Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba welcomes US companies to sell on its platform, heating up the competition with Amazon. In Australia, Coles battles rivals such as Aldi and Kaufland with homeware offers, and upbeat earnings from Coca-Cola and German retail group Metro should give investors some relief. Read on and find out about other developments.




Wednesday, 24 July 2019





Hello ,

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba welcomes US companies to sell on its platform, heating up the competition with Amazon. In Australia, Coles battles rivals such as Aldi and Kaufland with homeware offers, and upbeat earnings from Coca-Cola and German retail group Metro should give investors some relief. Read on and find out about other developments.

ADVERTISEMENT
Banner





Europe


Back on track ▪ Germany's Metro enjoyed a 3.4% increase in sales in the third quarter, with growth in all regions except for its troubled Russian unit. However, the wholesaler sees itself on the right track in Russia, and CEO Olaf Koch says talks about selling its hypermarket chain Real are going well.



Focus on core business ▪ Bayer has sold its Dr. Scholl's foot care brand to US private investment firm Yellow Wood Partners for USD 585 million. In May, the German chemical giant traded its American sun care brand Coppertone to Beiersdorf. Both deals are part of a wider overhaul.



Profit plunge ▪ British convenience store chain McColl's suffered a 91% decline in profits, thanks to a “highly competitive” market and the collapse of major supplier Palmer & Harvey last year. Nevertheless, the group is confident that full-year results will be in line with expectations.




US & Canada


Taking on Amazon ▪ Alibaba will allow small businesses in the US to sell on its platform. Previously they were only allowed to buy. With the move, the Chinese powerhouse targets the business-to-business online market and challenges fierce rival Amazon. Meanwhile, the latter plans to open three more cashierless stores.



Beating estimates ▪ Coca-Cola recorded a 6% rise in net sales to USD 10 billion in the second quarter due to the strong performance of its soft drink brands. Its Zero Sugar line saw double-digit volume growth worldwide. The beverage giant raised its full-year outlook, sending shares up.



Tech partnership ▪ Grocery cooperative Wakefern has joined forces with Takeoff Technologies to open an automated warehouse for its ShopRite supermarkets. Takeoff’s technology uses advanced robotics to boost efficiency and get online orders to customers more quickly.



Transformation efforts ▪ Homeware brand Bed Bath & Beyond will cut its corporate staff by 7% and eliminate the chief operating officer role as part of its effort to reduce costs. Due to falling traffic, vitamin and supplements retailer GNC plans to close 900 stores, most of them located in malls.




Asia & Australia


Sweet deal ▪ Global investment giant KKR has agreed to purchase the international business of US food company Campbell Soup, which includes Australian biscuit maker Arnott's and its iconic brand Tim Tams, for USD 2.2 billion. Earlier this month, Campbell sold its Danish unit Kelsen Group to Ferrero.



Rising competition ▪ Coles continues its fight against rivals Woolworths, Aldi, and Kaufland with the introduction of a homeware range, which features 101 items, from cushions to storage boxes. The Australian grocer plans to cut AUD 1 billion in costs to fend off competitors and has partnered with technology services company Accenture.




What to watch


Under scrutiny ▪ The US Justice Department announced that it will open a broad investigation of major digital technology firms into whether they engage in anti-competitive practices . The review will look into whether and how platforms such as Google, Amazon and Apple have achieved market power.



Store debuts ▪ Computer manufacturer Lenovo offers an online-to-offline experience with its new shop in Singapore’s Funan mall. Issey Miyake label Homme Plisse has opened (with pictures) a flagship in Tokyo in a distinctly minimalistic Japanese style, heavily dominated by bare concrete.