August’s top news stories

31 August 2018 (Last Updated September 5th, 2018 09:55)

Walmart completed the acquisition of a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16bn, and IKEA opened its first Indian retail store in Hyderabad. Retail-insight-network.com wraps up key headlines from August 2018.

August’s top news stories
Walmart completed the acquisition of a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16bn. Credit: Walmart Inc.

Walmart completes acquisition of 77% stake in Flipkart for $16bn

US retail giant Walmart completed the acquisition of a 77% stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart for almost $16bn.

The deal, which makes Walmart the largest shareholder in the Flipkart Group, follows approval from India’s antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

The remaining stake is currently held by other shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent Holdings, Tiger Global Management, and Microsoft.


IKEA opens first Indian retail store in Hyderabad

Swedish home furnishing company IKEA opened its first Indian retail store in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Spread across nearly 400,000ft², the store has seen IKEA reportedly invest Rs10bn ($145.7m), which represents 10% of the company’s total investment proposal.

It is claimed to be one of the biggest foreign investments in the Indian Home market.


UK CMA launches first phase investigation into Sainsbury and Asda merger

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched the first phase of a formal investigation into the proposed merger of British retail giants J Sainsbury and Asda Group.

As part of the investigation, CMA will conduct a detailed assessment into how the deal could affect competition for UK shoppers.

The proposed merger between Sainsbury and Asda was announced on 30 April and CMA has been gathering information required to begin the investigation.


SPAR Austria trials reusable paper bags for fruit and vegetables

Supermarket chain SPAR Austria is trialling reusable paper bags for fruit and vegetables packaging across Interspar Hypermarkets in Salzburg and Styria.

The company has taken this decision in a move to reduce plastic waste from fruit and vegetable packaging.

Available as a four-pack for €1.49, each of the reusable bags has the capacity to hold eight pieces of fruit or vegetables. The bags are environmentally friendly and washable.


Swiss group Movado to buy MVMT Watches for $100m

Swiss watch manufacturer Movado Group signed a definitive agreement to acquire MVMT Watches, the owner of global lifestyle brand MVMT, for an initial payment of approximately $100m.

Of the total value of the transaction, around $85m net of tax benefits is expected to be generated from the acquisition and two future contingent payments.

Established in 2013, MVMT offers watches, sunglasses and other accessories through its direct-to-consumer business model across more than 160 countries globally.


Rite Aid and Albertsons agree to call off merger agreement

Rite Aid mutually agreed with Albertsons Companies to call off the previously announced merger agreement.

As per the terms of the merger agreement, neither Rite Aid nor Albertsons will be responsible for any payments to the other party due to the termination of the agreement.

Rite Aid chairman and chief executive officer John Standley said: “While we believed in the merits of the combination with Albertsons, we have heard the views expressed by our stockholders and are committed to moving forward and executing our strategic plan as a standalone company.


Sainsbury’s trials scan, pay and go technology at London store

UK’s supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is trialling a scan, pay and go technology at one of its stores in London to enable customers to pay for groceries in-store using their smartphone.

Shoppers can skip the checkout completely with the new app.

Customers are able to use the latest version of the SmartShop app at the Clapham North Station Local to scan their shopping using smartphones and use the app to pay from anywhere in the store with the help of Apple Pay.


Sports Direct International acquires House of Fraser for $115m

Sportswear retailer Sports Direct International acquired the business and assets of department store chain House of Fraser for a cash consideration of £90m ($115m).

The group acquired House of Fraser, and James Beattie, the group’s main operating company.

Pursuant to the transaction, all of the UK stores of House of Fraser, the brand, and all of the stock in the business were acquired by Sports Direct.


Letgo secures $500m funding from Naspers

Letgo, a US-based app to buy and sell locally, received $500m new capital from Naspers, out of which, $150m has been transferred earlier this summer.

According to the three-year-old startup, the funding will be utilised to bolster its growth and product evolution, expansion into new verticals, and monetisation efforts.

Since its launch, Letgo claims that its app has crossed 100 million downloads, 400 million listings with over 6 billion messages sent between users, mostly from the US.


Alibaba and Starbucks sign strategic retail partnership in China

E-commerce major Alibaba Group Holding entered a strategic ‘New Retail’ partnership with global coffeehouse chain Starbucks to transform the coffee industry in China.

The strategic partnership is part of Alibaba’s strategy to transform e-commerce by merging online and offline experiences.

As part of the deal, Starbucks will work collaboratively with various businesses within the Alibaba ecosystem, including Ele.me, Hema, Tmall, Taobao, and Alipay on various initiatives.