Global Retail Update

by | December 7, 2017 12:11 am

CVS makes its move in USA

Drugstore chain CVS has agreed to buy Aetna for US$ 67.5 billion, making it one of the biggest healthcare mergers in the past decade. The mega deal will create a health-care giant that covers everything from insurance to the corner drugstore, to help it stay ahead of the looming threat of Amazon.

Patents is a virtue

Amazon has designed a drone that self-destructs. In the event of mid-air malfunction the machines break apart and fall to safe spots, avoiding crowds. The retailer has also patented technology that takes its vital product reviews to the next level – video.

PR disasters

Walmart is in hot water with media after listing a threatening t-shirt targeting journalists. J.C. Penney has pulled its Russell Simmons merchandise following allegations of sexual misconduct. Fashion chain Forever 21 is facing a US$ 2 million lawsuit over a hidden camera in a staff bathroom.

Compensation payouts in Europe

UK grocer Morrisons has been found liable for the leaking of personal details of almost 100,000 staff members, opening the door to compensation. Danone has been awarded EUR 105 million in damages from New Zealand dairy co-operative Fonterra after its 2013 contamination scare.

Working together

Aldi Süd is partnering with some state-licensed lotteries to launch an online lottery service. LZ Retailytics says the move, at odds with its core values, shows the lengths it will go to for more sales. Netherlands-based wholesaler Sligro has finalised its partnership with Heineken.

Hit the road

UK shoppers can look forward to Amazon’s much-loved experiment, the Treasure Truck, reaching their shores. While the e-commerce giant is withholding specifics, the deal-sporting truck looks set to get its wheels on the ground in London and Manchester to start.

Festive food

German discounter Aldi is channelling its inner Santa Claus, with a promise to give all unsold fresh food to charities and good causes on Christmas Eve. Five major supermarkets in the UK have upped the price of their Christmas biscuits in the wake of the national butter shortage.

Generous spirit

Online shopping behemoth Alibaba is showing its softer side, with the launch of a US$ 1.5 billion fund to support China’s ambitious goal to eradicate extreme poverty by 2020. Meanwhile, on the business front the e-commerce giant is looking to expand its reach in New Zealand.

San Miguel enters the race

The Philippines conglomerate has confirmed its interest in fellow brewery, Sabeco. The company will join a host of bidders looking to get a foot in the door of one of Asia’s most profitable beer markets.

Successful pilot in USA

Following a promising launch in October, Lidl and online marketplace Shipt announced to expand their grocery delivery service across North Carolina. This gives more than 500,000 households access to food and household items from the German discounter.

Encouraging results

Supermarket operator Kroger has issued an upbeat holiday forecast after posting unexpected sales gains in the third quarter. Troubled department store chain Sears was able to narrow its loss in Q3 by almost US$ 200 million, sending its shares to a new high, however, sales continue to decline.

Securing sites

Kaufland, a unit of Germany’s Schwarz Group, has purchasedits second Australian property in Melbourne as it prepares to break into the country’s lucrative US$ 90 billion grocery market. Local retailers expect that the price war will increase once the retail heavyweight has opened Down Under.

Ambitious Amazon

The e-commerce powerhouse was able to more than double its business in India in the year to March 2017, with over 105% growth in revenues, mainly through continuously expanding its operations. In its battle with rival Flipkart,Amazon is powering ahead to become the largest recruiter in the country.

Lucrative partnerships in Europe

In a bid to fill its superstores with new attractions, Tesco has struck a deal with Next to trial a clothing concession in one of its largest outlets. Meanwhile, premium supermarket Monoprix will be the first retailer in France(in French) to launch an e-commerce offer on Google Home.

Supporting locals

Kaufland Romania has opened its third store in Cluj-Napoca, a city in the northwest of the country. The hypermarket features a sales area of 2,403 square metres. More than 50% of the assortment is produced locally. A programme to promote domestic pork was launched last month.

Shake-up at Poundland

Retail director Martin Dawson will leave the variety store chain, prompting a reshuffle of the management team (paywall). The retailer’s discount subsidiary Dealz has begun adding Pep & Co clothing outlets to its larger stores in Ireland. Both companies, Poundland and the latter, are owned by South African Steinhoff Group.

Italian premiere

After more than ten years of absence, German drugstore operator dm has decided to re-enter Italy. The company opened its first store in Milan, with around 100 more to follow despite facing strong competition for its cosmetics assortment.