A billion-dollar merger is shaping up in the fast-growing electronic payment industry marking a wave of consolidation in the financial tech sector. Online grocer Ocado and its partners are committed to making the tie-up work, and Sainsbury's and Asda are set to win over the competition watchdog for their deal. Enjoy the read and feel free to share!




Tuesday, 19 March 2019





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A billion-dollar merger is shaping up in the fast-growing electronic payment industry marking a wave of consolidation in the financial tech sector. Online grocer Ocado and its partners are committed to making the tie-up work, and Sainsbury's and Asda are set to win over the competition watchdog for their deal. Enjoy the read and feel free to share!

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Europe


Wooing the watchdog ▪ Sainsbury's and Asda will provide a more specific commitment to cut prices in response to a negative provisional verdict by the competition authority of their proposed GBP 7.3 billion tie-up. The grocers will also recalculate consumer harm using and submit another proposal for store sales.



Acquisition announcements ▪ Mega Image, the Romanian supermarket banner of the Ahold Delhaize, will acquire local chain Zanfir, which operates 10 stores in the Vrancea region of eastern Romania. Italian food group Illy has agreed to buy British chocolate truffle supplier Prestat as it expands its portfolio of premium brands.



Partnership commitments ▪ Marks & Spencer is asking its food suppliers for help in reducing prices and driving volumes as it anticipates its joint venture with online grocer Ocado. Meanwhile, the British e-tailer has opened its first office in the US in Washington.



Store openings ▪ Cosmetics chain Lush has launched its biggest store in Liverpool, featuring a florist, spa and hair salon. This comes as the company had to report a GBP 4 million loss in full-year results. Meanwhile, fashion retailer Primark has unveiled details of its largest-ever store in Birmingham.




United States


Paying up ▪ Fidelity National Information Services, a Florida-based fin-tech company, has agreed to acquire payment processing giant Worldpay for USD 35 billion, the biggest deal to date in the electronic payments industry. Click here for some surprising demographic trends in digital payments, revealed by a new survey in the US.



Online offline pilot ▪ Amazon is reportedly testing some omnichannel ideas in selected Whole Foods stores in Texas. The pilot includes pick-up and drop-off services for packages. Shoppers can either obtain assistance at a dedicated, staffed help desk or use a self-service kiosk.



Closures and lay-offs ▪ Wisconsin-based chain Shopko, which filed for bankruptcy in January, will shut its remaining 120 department stores as the company was unable to find buyers for its business. Meanwhile, fellow retailer Macy's is going to save some expenses by eliminating almost 60 IT-related jobs.




Asia & Australasia


Selling stakes ▪ Thai property developer Pace has sold its 50% stake in the Japan unit of gourmet food brand Dean & DeLuca to Tokyo-based Welcome, which will now own 100% of the brand. Pace had acquired Dean & DeLuca and its assets in the US and international markets in 2014.



Promising performance ▪ New Zealand-based retailer The Warehouse has made a solid first-half profit as it continues to restructure and invest in digital services. Net profit rose 12% to NZD 35.8 million from NZD 31.9 million a year earlier.




Inspiring reads


Competitive capacity ▪ Amazon’s collection of private brands haven’t proved the threat that many companies initially feared, says e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. Meanwhile, Nielsen data shows that brick-and-mortar retailers are narrowing the gap to the online behemoth from Seattle.



Meal kit market ▪ Attracting and retaining customers is one of the biggest challenges of meal kit companies as well as transferring from an online operating model to a brick-and-mortar format. Click here to read what some providers of meal kit solution have to say.