and has also revealed ambitious growth plans for the UK. Meanwhile the world’s biggest candy-makers, usually in fierce competition, are sharing in a joint bid to make their sweets a lower calorie treat. Read all about it in today's RetailUpdate and have a relaxing weekend.
Battle for price leadership
Aldi is trying to beat Walmart to become price leader in the US. The German discounter will reportedly expand its offering of private label products. This will be another headache for the US big box retailer as its CEO, Doug McMillon, is under scrutiny over allegations of bribery.
Department store doldrums
The latest quarterly results for a struggling department store sector have highlighted a challenging operating environment amidst a shift to online shopping and declining foot traffic. Macy’s along with Nordstrom and Kohl’s all reported lower sales over the quarter.
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US candy-makers are banding together to drastically reduce the calories in some of their biggest sellers. Companies including Mars, Nestle, Wrigley and Lindt promise that half their individually wrapped goods will contain no more than 200 calories within five years.
Europe & Middle East
Aldi ramps up
The German discount powerhouse has laid out plans to dominate the British market, saying there will be a store for every 30,000 people, potentially quadrupling its current size in the country. Aldi is currently operating 700 stores in Britain.
Analysts are hoping to see the first green shoots of recovery in Spanish co-op Eroski’s upcoming 2016 results after four years of losses. Commentary from Retailytics suggests recent comments made by the struggling grocer point to it being ‘on its feet, but convalescent’.
UK retailer The Co-operative is extending its lamb farming group to meet its promise to stock only fresh British lamb all year round. There are now 32 farms participating across the region. The move is part of its overarching ambition to become the first British retailer to sell only 100% fresh British meat.
Easing online search
Tel Aviv-based start-up Twiggle, focused on simplifying the search for products online, has received US$15 million in new funding from MizMaa Ventures and Korea Investment Partners. The boost brings total funding to US$ 33 million including from online heavyweights Alibaba and Yahoo.
Asia & Australasia
Starbucks thrives in China
The US coffeehouse chain is pointing to WeChat as a key component to its successful growth in China. The digital device now accounts for nearly 30% of all transactions, following the launch of a partnership with its parent company Tencent last December.
Tesco has bought thousands of small iceberg lettuces as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce food waste, which will be sold under its Perectly Imperfect range. The purchase comes after unseasonable weather conditions led to a bumper crop.
Zespri eyes China
The world's largest kiwifruit marketer Zespri is kicking off its second season of growing trials with Chinese growers. The New Zealand company wants to ultimately supply the market with fruit grown in the country.