Acquisitions, investments and survival battles are the main topics of today's issue. Chinese giant Alibaba buys a German start-up, Walmart stays in the fast lane when it comes to autonomous deliveries, and the Sears saga continues with a last-ditch rescue effort. Get informed and feel free to share.




Wednesday, 09 January 2019





Hello ,

Acquisitions, investments and survival battles are the main topics of today's issue. Chinese giant Alibaba buys a German start-up, Walmart stays in the fast lane when it comes to autonomous deliveries, and the Sears saga continues with a last-ditch rescue effort. Get informed and feel free to share.

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Europe


Analytics data acquisition ▪ Chinese powerhouse Alibaba has purchased Berlin-based start-up Data Artisans. Founded in 2014, the German company provides large-scale data processing solutions for enterprises. According to their website, its clientele includes Uber, eBay, and Huawei among others.



Fresh talent ▪ Netherlands-based global retail giant Ahold Delhaize has appointed a former McDonald's manager as its chief digital officer. In the newly created role, Farhan Siddiqi will oversee the digital transformation across the company’s grocery retail brands and drive further innovations.



Promising progress ▪ Spar Hungary will invest around EUR 13 million in a store modernisation programme to create a 21st-century shopping experience for customers. Meanwhile, Dutch retailer Vomar Voordeelmarkt appears to be the fastest growing supermarket chain in the Netherlands with revenue up 7.3% in 2018.




US & Latin America


Walmart announcements ▪ The big-box retailer is piloting a grocery delivery programme with vehicle company Udelv in Arizona, and is working on driverless cars with Ford and Waymo. Meanwhile, its Mexican unit, Walmex, enjoyed a 4.7% sales rise in December compared to the same month last year.



Footprint expansion ▪ Organic retailer Sprouts Farmers Market plans to enter three new states, Louisiana, New Jersey and Virginia, to extend its network of stores. Family-owned grocer Wegmans will make its long-awaited debut in New York and will start operations in Virginia and North Carolina.



Department store woes ▪ A bankruptcy judge has decided to give Sears chairman Edward Lampert one last chance to keep the company from closing down, and save roughly 50,000 jobs. Fellow retailer J.C. Penney suffered a 3.5% decline in holiday sales and will start to close stores this spring.




Asia


Guidance shock ▪ South Korean tech giant Samsung has announced that its Q4 earnings are likely to decrease sharply due to lacklustre demand in its memory chip business as well as growing competition. Operating profit might be 18% less than market expectations. This comes after Apple lowered its predictions last week and will now cut its production plan for iPhones.



Overseas debut ▪ The streetwear scene in the Philippines got a new player with the recent opening of the first Puma Select standalone store in the country. The store showcases the German brand’s newest products, including its exclusive collaborations with a number of high-profile names from the world of sports and entertainment.




Weird and wonderful


Jar wars ▪ Italian chocolate spread Nutella is one of the more delicious things the internet loves to freak out about. It has inspired supermarket riots, advertising scandals, government panics and social media campaigns. Click here to read the chocolatey history.



Barbie goes to Hollywood ▪ US toy company Mattel is partnering with Warner Brothers to bring the iconic doll to theatres, with Academy Award-nominated actress Margot Robbie to star. This is the first movie deal announced by Mattel Films, which launched in September.



Fizzy tagline ▪ Pepsi has unveiled a new global marketing platform with the tagline 'For the Love of it' to "celebrate the pop and fizz of the cola like never before." The beverage company will release the campaign throughout 2019 in more than 100 countries.