July's top stories: Walgreens Boots to buy Rite Aid stores, Starbucks to own East China stores

Pharmacy store chain Walgreens Boots Alliance agreed to acquire 2,186 stores from Rite Aid for $5.175bn, and Starbucks signed a $1.3bn agreement to take full ownership of 1,300 stores in China. Retail-insight-network.com wraps up the key headlines from July 2017.


Walgreens Boots to purchase 2,186 stores from Rite Aid for $5.175bn

US-based pharmacy store chain Walgreens Boots Alliance agreed to acquire 2,186 stores from Rite Aid for $5.175bn, after abandoning plans to take over the company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Walgreens will also acquire three distribution centres and related inventory from Rite Aid.

In October 2015, Walgreens signed a merger agreement with Rite Aid, while another agreement was also reached last December to sell certain Rite Aid stores to Fred's.


Starbucks to take complete ownership of East China stores for $1.3bn

Starbucks signed a $1.3bn agreement to take full ownership of 1,300 stores in China.

Under the terms of the agreement, the coffee chain will acquire the remaining 50% share of its East China business from joint venture partners Uni-President Enterprises (UPEC) and President Chain Store (PCSC).

The acquisition of the stores based in the provinces of Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang complements the company’s strategy to enhance the scale of its operations in China.


Michael Kors to acquire Jimmy Choo for $1.35bn

Global fashion and luxury accessories retailer Michael Kors Holdings signed a $1.35bn agreement to acquire footwear and accessories company Jimmy Choo.

Michael Kors noted that the acquisition will enhance its position in the global footwear and accessories segment and strengthen future growth opportunities.

The transaction has received approval from the boards of directors of both companies.


US retailer JCPenney to open toy shops within its department stores

US-based department store chain JCPenney is set to open toy shops in all of its department stores, as it aims to diversify its business and explore new merchandise for revenue generation.

The retailer is also increasing its toy range at JCPenney.com to be ready for the Christmas period after doubling its assortment over the last 12 months.

With toys under various categories such as dolls, action figures, racing cars, board games, soft toys and learning sets, the shops offer brands that include Hasbro, Mattel, Playmobil and Fisher Price.


Samsung Electronics and PayPal partner to offer new payment solutions

Samsung Electronics partnered with PayPal to allow Samsung Pay users to use the latter as a payment method for purchases made online, in-store or via an app.

To be initially introduced in the US, the service will be expanded to other countries in the future.

The partnership will also allow merchants using PayPal’s Braintree payment platform to accept Samsung Pay as an in-app or online method of payment.


India’s Grofers secures approval for FDI in food retailing

Indian online food grocer Grofers received governmental approval to retail food products through brick-and-mortar stores and online platforms across the country.

The grocer’s proposal to implement fresh foreign direct investment (FDI) has been approved by India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), according to media sources.

Under the plan, the company intends to invest around $40m in its business operations.


Snapdeal agrees to sell FreeCharge to Axis Bank

Indian e-commerce retailer Snapdeal is set to sell its FreeCharge digital payments platform to private banking company Axis Bank.

An agreement was signed by the banking firm to acquire FreeCharge Payment Technologies and Accelyst Solutions, which both form the FreeCharge brand and are subsidiaries of Snapdeal's parent company Jasper Infotech.

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed by either company.


Store Twenty One enters compulsory liquidation with 122 store closures

UK-based fashion retail chain Store Twenty One entered compulsory liquidation after closing 122 outlets.

The company’s latest move comes after it failed to secure investment to continue business operations.

The retailer has ceased trading, resulting in 900 job cuts, and entered into compulsory liquidation.


SPAR International to debut in Cyprus

Dutch multinational food retail chain SPAR International is set to enter the Cypriot market after signing a new partnership deal with Ermes Department Stores.

Known as SPAR Cyprus, the combined entity is set to provide wholesale and retail service to independent retailers in Cyprus.

Ermes currently operates 90 stores, which offer apparel, cosmetics, DIY and electronics.


Aldi plans to create 4,000 new jobs in UK

Discount supermarket chain Aldi announced plans to create 4,000 new jobs in the UK as part of its expansion strategy.

The German discounter currently has more than 700 outlets in the country and plans to have 1,000 stores by 2022.

The new positions will include assistants and store managers across its store and distribution network.