All eyes are on Asia today, where e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba revealed its latest ventures after posting quarterly results. US rival Amazon joins forces with Hyundai to experiment with futuristic stores in South Korea and German discounter Aldi might open a store in China in the near future. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend.




Friday, 24 August 2018





Hello ,

All eyes are on Asia today, where e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba revealed its latest ventures after posting quarterly results. US rival Amazon joins forces with Hyundai to experiment with futuristic stores in South Korea and German discounter Aldi might open a store in China in the near future. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend.




Asia


Thriving empire ▪ Alibaba reported a whopping 61% rise in revenue to USD 11.8 billion in its latest quarterly results, but investments such as USD 3 million to merge local food delivery businesses Ele.me and Koubei weigh on profits. Meanwhile, Spanish label Uterqüe, a unit of fashion giant Inditex, has launched on Alibaba's Tmall.



Chinese expansion ▪ Aldi Süd tightens its collaboration with Alibaba (paywall, in German). The discounter revealed that it will extend its product range on Tmall and also increase the number of its employees in China, fuelling speculation that the retailer soon could open a physical store in Shanghai.



Korean experiments ▪ Amazon has made its first venture into South Korea with ambitious plans to launch the world's first checkout-free department store. The American online leader has partnered with Hyundai Department store to create the futuristic outlet, using drone technology.



Securing growth ▪ Thai retail conglomerate Central Group plans to spend around USD 500 million to expand its retail network in Vietnam. After posting disappointing results, Hong Kong-based manufacturer Li & Fung said that it will spin off its logistics business in order to streamline operations.




Europe


Polish revelations ▪ British supermarket chain Tesco plans to close 13 loss-making stores in Poland, eliminating up to 2,200 workplaces. More uplifting news comes from Spar Polska. The Polish unit of Spar International has posted a 15% increase in turnover in the first half of its financial year.



Going public ▪ The chief executive of Portugal's Sonae announced that the company has taken decisive steps towards launching an initial offering for its food retail subsidiary Sonae MC, which operates 173 Continente hypermarkets and has posted sales of EUR 1.9 billion in the first half.




US & Africa


Japanese support ▪ Online platform Boxed has announced that it has raised USD 111 million in a new funding round, which was led by Japanese retail giant Aeon. With the financial input, the New York-based company plans to ramp up the automation of its facilities through hardware developed in-house.



Sustainability matters ▪ Joining a number of businesses that are making efforts to curtail or eliminate single-use plastics, supermarket giant Kroger wants to remove plastic shopping bags from its more than 2,800 stores by 2025. The retailer distributes 6 billion single-use bags per year.



Disappointing results ▪ South African retailer Massmart, a unit of Walmart, reported a massive drop in half-year profits due to restructuring costs and weak consumer spending. Compatriot Woolworths also posted a loss in profit for its 2018 financial year hit by the reshuffle at its Australian business.




What to watch


Tough discounters ▪ Europe's most dominant grocery retailers are about to lose market share to discount specialists, says LZ Retailytics and offers an analysis and evaluation of the current and future market situation with a special focus on Aldi and Lidl. Click here to get the free report.



High Street king ▪ Last week, Mike Ashley hit the headline with its acquisition of struggling department store chain House of Fraser. UK magazine Retail Gazette takes a closer look at the British tycoon, who ranks number 629 on Forbes 2018 rich list, and reveals where else the entrepreneur has a stake in.