Major investments dominate the retail headlines. Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský is interested to buy another stake in German retailer Metro and American business tycoon Warren Buffett invests in India's Paytm. On a lighter note, French Champagne winegrowers are celebrating an exceptional harvest and promise to offer an amazing bubbly soon. We raise our glasses. Enjoy the read!




Tuesday, 28 August 2018





Hello ,

Major investments dominate the retail headlines. Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský is interested to buy another stake in German retailer Metro and American business tycoon Warren Buffett invests in India's Paytm. On a lighter note, French Champagne winegrowers are celebrating an exceptional harvest and promise to offer an amazing bubbly soon. We raise our glasses. Enjoy the read!




Europe


Shareholder shake-up ▪ German consumer electronics retailer Ceconomy is in talks to sell most of its 10% stake in Metro to Czech-Slovak investor group EP Investment, led by businessman Daniel Křetínský. The announcement comes after Metro's major shareholder, family-owned conglomerate Haniel, sold a stake to the same group.



Russian announcements ▪ Home appliance retailer M.Video, which bought Ceconomy's Russian business in June, has raised its forecast after it reported an 88% jump in first-half net profit. Meanwhile, grocer O'Key Group has launched its compact hypermarket in Southern Russia.



Spanish expansions ▪ Department store chain El Corte Inglés has increased the size of its board of directors, as part of a strategic plan "to embrace differentiation". Compatriot Mercadona has acquired another site in Portugal, fuelling speculations that the grocer might soon open its fifth store in the country.




The Americas


Online and offline steps ▪ In a bid to win over shoppers from Amazon, outdoor retailer Moosejaw, purchased by Walmart in 2017, will be the first brand to launch its own digital store on website Walmart.com. Meanwhile, arch rival Amazon has opened a second cashier less 'Go' convenience store in Seattle.



Raising the bar ▪ Private equity firm Advent, which acquired 80% of Walmart Brazil, is going to invest millions to convert unprofitable hypermarkets into cash-and-carry stores, while US off-price department store chain Ross is set to accelerate its expansion plans, targeting to operate 3,000 locations instead of 2,500, as previously announced.



Delivery decisions ▪ Retailer Weis Markets plans to kick off online grocery delivery with the rollout of Shipt’s same-day service in 11 markets in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, while Texas grocer H-E-B wants to expand its partnership with Shipt to nine more communities.




Asia & Australasia


Investors in India ▪ Berkshire Hathaway, led by tycoon Warren Buffett, is set to pick up a stake in Indian online payment service company Paytm. It is the American billionaire's first investment in the fast-growing Indian market, where a number of US top players are already looking to make their mark.



Moving on ▪ Michael Hill posted an 86% annual profit plunge, however, analysts reckon it's not as bad as it looks after the Brisbane-based jewellery chain has exited the US market. The retailer plans to open at least 10 new stores in the next year in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.



Eyewear experience ▪ Premium sunglasses brand Ray-Ban is opening its first Australian store in Melbourne in October. The outlet will hold a large selection, with over 650 styles, including limited-edition models available for the first time in this market and exclusive to the store.




Beverage bits


A votre santé ▪ Champagne wines are expected to see a sharp rise in production, up 56 % from last year to 3.5 million hectolitres, after several years of unsatisfying crops. Winegrowers are celebrating an exceptional harvest that will enable them to offer amazing champagne in due course.



Spill the beans ▪ California-based start-up Bellwether Coffee is set to bring more transparency to the coffee industry. The company, which just raised USD 10 million, is leasing electric coffee roasters to its customers and offers them access to its online marketplace, where they can trace where their daily beans come from.