International Retailers Blitzkrieg
Over in Blighty, Waitrose are on the ropes, with the announcement that they’ll be closing seven shops this year, affecting up to 677 jobs, and that one of the closures, to deepen the humiliation, will be in the form of the sale of one of their stores for use as a Lidl. Tesco have announced that they are upping the prices on over 1,000 items, including some staples and private label products, with average increases of 11%, despite recently saying they would be cutting prices to keep up with the discounters. Aldi, in the meanwhile, have been swished over the knuckles with a ceremonial ponytail by the Advertising Standards Authority for claiming that punters switching to
Aldi from Tesco could save up to 45% on their bill. If their purchase consisted only of Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils, in fact, the saving could be by as much as 152%, the increase on a pack of those at Tesco. Presumably, though, Aldi doesn’t sell them. In the US, retail sales have risen 0.4% in June, and Aldi has opened up within a mile of Walmart’s Bentonville HQ, which is something of a stake in the ground.
Comment: All sorts of shenanigans and goings on this week. The common thread, however, is that the German discounters have everyone running scared. Or at least getting belligerently defensive.