Retail has taken an upturn in Germany, with June sales hitting a 12 year high. Real-estate might take a hit after Waitrose sells stores to Lidl. Across the water Amazon is keeping busy with a new tech start-up, and Nordstrom gets a boost from within. Read, share, and enjoy the rest of your day.




Thursday, 01 August 2019





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Retail has taken an upturn in Germany, with June sales hitting a 12 year high. Real-estate might take a hit after Waitrose sells stores to Lidl. Across the water Amazon is keeping busy with a new tech start-up, and Nordstrom gets a boost from within. Read, share, and enjoy the rest of your day.




Europe


Visionary deal ▪ French-Italian lens and eyewear group EssilorLuxottica is looking to acquire Dutch optics brand GrandVision, in a deal valued at up to EUR 7.2 billion. The Dutch company, who operates chains in Britain and the US, would give the purchaser control of more than 7,000 outlets across the world.



Ups and downs ▪ There is light on the horizon for Europe's largest economy, with Germany's June retail sales up by the biggest margin in 12 years. July unemployment rates also rose less than expected. In Greece, May sales fell by 2.4% from last year.



Real-estate threat ▪ Middle-class faces are looking disgruntled after upmarket British grocer Waitrose sold off three locations to German discounter Lidl. According to residents, the change up could lower house prices near the stores.




United States


Amazon update ▪ According to a source near the deal, the online powerhouse has purchased Israeli tech start-up E8 Storage. Amazon's AI engineers have given Alexa a new training regimen, which should allow the software to answer multi-layered questions.



Upmarket stakes ▪ Nordstrom has seen its shares go up after the Wall Street Journal reported that members of the luxury department chain's founding family would be upping their stake to over 50%. Possibilities as to how the family will increase their stake include share buyback at a premium.



Inside look ▪ Specialty retailer The Container Store is eyeing up the idea of custom closets, and has opened a new concept store that focuses on a personalised design experience (picture gallery). The new store is located in the company's refurbished Farmers Market venue in Los Angeles.




Asia


Listings and buy-ins ▪ Thai retail major Central Group, owned by the billionaire Chirathivat family, has revealed it will be listing its Central Retail Corp unit. Meanwhile, Chinese online marketplace JD.com has purchased a 9% stake in electronics business Beijing Digital Telecom.



Franchise decisions ▪ Yum China is doubling down on expansion. The fast-food restaurant group is investing up to USD 525 million, and looking to open between 800 and 850 new stores by the end of this financial year. The locations will predominantly be KFC restaurants, and Coffii & Joy cafes.



Convenience concerns ▪ Japanese c-store chain Family Mart is known for its trademark 24-hour schedule. However, a survey conducted by the company revealed almost 50% of store owners want shorter trading hours due to labour shortages and all-night running costs.




Environmental efforts


Recycling rewards ▪ M&S is continuing to develop new environmentally friendly manoeuvres. The upmarket UK retailer has implemented a scheme where customers can bring their own multi-use containers to the store's food-to-go counters, in return for a 25p discount.



No-use plastic ▪ Sobeys is aiming to do away with plastic bags from its portfolio of 255 stores by the end of January 2020. The scheme will remove 225 million bags from circulation, and the Canadian grocer will be the first national supermarket chain in the country to entirely eliminate single-use plastic bags.