1. Levi Strauss files for IPO Levi Strauss & Co. announced today that it has filed paperwork with regulators to return to the stock market, some 34 years after it was taken private. Reduced traffic in department stores – a declining area in retail and the emergence of other premium brands saw the 166-year-old denim maker’s sales tumble from an all-time high of $7 billion in 1997 to $4.1 billion in 2002. Boosted by strong sales and profit in recent years, the company has now filed to get listed on the NYSE under the ticker “LEVI”.
2. 50% of internet shoppers in APAC prefer cross-border buying According to a report by yStats that covers online retail imports and exports in 10 nations within Asia-Pacific, over 50% of online shoppers in APAC were identified as making cross-border purchases. Hong Kong and Singapore were identified as the top markets for cross-border shopping. Japan and China come off as exceptions where over 90% of the population buy domestically. The top destinations for cross-border shopping were China, US and Japan. An overwhelming number of Chinese shoppers, however, prefer to shop on local platforms such as Tmall and JD.com. The most popular category of products purchased online was Apparel and Accessories, with South Korea accounting for more than one-third of the eCommerce purchases from foreign sellers in this category.
3. Why US Mainstream grocers can’t ignore hard discounters A new report from Bain & Co. cautions mainstream grocers to be on guard for disruption from hard discounters such as Lidl and Aldi. The report found that as many as 30 percent of shoppers at mass and traditional grocery stores also routinely shop at Lidl and Aldi. While traditional retailers like Walmart and Target have been slashing prices to compete with Amazon, Aldi has been minimally affected by these price cuts since 90% of its products are private labels. Interestingly, a 2017 Bain % Co. report recommends traditional retailers to embrace private brands and aim to deliver competitive value through their own brands before shoppers move on to other brands.
4. Kroger announces mobile pay app and rewards debit card Cincinnati based supermarket chain Kroger, today announced the launch of its first-party mobile payments app Kroger Pay, and a separate Kroger Debit Card that would marry store rewards with Kroger pay purchases. Launched in Colorado and Columbus, Ohio, Kroger plans to expand Kroger Pay to ten other cities this spring before covering all of its 2,800 stores nationwide by the end of 2019. "Kroger is redefining the customer experience by creating innovative ways to pay at our stores and online," said Gary Millerchip, CEO of Kroger Personal Finance and corporate strategy integration lead.
5. Vietnamese logistics start-up raises $5.5M in funding Logivan, a Vietnamese logistics start-up that helps trucks connect with potential customers, said it has raised $5.5 million in the latest funding round. The investment comes from two angel investors and Indonesian venture capitalist Alpha JWC Ventures. One of the angel investors David Su, said “Vietnam’s logistics industry is highly fragmented, logistics costs make up 23 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP, with 90 per cent of trucks in Vietnam being owned by individuals. Given the success of Manbang, we believe that Logivan has the potential to emulate its success.”
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