Creating an entertaining store ambience is always a winning formula. Britain's Debenhams is enhancing the shopping experience by installing in-store gyms, while Chinese powerhouse Alibaba offers a farm-to-shelf journey in its Hema outlets, and German discounter Aldi attracts its US clientele with a huge fresh product range. Get inspired by these ideas and have a relaxing weekend.




Friday, 10 August 2018





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Creating an entertaining store ambience is always a winning formula. Britain's Debenhams is enhancing the shopping experience by installing in-store gyms, while Chinese powerhouse Alibaba offers a farm-to-shelf journey in its Hema outlets, and German discounter Aldi attracts its US clientele with a huge fresh product range. Get inspired by these ideas and have a relaxing weekend.




US & Canada


Aggressive push ▪ In line with its ambitious growth plan, Aldi has launched a major product expansion in the United States, focusing on fresh, organic and easy-to-prepare offerings. The German discounter aims to become the third largest retailer in the US by 2022 with 2,500 locations, behind Walmart and Kroger.



Alliance abandoned ▪ US grocer Albertsons and drugstore chain Rite Aid have terminated their USD 24 billion merger agreement ahead of a Rite Aid shareholder vote that would have opposed the deal. Albertsons expressed disappointment with the move and called the strategic rationale “compelling”.



Online moves ▪ Wholesaler Costco has launched its first online grocery site in Canada and a delivery service. Meanwhile, e-commerce powerhouse Amazon wants to hire more than 200 people to work from home and has plans to open its own health clinic for Seattle employees.




Europe


Focus on France ▪ Groupe Casino's rating was lowered by an analyst over worries about its debt situation. The retailer has refuted the claims. LZ Retailytics takes a closer look at the online offer of French hypermarkets with focus on Carrefour, Leclerc and Louis Delhaize. Click here for the report.



Survival struggles ▪ The new owners of Homebase are reportedly planning to close around 80 of the stores in a bid to revive the troubled DIY chain. Over in Ireland, the Dublin retailer which opened the first Poundworld in the country has agreed to take over the remaining stores of the discount chain in the UK.



For fitter customers ▪ British department store operator Debenhams is set to roll out in-store gyms from next month, as it seeks ways to attract shoppers with new experience initiatives. The move is part of a new partnership between the retailer and fitness chain Sweat!.




Asia & Australasia


Chinese incentives ▪ Alibaba founder Jack Ma has launched an initiative in South Africa that will see young entrepreneurs competing for USD 10 million in funding. In China, Alibaba's Hema supermarket chain has introduced a feature that lets customers track their food from farm to shelf.



Smart plans ▪ Chinese retailer Suning wants to set up 12,000 smart retail stores by 2020. Currently, the company operates 1,100 locations and said it will increase its capabilities both online and offline. Franchisees are also playing an important role to help Suning.



Stellar result ▪ New Zealand-based fresh produce giant T&G Global, which is controlled by Germany’s BayWa, reported a 40% increase in operating profit for the first half of 2018 on the back of a strong performance from its pipfruit and international produce businesses.




Saving the planet


Zero emission ▪ Aldi UK is on track to become carbon neutral by 2019 and has managed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. So far, the German discounter has installed 388 solar panel systems, spent GBP 20 million to upgrade its fridges and secured a deal to use 100% renewable electricity for its sites.



Green and clean ▪ The New Zealand government is determined to phase out single-use plastic bags over the next 12 months to safeguard the country's green reputation. The majority of retailers welcomes the move and consumers are also responding well.