JD Central launched in Thailand
JD.com and Central Group have officially launched a new website under JD Central in Thailand. JD Central offers both direct sales and marketplace models. Online orders has exceeded expectations by 15 times since it was first opened for testing in June. About 80% of shoppers accessed the site through their mobile phones to buy FMCG products, mobile phones and fashion items in the pre-launch phase. Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus and Lenovo were especially sought after.
Biggest shareholder in Spain's DIA raises stake to 29%
LetterOne, controlled by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, has raised its stake in Spanish discount supermarket chain DIA to 29% from 25% in a move likely to renew speculation it could launch a full takeover bid. LetterOne, which now holds a 15% direct stake in DIA and 14% indirectly, is expected to clarify shortly whether it intends to seek control of the company. Under Spanish merger law, the threshold for launching a full takeover bid stands at 30%.
Norway: Retail sales rise further in August
Norway's retail sales increased for the second straight month in August, figures from Statistics Norway showed. The retail sales volume, excluding motor vehicles, climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.6% month-over-month in August, following a 0.5% rise in July. Retail sale of information and communication equipment in specialized stores rose 2.2%, while food, beverages and tobacco sales dropped by 1.1%.
E-Mart Vietnam to build first Hanoi store at StarLake
South Korean retail group E-Mart is to build its first hypermarket in Hanoi’s StarLake urban area. According to StarLake, E-Mart and THT Development have signed an agreement to transfer two commercial land lots within StarLake Project, for an area of 1.86mln sqm in Hanoi’s Tay Ho (West Lake) district. In late 2015, E-Mart opened first location in Vietnam, on a 3ha site in Go Vap district, in Ho Chi Minh City, investing up to US$60mln.
UAE: Hema opens pilot store in Abu Dhabi
Dutch chain Hema has opened its first store outside of Europe, in Abu Dhabi. With this store, the chain wants to test which products are successful in this new market. In preparation for larger stores in the Middle East, Hema opened its first non-European store in the United Arab Emirates. The store starts with a basic range, which will slowly expand: the intention is that the entire international range will be available in the stores in the Middle East. Several stores in the region are already scheduled to open, including one in Dubai. Apparel Group, which supports Hema in its expansion in the region, see great opportunities for Dutch retailers in the UAE and the rest of the Middle East. Most of the retail chains in the region mainly offer luxury. products, but many local families need affordable products.
Carrefour France to trial Darty corners
Linéaires reports Carrefour France is set to trial Darty franchises in its hypermarkets. Carrefour France hopes the trial will increase the sales and performance of the electronics departments in its hypermarkets. If successful, the trial could be extended to other categories as it looks to boost its non-food sales. After establishing a partnership in December 2017, Carrefour France and Fnac Darty have announced a new arrangement. Carrefour will test Darty franchises in two of its hypermarkets, La-Ville-du-Bois and Limoges Boisseuil, from November 2018. The selected stores will see approximately 700 sq. m to 1,000 sq. m of Carrefour selling space reallocated to a Darty franchise.
France: Indebted retailer Casino raises 565mln euros in property sales
French supermarket group Casino said it had agreed to sell some properties of its Monoprix chain for 565mln euros ($655mln) to reduce debts that have worried investors and led to downgrades in its credit rating. The Monoprix deal, which involves the sale and leaseback of properties, follows the July sale of a 15% stake in Casino’s property arm Mercialys. Casino is now halfway to its goal of selling 1.5bln euros in assets by early 2019. Casino shares have tumbled roughly 30% in 2018 on concerns about its debts and those of parent holding group Rallye.
Belgium: Colruyt’s Bio-Planet to offer free, personalised diet advice
Belgian retailer Colruyt Group’s organic chain, Bio-Planet has announced the launch of Food Compass, a service that will offer customers free, personalised diet advice, starting 16 October 2018. The service will help customers gain a better understanding of their eating habits, and help them make more conscious food choices. The move makes Bio-Planet the first Belgian retailer to offer such a service. In its pilot phase, the supermarket will start with a group of around 1,500 customers in Flanders. The service will be evaluated after six months.
US: Weis Markets store gets platinum GreenChill certification
Weis Markets Inc.’s Randolph, New Jersey store, which opened this past July, has received platinum-level GreenChill certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reducing in-store refrigerant usage. This is the Mid-Atlantic grocer’s first location to deploy an innovative carbon dioxide refrigerant system. The system helps the store avoid annual refrigerant emissions equivalent to an estimated 673 tons of carbon dioxide versus using traditional refrigerants, which have a considerably higher global warming potential.
US: Price Rite pilot aims to raise shopping experience
In the next step of its go-to-market strategy, Price Rite Marketplace has rolled out a pilot program featuring special deep discounts, improved fresh offerings and a superior shopping experience at three of its Pennsylvania stores in Bethlehem, Allentown and Secane. At the October 5 launch celebrations at the three locations, customers will find even lower prices on hundreds of items, new private label and organic items, and stores redesigned to provide a better shopping experience. The community events will include music, free sampling and gift cards.
US: Walmart invests in platform to ease ecommerce content management
Walmart is investing in a new platform to help suppliers more easily and efficiently post product-related content to the mega-retailer's ecommerce site. Made possible through a venture with San Francisco-based content management and analytics company Content Analytics, the initiative will make it easier for trading partners to manage product information, item setup and rich media on the retailer's ecommerce platform. The company had previously established a relationship with Walmart through its success delivering content for major brands such as PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Mattel.