The numbers keep rolling in. Walmart and its UK unit Asda, as well as health retailer Holland & Barrett, impress with top results, while US department store chain J.C. Penney gives a gloomy outlook. Germany's second largest sugar refiner is in talks to acquire an Australian producer, and Alibaba is set to invest in Belgium. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend.




Friday, 16 November 2018





Hello ,

The numbers keep rolling in. Walmart and its UK unit Asda, as well as health retailer Holland & Barrett, impress with top results, while US department store chain J.C. Penney gives a gloomy outlook. Germany's second largest sugar refiner is in talks to acquire an Australian producer, and Alibaba is set to invest in Belgium. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend.




Europe


Stellar performances ▪ Like parent company Walmart, British grocer Asda reported a rise in sales in the third quarter, outpacing Sainsbury's, its potential buyer. The supermarket chain has another reason to celebrate as it has won the top award in the annual festive mince pie taste test carried out by the Consumers' Association.



Overseas opportunities ▪ British online grocer Ocado aims to strike more deals with supermarket operators in Europe, Asia and South America. Holland and Barrett is also eyeing international expansion. The UK-headquartered health retailer grew annual revenues by more than 7%, fuelled by digital growth.


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Belgian hub ▪ Chinese powerhouse Alibaba has chosen the Belgian city of Liège as the home of its European logistics hub. A top executive of the online giant said, that the expansion of Alibaba in Europe will not stop in Belgium, hinting to a possible expansion into the Netherlands.



Cross-border expansion ▪ Croatian supermarket chain Konzum considers entering Macedonia. The company, a unit of the Agrokor Group, is reportedly 'almost ready' to make a decision on investment activities. The first store is said to be launched in the country's capital Skopje in 2019.




US & Canada


Media investment ▪ Ahold Delhaize USA plans to launch a digital media service through its Peapod unit. The service will help manufacturers to target, optimise and measure campaigns for their brands. Powered by coupon company Quotient Technology, it will also link customers' online and offline shopping experiences.



Bumper results ▪ Walmart reported higher-than-expected quarterly results with a comparable sales rise of 3.4%, raising its full-year outlook. Canadian counterpart Loblaw also enjoyed a strong quarter. The grocer and drugstore chain benefited from efforts to refurbish stores and expand its online presence.



Gloomy outlook ▪ J.C. Penney withdrew its annual earnings forecast after it reported a 5.4% sales plunge for the quarter, which was far worse than the analysts had estimated. Insiders say that new CEO Jill Soltau is facing a monumental challenge to turn around the business as time is not on her side.




Asia & Australia


Sweet negotiations ▪ German sugar refiner Nordzucker is in talks to buy Australian producer Mackay Sugar. The German company said that it has been for some time seeking opportunities outside Europe to grow and increase its competitiveness, especially after the EU has liberalised the sugar market.



Targeting young shoppers ▪ Swedish furniture chain Ikea plans to launch its first urban store in central Tokyo in 2020. The 2,500 square metre outlet will open in 2020 in the capital's Harajyuku district, which is known as a mecca for youth fashion and also attracts tourists.




Image Gallery


New York debut ▪ Nike's latest retail concept is a high-tech, experiential showcase on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. The footwear giant combines innovative physical services and digital features via the Nike app to provide a personalised and futuristic shopping experience.



Industrial luxe ▪ The Sports Edit, a British online retailer for premium sportswear, has launched a flagship in London's King's Cross district. Located in a former railroad building, the store combines Victorian elements with industrial design. Click here for pictures (text and captions in German).