Global Retail Update

by | December 14, 2017 12:35 am

Jumping on the bandwagon in USA

JC Penney is looking to prove it can keep up with the digital revolution, teaming up with Bombfell to launch a subscription box service. The retailer will start with its line of clothes for big and tall men to test the increasingly popular trend.

Walmart targets

The big box retailer has brought in help with its quest to attract more millenial shoppers. It has struck a partnership with Buzzfeed’s recipe app Tasty to sell its goods on the platform. Meanwhile, the discount giant is also looking to capitalise on holiday procrastinators by ramping up its same day in-store pickup service.

Open again

A judge has told Amazon it must re-open a Washington Whole Foods store it closed back in October, as the closure violates a lease agreement. Iconic toy retailer FAO Schwarz is making a comeback in the Big Apple. It is opening a store in the high-profile Rockefeller Plaza, two years after closing its Fifth Avenue flagship.

Going viral

Target enjoyed a popularity boost after the reigning queen of pop visited one of its outlets for a spot of shopping. Beyoncé was videoed at the store with her daughter and mother, with the footage quickly going viral.

Store plans

Or lack thereof, for Ikea. The Swedish furniture giant says it has no plans to open any more stores in Ireland at the moment, despite it clocking up EUR 167 million in sales last year. Aldi Süd seems ready to push its convenience concept in its home market of Germany, with LZ Retailytics saying now would be an excellent time to do so.

Pay up

Consumer goods giant Unilever’s Italian operations have been slapped with a EUR 60 million fine for abusing its dominant position in the ice cream market. Shareholders will this week vote on whether the brother of Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley will receive GBP 11 million in back pay, withheld due to PR concerns over the amount.

New leaders of fizz

Swiss bottler, Coca-Cola HBC, has appointed Zoran Bogdanovic to succeed Dimitris Lois, who passed away in October. Across the Atlantic, PepsiCo has appointed former European exec Mike Spanos as Chief Executive for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Big plans

E-commerce giant Alibaba will roll out 2,000 Hema supermarkets in China over the next three to five years, as part of its ambitions to merge online and offline shopping. Luggage giant Samsonite plans to overhaul 65,000 sales outlets in 140 countries to better appeal to its female customers.

Keeping quiet

Franchisor Retail Food Group has attracted criticism after warning its store owners not to air complaints in public. The directive comes following a media investigation revealed hundreds of stores suffering under a brutal business model.

Global partnerships

Alibaba has signed a deal with Ford, which could allow the latter to sell cars on online platform Tmall. The Chinese giant is also ready to invest in Indian online grocer BigBasket. Rival doesn’t stay idle and announced a collaboration to work with promising US start-ups.

Toy victory

Danish toymaker Lego has had its first copyright win in China, in a case against two firms selling products near-identical to its range. Copies of Lego’s colourful bricks and figures have hampered the firm’s attempt to gain a share in the country’s US$ 31 billion toys and games market.

Aldi pushes ahead

The German discounter has just opened its 25th store in South Australia, less than two years after the retailer opened its doors in the state. The company’s long-term goal is to run up to 50 stores, with around 900 new permanent jobs to be created.

Cross-border expansion in Europe

French retailer Auchan, which is in the process of creating a new management committee in its home country, has acquired the OK chain in Romania. Macedonian major Kam is extending its hard-discount store network into Bulgaria and opened the first outlet in Sofia.

Cutting costs

More than 800 Asda jobs are at risk as the Walmart-owned supermarket chain looks for ways to reduce spending.

The move is understood to be an attempt to compete with discounters Aldi and Lidl on price and follows job cuts at Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Speeding up

Amazon is getting serious about its FMCG business in Europe. The online powerhouse is accelerating the development of its private label lines, with new product launches in recent weeks. All of them will be available for purchase exclusively by Prime members.

Strong performances

Following promising Q3 results, discount chain Dollar General plans to open 900 new stores and remodel 1,000 existing sites.

Also enjoying better than expected third-quarter figures is Lululemon, prompting the Canadian athleisure brand to raise its outlook.

Exploring options

Reporting a substantial loss in quarterly sales, discount store operator Fred’s is considering to sell some of its assets. The chain operates about 600 general merchandise and pharmacy stores across the US and feels the pressure from the growing possibility of Amazon’s entry into the business.

Management reshuffles

Ahold Delhaize appointed Kevin Holt CEO of its newly minted USA division, which will serve as the parent company for all its companies across the States, including its local brands. Procter & Gamble has named Gary Coombe as the new head of Gillette and its grooming business.