Business stories worth noting this week, according to Jason Maywald:
- The SMH – Amazon could launch in Australia in the next 60 days
US retail giant Amazon could launch in Australia within the next 60 days if feedback from suppliers proves correct, according to Citi analysts, upping the pressure on struggling retailers in the all-important lead-up to Christmas.Amazon confirmed in April its plans to bring a retail offering to Australia and has since signed a lease on a 24,387 square metre former Bunnings warehouse on the outskirts of Melbourne and appointed one of its top German executives to run its local operations.
- TheAustralian.com.au – Vodafone New Zealand goes to market in $1bn IPOVodafone New Zealand has backed up its recent return to profit by embarking on a $1 billion initial public offering that will be open to Kiwi and Australian investors.
The move comes as the telco’s parent, the British Vodafone Group, looks to eke out some value from the NZ operations at a time of fierce competition in the market.
- News.com.au – The robot invasion has begun in the grocery aisle
A FAMILY-OWNED grocery chain in the US Midwest is set to test an aisle-roving robot, joining technology-savvy retail behemoths like Amazon and Walmart.The robot, named Tally, will begin scanning store aisles at three St. Louis-area Schnucks grocery stores in a six-week pilot program starting on Monday. The robot will check aisles three times a day to look for out-of-stock items and make sure items and price tags properly correspond, company officials say.
- AFR – Amcor on hunt for mega-deal in the US
Packaging group Amcor may be about to aggressively step up its United States expansion plans as it closely examines the merits of a potential buyout of a large rival in America, the $5 billion-plus Bemis packaging business.Fund managers say they would be generally supportive of such a move by Amcor to buy out Bemis, which operates about 60 packaging plants in 12 countries.
- New York Times – China’s electric car push lures auto giants, despite risksTIANJIN, China — Volkswagen, the German auto giant, is preparing for a swift expansion in its output of electric cars next year — and the biggest jump in production will be in China. General Motors is making China the hub of its electric car research and development. Renault-Nissan, the French and Japanese carmaker, and Ford Motor have hustled to set up joint electric-car ventures in China.
Global automakers see the future of electric cars, and it looks Chinese. The biggest players are shifting crucial scientific and design work to China as the country invests heavily in car-charging stations and research and pushes automakers to embrace battery-powered vehicles.
Jason Maywald is a highly experienced legal and transactional advisor in the insurance and medical assistance sectors.