Global retail update
August 10, 2017 | 12:11 am| | | Start Conversation
Alibaba has joined forces with the world’s biggest hotel chain – Marriott – to tap into the booming Chinese travel market. The venture will allow Chinese travellers to book Marriott rooms via the retailer’s travel platform, Fliggy.
Taking on Amazon
Japanese online marketplace Rakuten is pouring more money into its virtual flea market as it struggles to contend with Amazon and other online giants. Over in New Zealand, discounter The Warehouse is joining forces with the country’s postal service to launch a free delivery model that mimics Amazon Prime.
Ice-cream maker Magnum has opened its flagship store in Singapore, featuring Magnum coffee, a first for Asia. Luxury goods group Cartier has opened a two-level boutique in Kuala Lumpur, including a three-storey LED display giving the effect of the boutique dripping in gold.
Convenience store chain Spar’s biggest supplier is looking to sell its wholesale arm. AF Blakemore owns nearly 300 Spar stores across the UK and supplies more than 1,000. The sale is estimated to be worth GBP 100 million.
Tesco’s highs and lows
The UK grocer has deemed its plastic bag trial a success, and will do away with the 5p single-use bags completely. It will instead offer customers 10p ‘bags for life’. Meanwhile staff at offshoot, One Stop, are demanding better redundancy terms under the company’s latest cost cutting programme, in line with Tesco counterparts.
Upping the game
Danish grocer Dagrofa has launched a price matching scheme, against prices of 500 products at competitors Netto and Rema 1000. LZ Retailytics suggests the retailer wants to regain lost turnover in the discount segment. German retailer Kaufland has unveiled further plans of its store refurbishment including lower shelves and wider aisles, providing a better overview of the store.
Records have emerged showing retailers Target and Best Buy pumped more money into lobbying in the last six months than all of 2016 to kill a proposed border adjustment tax. Meanwhile, American tech giants, including Google and Amazon, are facing a crackdown on much exploited tax loopholes in Europe, as French and German governments join forces.
High profile exec Kevin Turner, formerly of Microsoft and Walmart, has been shoulder tapped by supermarket group Albertsons to serve as vice chairman of its parent company AB Acquisition. Turner has also been named senior advisor to Albertsons chair and CEO, Bob Miller.
Contaminated eggs scandal widens
Millions of eggs have been recalled in Germany and the Netherlands in a widening scandal over possible contamination by the insecticide fipronil. German discounter Aldi has withdrawn all eggs from sale at its more than 4,000 stores in Germany as a precaution.
Rossmann gets Amazon
The drug store chain has become the first German top ten retailer to partner with the e-commerce giant. It is an opportunity for the company to turn around its online sales, which have struggled as a standalone web operation.
UK grocer Sainsbury’s is reportedly set to axe more than 1,000 jobs at its head office in a bid to slash GBP 500 million in costs, as the grocer looks to avoid raising prices. German discounter Lidl has replaced its Head of Digital with Thorsten Reichle. LZ Retailytics says his limited experience in the digital space is not necessarily a problem.
Flipkart ramps up
The online retailer plans to sell refurbished smartphones in time for Diwali, following in the footsteps of rival Amazon. Flipkart is celebrating the completion of its merger with Ebay.in, which was part of a US$ 1.4 billion funding drive announced back in April.
IPO mega deal
Vietnamese mall operator Vincom Retail is reportedly planning a US$ 600 million IPO, which would make it the country’s biggest ever share sale from the private sector. The move comes as the country enjoys strong economic growth, and shoppers with more cash to spend.
Gap gets out
The American fashion brand will pull the pin on Australia, local franchisee Oroton confirmed. The fashion house wants to refocus on its core handbag business and limit financial losses. Its six stores across the country will close by the end of January next year.
Lala’s new purchase
Mexican dairy group Lala is acquiring the Brazilian dairy company Vigor in a deal worth BRL 5.72 billion. Vigor brings with it 67,000 points of sale in Brazil and its portfolio of brands include Danubio, Faixa Azul, Serrabella Leco and Amelia.
Amazon has launched ‘themes’, a feature for filtering customer reviews by popular terms. The change is part of its drive to clean up its reviews sections and maintain integrity of the function. Fellow tech giant Apple is apparently planning to release a version of its smartwatch that can connect directly to cellular networks, rather than relying on an iPhone, later this year.
Hoping for a comeback
Sports brand Under Armour has laid out aggressive plans to staunch declining sales, including job cuts, store closures and a more substantial online presence. Meanwhile, the once high-flying American Apparel is set for the relaunch of its website, with its new owner saying it has big plans for the iconic brand.
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