Retail in brief | Walmart, The Co-op, WBA

Retail in brief | Walmart, The Co-op, WBA
Dimec has been acquired by The Co-op

20 September 2018 - Deborah Wilkes

Walmart, The Co-op and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) have recently announced acquisitions or partnerships.

Walmart snaps up Cornershop

Walmart is acquiring Cornershop – an online marketplace for on-demand delivery from supermarkets, pharmacies and specialty food retailers in Mexico and Chile – for USD225 million.

The US-based retailer said the acquisition was an important step forward in "accelerating its omnichannel capabilities and growth in Latin America".

Judith McKenna, president and chief executive officer of Walmart International, said Cornershop's digital expertise, technology and capabilities would strengthen Walmart's businesses in Mexico and Chile and provide learning for other markets in which the retailer operated.

Walmart said the transaction should be completed by the end of 2018. Cornershop's three founders and their teams will continue to lead the business.

The Co-op acquires Dimec

The Co-op has acquired Dimec, a UK-based healthcare technology start-up that has developed an app for patients to order repeat prescriptions.

The UK-based retailer said the acquisition would enable it to compete effectively within the GBP10.5 billion (USD13.9 billion) pharmacy market, where over 1.1 billion prescriptions were written annually in England alone.

The Co-op sold its UK chain of 774 pharmacies to grocery wholesaler Bestway Group for GBP620 million in 2014 (click here to read the News story).

"The technology Dimec has developed enables patients to pair with both general practitioner surgeries and pharmacies, allowing the patient to connect with their general practitioner records and making the ordering of prescriptions easier," commented The Co-op. "Combined with the strength of The Co-op name and its large physical presence across the UK, this will create a comprehensive and compelling digital pharmacy offer for Co-op members and customers alike."

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition was made by Co-op Ventures, a new innovation unit established to "develop challenger Co-op businesses and designed to disrupt markets in which the Co-op does not currently operate".

WBA works with Alibaba

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) is launching its own beauty brands in China through a flagship store on Tmall Global, Alibaba's cross-border e-commerce platform. 

The US-based retailer said the flagship store would offer some of its most popular Boots beauty brands in the UK and the US, including No7, Soap & Glory and Boots Cucumber.

Ken Murphy – WBA's executive vice president and chief commercial officer and president of global brands – said the collaboration with Tmall Global complemented the company's presence in wholesale and retail pharmacy in China.

Alibaba's Tmall Global allows brands and retailers without operations in China to build virtual storefronts and ship products into the country.

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