Setbacks are the theme today, with the giant Sainsbury-Asda merger on the rocks after the UK's competition regulator gives an unwelcome report. JD.com is looking to retrench some of its management staff, and Woolworths has seen the effects of Australia's slackening property market. Meanwhile, Samsung's folding phone is finally ready to go. Read, share, and have a great day.




Thursday, 21 February 2019





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Setbacks are the theme today, with the giant Sainsbury-Asda merger on the rocks after the UK's competition regulator gives an unwelcome report. JD.com is looking to retrench some of its management staff, and Woolworths has seen the effects of Australia's slackening property market. Meanwhile, Samsung's folding phone is finally ready to go. Read, share, and have a great day.

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Europe and Middle East


Merger uncertainty ▪ The GBP 7.3 billion anticipated Sainsbury's-Asda deal has suffered a major setback, after the UK's competition regulator revealed 'extensive' concerns. Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe is still attempting to keep up momentum, despite reports indicating the deal is dead in the water.



New horizons ▪ German discounter Lidl is investing in Denmark, with 100 stores set to be opened in the country over the coming years. Dutch multinational Spar is also increasing its presence in Qatar, with its third location in Doha. More stores are planned in the next few months.


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Shipping concerns ▪ In the face of political and economic unrest the UK's food manufacturers and exporters are facing the decision of whether to export products next week in the face of possible Brexit-induced tariffs. This comes amid fears that Brexit could irreperrably damage the UK's farmers and retailers.




United States


Commercial growth ▪ Advertising has always been deeply linked to retail, and 2019 looks to be a significant year for the industry. Digital ad spending in the States expected to outweigh traditional commercials, rising to almost USD 130 billion, with Amazon winning out from the growth.



Selling up ▪ Struggling retailer Payless, has gotten the all-clear to begin its closure proceedings for the company's 2,500 stores across North America. Meanwhile, prime Los Angeles location, Anaheim GardenWalk, has been sold for USD 80 million.



Folding retail ▪ Software giant Samsung's anticipated bendable phone, the Galaxy Fold, was announced in San Francisco this week. The device will be on the market in April, but with a USD 1,980 price tag, it may not be worth the novelty to all consumers.




Asia and Australia


Weathering blows ▪ India's new online retail regulations haven't shaken Walmart's faith in Flipkart, according to CEO Doug McMillon. Meanwhile, e-retailer JD.com is planning to cut back on management staff by 10%, as a result of China's difficult current economy.



Gloomy forecast ▪ Australian supermarket major, Woolworths, has been hit by the country's slackening property market, with customers holding back on alcohol. Similar results for main competitor, Coles, indicate a wider financial slow-down across the country.



Hong Kong report ▪ Beauty brand L'Oréal's unit in the country is unveiling a flagship and a concept store for two of its subsidiaries, to be located in a new beauty hub. Meanwhile, fashion retailer Bossini International has suffered a decline, with the warm winter to blame.




Weird and Wonderful


Tea time ▪ Swiss confectioner Nestlé is bringing Japan's popular green tea KitKat to Europe. The lime green chocolate bar is one of the most iconic of Japan's many variations on the KitKat theme, and will be manufactured for Europeans in Germany.



Eco cups ▪ Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is planning to make nearly 30 million drinking cups eco-friendly per year. The retailer will study consumer trends, materials, and potential recycling options for drinking cups and alternatives. Jumbo also plans to make 95% of packaging recyclable by 2025.