Swedish furniture giant Ikea opens another landmark store in Asia, while Toys 'R' Us heads for China; stocks drop for US staples Target and Lowe's, and Amazon eyes up Disney TV offerings. In Europe, Dutch grocer Albert Heijn improves efficiency in Zaandam, and Camden Markets could be in for a companion. Enjoy the read and feel free to share!




Wednesday, 21 November 2018





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Swedish furniture giant Ikea opens another landmark store in Asia, while Toys 'R' Us heads for China; stocks drop for US staples Target and Lowe's, and Amazon eyes up Disney TV offerings. In Europe, Dutch grocer Albert Heijn improves efficiency in Zaandam, and Camden Markets could be in for a companion. Enjoy the read and feel free to share!




Europe


Top changes ▪ French retailer Casino has announced a new CFO. David Lubek will replace Antoine Giscard d'Estaing, amidst the company's moves to sell assets and cut back on debt. The change itself has nothing to do with the company's financial situation, according to a spokesperson.



Streamlining operations ▪ Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is setting up a state-of-the-art distribution centre on home turf. The centre's mechanised systems should see improved product handling. Meanwhile, Russia's X5 retailer has partnered with banking group Sovcombank to create a parcel locker set up for delivery items.


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Technical fashion ▪ British online fashion label Asos is going global with its artificial sizing aid Fit Assistant. The software was trialled in the UK this year and will now be available internationally. Asos has pushed its technology recently, with customers now able to order via chat-bot.




US and Latin America


Missed targets ▪ Home improvement retailer Lowe's is looking to divest its Mexico outlets after disappointing sales rises. This comes after the closure of 51 stores in the US. Meanwhile, discounter Target has also seen diving shares after falling short of their profit forecast for the third quarter.



Media bid ▪ E-commerce titan Amazon has entered the bidding for 22 regional sports networks, made available by Walt Disney Co after their purchase of 21st Century Fox's film and television assets. Amazon is looking to strengthen its traditional TV sector, which will support its Prime streaming service.



Fraud action ▪ Discount majors Target, Walmart, and Best Buy are fighting gift card scammers with more than a quarter of the stores' fraud incidents due to the cards. The action taken will include card purchase limits and in-store training to help employees spot scams and warn potential victims.




Asia


Investment in Manila ▪ Ikea continues to expand in Asia, with its largest store ever set to open in the Philippines. The outlet, which will cost the equivalent of USD 133 million, is the Swedish retailers' first in the country and has a planned opening of 2020. Ikea also considers a move into Vietnam.



Toy revival ▪ The Asia-Pacific leg of bankrupt US toy store Toys 'R' Us has separated from their parent company, and is planning expansion across the Asian market. There are 68 new outlets planned, with a focus on China and Japan. Despite collapse in the US, the retailer's growth has been solid in Asia.




Thinking ahead


Filling a niche ▪ Robotics company Kindred has long been working on AI systems to help robots interact with the physical world. With its robots made specifically for retail fulfilment centre work, Kindred fills an underdeveloped gap in the market, and could potentially help retailers compete with companies like Amazon.



Varied venture ▪ Closing in on a different kind of market opening, the owners of the iconic Camden Markets are preparing to establish a multi retail undertaking in nearby Hawley Wharf. The development will house 150 retailers and upwards of 1000 jobs, with a completion goal of summer 2019.