A lot of cross-border activity is going on at the moment – China's JD.com partners with US tech giant Intel, British toy retailer Hamleys eyes its first American flagship, South Korea's E-mart acquires in California and Taco Bell arrives in New Zealand and will expand in Australia. Welcome to a globalised retail world. Enjoy the read.




Tuesday, 11 December 2018





Hello ,

A lot of cross-border activity is going on at the moment – China's JD.com partners with US tech giant Intel, British toy retailer Hamleys eyes its first American flagship, South Korea's E-mart acquires in California and Taco Bell arrives in New Zealand and will expand in Australia. Welcome to a globalised retail world. Enjoy the read.

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Europe


Ambitious debuts ▪ Amazon is reportedly planning to introduce its cashierless 'Go' format with a flagship UK store in London's West End. Over in Italy, supermarket chain Esselunga has opened a state-of-the-art outlet in Milan with a network of 5,000 digital sensors to monitor energy consumption.



Growth ideas ▪ Zalando aims to develop into a destination for affordable luxury fashion and has signed up 17 premium brands. The Berlin-based online platform could also become a takeover target for the likes of Amazon and Alibaba as its share prices nearly halved in the last six months.



Corrected links ▪ It seems that some of the sources linked to the Aldi and Lidl expansion story in yesterday's issue were wrong. Both discounters are striving to be on top, check out their ranking in Europe, but it's only Lidl that is active in Lithuania and set to expand its store network. We apologise for the misleading intro.




United States


East meets West ▪ China's JD.com has joined forces with US tech giant Intel to develop 'smart' retail experiences. The two companies want 'internet-of-things' technology into the process. Meanwhile, South Korean retailer E-Mart has acquired US food retailer Good Food, which operates 24 stores under different banners.



Overseas expansion ▪ British toy retailer Hamleys is reportedly in confidential talks to acquire a location in New York with plans for a wider rollout of stores to follow. The iconic brand aims to get a share of the USD 11 billion toy industry. Should the deal go through, the store is expected to open in 2020.



Physical premiere ▪ Fast-growing online jewellery retailer JamesAllen.com has opened its first-ever brick-and-mortar location, in Washington, D.C. The space is designed to offer an omnichannel experience that integrates the retailer's digital platform and a physical shopping experience.




Asia & Australasia


Stakes increased ▪ Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group will take the majority control of loss-making movie unit Alibaba Pictures, making it the company's controlling shareholder. Under the agreement, Alibaba Pictures will issue one billion new shares for a total of around USD 160 million.



Powerful inputs ▪ A group of American tech giants have collectively denounced the so-called "anti-encryption" bill, passed by the Australian government last week. In the meantime, the country's consumer watchdog has put forth 11 recommendations to improve oversight of tech companies.



Tex Mex Down Under ▪ Fast-food group Restaurant Brands NZ has reached an agreement to expand the Taco Bell's brand in Australia and in New Zealand. The deal will see the construction of more than 60 new restaurants of the Tex-Mex food chain across the region.




What to watch


Trend trails ▪ Plant-based food and booze-free beverages had major impacts in 2018, and will continue to grow next year, according to UK's leading food and drink event network IFE. Across the Atlantic, retailers have been expanding their foodservice offerings – from meal kits to sushi. Click here for a slideshow.



Gloomy Christmas ▪ The crisis on Britain's high streets will intensify over the festive season according to forecasts. A combination of low consumer confidence, more online competitors and Christmas shoppers increasingly buying experiences instead of products will take its toll, says one research group.