Metro shareholders have banded together to fend off takeover, while Tesco restructures in Poland. In the US, Amazon is preparing for a major stake in India's largest physical retailer, while tariff threats cause outcry. Meanwhile, Hong Kong retail scrapes through despite protest disruption. Read on, and have a great weekend!




Friday, 02 August 2019





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Metro shareholders have banded together to fend off takeover, while Tesco restructures in Poland. In the US, Amazon is preparing for a major stake in India's largest physical retailer, while tariff threats cause outcry. Meanwhile, Hong Kong retail scrapes through despite protest disruption. Read on, and have a great weekend!




Europe


Holding tight ▪ Metro shareholders who rejected EP Global Commerce's EUR 5.8 billion takeover offer have started to buy up more shares in the German retailer. The two investors, Meridian Foundation and Beisheim Group, have joined forces to fend off the deal by increasing their influence in the company.



Scaling down ▪ Tesco is downsizing its hypermarkets in Poland, making the switch to smaller, more compact stores. The move is due to the UK grocery major seeing promising results from its smaller format stores in the country.



Waste less ▪ Upmarket goods retailer Waitrose is extending its Unpacked trial of items sold from packaging-less, refillable containers, after the scheme saw strong results in Oxford. Results have shown carrier bag sales at supermarkets have fallen by 93%, as customers have begun re-using the items.



Innovative selection ▪ JusteBio products will now be available at Auchan hypermarkets in Portugal. The French organic grocer intends to have product stations at all Auchan hypermarkets in the country by the end of the year. Meanwhile, three major Italian retailers have beefed up their private label ranges.




United States


Amazon update ▪ The online giant is in the preliminary stages of purchasing a 26% stake in India's largest physical retailer, Reliance Industries. In the closing week of July, founder Jeff Bezos sold USD 1.8 billion worth of shares in the company.



Strong reaction ▪ Four major retail trade groups have responded to the US President's threat to impose 10% tariffs on USD 300 billion worth of remaining Chinese imports. The groups, some of which include Walmart and Amazon as members, have warned that the action would have serious negative effects on the country's economy.



Quick collect ▪ Shoppers at the Ohio branches of grocery chain Meijer will be able to complete their trips a little more quickly than usual. The retailer has implemented 'Shop & Scan' technology at 179 stores, which allows customers to scan barcodes via mobile app while shopping.




Australasia & South Africa


Bleak outlook ▪ South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings is anticipating a decline in sales, and has written down the value of its Australian David Jones business. The luxury department-store chain is now worth less than half its original purchase price in 2014.



Future investment ▪ Australian supermarket leader Woolworths has started construction on a large, AUD 135 million distribution centre. The distribution behemoth will contain two separate temperature-controlled zones along with a "banana ripening" room.



Reporting results ▪ Despite fears over protests, Hong Kong retail sales did not suffer as much as anticipated. June results show a 6.7% yearly decline, well below the speculated double digit figures. Protests during that month caused issues for several retailers.




Fresh initiatives


Feel-good food ▪ Organic chain Whole Foods is gradually transforming itself into an omni-channel shopping centre, combining freshness with Amazon's tight structures. What Amazon is up to with Whole Foods is exemplified in a store in Los Altos, California. Click here for pictures (captions in German).



Reusable groceries ▪ German discounter Lidl is rolling out reusable packing for fruit and veg across its entire network of stores in Denmark. All 119 locations will be outfitted with multi-use net bags for their fresh produce selection.