May 17, 2013 at 00:57
Stefano Pessina: “Our partnerships put us in a unique position to become the clear world leader in both pharmacy and pharmaceutical wholesale”
For the fourth consecutive year, pharmacy-led health & beauty group Alliance Boots has increased cash flow and earnings, while significantly reducing net debt.
Revenues at the Swiss-based company for the year to the end of March 2013 declined slightly (-2.6 per cent) to £22.8bn but remained stable in constant currency terms (up 0.6 per cent).
Executive Chairman Stefano Pessina described 2012/13 as a “transformational year” at the company’s annual press conference in London this week.
The billionaire co-owner of Europe’s largest drugstore & pharmaceutical wholesaler was referring to the strategic partnership with leading US drugstore chain Walgreens and the recent joint agreement with American pharmaceutical services company AmerisourceBergen.
To date, dealmaker Pessina has proved that he has the Midas touch. Undaunted by mountains of debt, the Italian has forged a global giant through international participations and partnerships. But is big always beautiful?
Read more »
May 16, 2013 at 17:30
Mr. Own Label, Brian Sharoff: “No one should rest on their laurels”
Brian Sharoff is almost the archetypal New York business man and could sell ice to the Eskimos if he wanted to.
Since assuming the presidency of the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) in 1981, when Ronald Reagan was US president, his name has become almost synonymous with own label.
Doubters need only look at what this indefatigable 66-year-old has made of the annual PLMA exhibition in Amsterdam. Read more »
May 10, 2013 at 05:14
Voice of compassion: ILRF director Judy Gearhart wants retailers and brands to sign the Bangladesh Fire & Building Safety Agreement
The garments factory disaster on April 24 in Bangladesh throws more than a lurid light on local working conditions and those international retailers (Loblaw, Primark etc.) and brands with goods made on the premises.
The tragic death of over 1,100 people through the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex near Dhaka also raises questions fundamental to our consumerist society.
Are western customers prepared to accept such tragedies for cheaper goods? And can retailers and brands risk their name in the relentless pursuit of lower costs and higher margins?
Judy Gearhart, Executive Director of the International Labor Rights Forum in Washington, represents a NGO dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers world-wide.
Gearhart argues for more workers’ rights and for the trade to take a qualitative leap forward in corporate accountability so as to move beyond the current practice of relying on confidential and voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agreements.
But, even in the wake of a series of factory disasters in Bangladesh, will the arguments of an advocacy organisation influence the international trade?
Read more »
April 25, 2013 at 11:25
Dirk Roßmann: “We haven’t found the key to internet retailing yet”
Companies like to complain about the competition, but often what they are really saying is that they have run out of ideas.
And where there is a lack of innovation, the chances are that local cartel authorities have failed in their duty.
The bricks & mortar retailers on Germany’s highly-concentrated market are often no different and have long identified Amazon and other online pure-players as their favourite bugbear.
Therefore, it is easy to be cynical when retail bosses lament the difficulties of creating a viable online business.
But when these are the CEOs of mass retailer success stories, their statements assume a different character.
Read more »
April 11, 2013 at 18:08
S’il vous plaît?
If you shop in Cologne’s Waidmarkt district this summer, feel peckish, and take a bite to eat in a local restaurant, look out for a bearded chef with a roguish smile and a French waiter.
For these could be none other than CEO Alain Caparros and board member Lionel Souque from Rewe Group headquarters just down the road.
Germany’s second-largest food retailer intends to open a 200m² stand-alone gastronomic concept in the city centre this June.
The pilot bistro-type outlet will serve pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, soft drinks, and wine etc. on premise as well as to take away. Will it work? Read more »
April 8, 2013 at 11:59
Not Fresh & Easy: Tesco’s adventure in the US has proved costly and time-consuming
What is to become of Tesco‘s ailing US subsidiary Fresh & Easy?
CEO Philip Clarke is due to update shareholders at the preliminary results (2012/13) meeting in London on April 17.
This will conclude a four-month strategic review after accumulated losses since 2007 touched an estimated €920m on a total investment of around €1.2bn.
Doubtless, the Tesco share price will jump briefly on the news of any sale, but Fresh & Easy has surely been a painful experience for the UK’s leading retailer.
British daily “The Sun” seems to believe that Fresh & Easy’s 220 convenience-oriented supermarkets in Nevada, Arizona, and Southern California will be purchased by German hard discounter Aldi.
Are we in the realms of fact or tabloid fiction? Read more »
April 4, 2013 at 19:21
Savvy investor: Maurizio Borletti could sell his minority stake in French department store group Printemps to Qatar
Three years ago it was Harrods and, pending a statutory meeting with the unions in Paris tomorrow, it could now be Printemps.
Clearly, Arabs from the tiny Emirate of Qatar are doing more than just their shopping in Europe.
Their $100bn sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) with its direct investment (Qatar Holding) and real estate (Qatari Diar) arms, is fuelled by oil and natural gas.
As in other Gulf States, the QIA’s investment decisions are believed to be heavily influenced by the ruling family.
Measured by their track record, the sheiks seem to have a marked propensity for infrastructure projects, luxury labels, and prestigious European retail brands. Read more »
March 26, 2013 at 17:34
One in the eye for male-dominated German retail culture: Former Tesco director Lucy Neville-Rolfe has been nominated for election to Metro Group’s supervisory board
Your appointment to the Supervisory Board of Metro Group now looks a mere matter of form. After all, you are nominated for election at the AGM on May 8.
This is surely one of the most exciting developments in German retailing for a long time.
As a former board member of leading UK grocer Tesco, you will bring expertise from a company which has long been benchmarked by top German retailers.
As a foreigner, you will be a rarity on a German retail board. We have a few Frenchmen here at Rewe and one Englishman at Karstadt, but that’s about it.
As a woman at the top, you could well qualify for endangered species status.
May a fellow Brit, who has lived over 30 years in Germany, be permitted to give a few tips on adjusting to the local culture? Read more »
March 25, 2013 at 11:00
Sweet complexity: EU Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloș tackles the sugar quota question
Good news for sweet tooths — the Council of the European Union has agreed its negotiation position on sugar quotas. It would like them to expire as from October 2017.
The hopes and prayers of the sweets industry could thus be heard at last — or at least in part.
Three main scenarios remain: The Commission wants the sugar quota to end in 2015; Parliament desires an extension of the quota until 2020; and the Council wishes expiry in 2017.
In typical Brussels fashion, what everyone could get in the end is a compromise. Read more »
March 22, 2013 at 14:42
CEO Olaf Koch hits the button at Metro. Who’s next for the ejector seat?
It has almost become a tradition. With depressing regularity, a Metro Group board member gets the chop just before the announcement of the annual results.
This year was no different. Long-serving C&C boss Frans Muller has to go by the end of the month.
The list of sacrificial executive lambs at Metro is growing ever longer and with that the number of top managers with operational experience ever shorter.
Muller is the fifth board member whose head has rolled at Germany’s largest retailer by sales since 2010. Read more »