OPERATIONS

Founder of Aldi dies at 94

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Karl Albrecht, who along with his brother Theo, created the Aldi supermarket chain from a small shop owned by his mother, has died at the age of 94, the New York Times reported.

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REAL ESTATE

Gap to enter Slovenia, Austria

BY Marianne Wilson

San Francisco — Continuing its global growth, Gap Inc. on Monday announced that it will introduce the Gap brand to Slovenia and Austria through agreements with new and existing franchise partners. Magistrat International, a new partner, has been selected for the launch of Slovenia. Gottex, which currently manages the Gap franchise business in Israel and Hungary, will launch Austria.

Gap has signed a new agreement with Magistrat International to open three stores in the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana. City Park, Slovenia’s largest shopping center, will be the location for the first two free-standing stores; one for adult and one for kids and baby. The Emporium department store will feature the full collection of mens, womens, kids and baby. All locations are scheduled to open by September this year.

Gap will open its first store in Vienna, Austria this October. The free-standing location will be located at the Donauzentrum Mall.

“Gap is known all over the world and we have grown our store presence significantly in recent years to help bring our casual style to more and more customers. We launched into five new markets last year; Hungary, Paraguay Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica, and with the opening of stores in Slovenia and Austria we now bring our iconic brand to customers through stores in almost 50 countries,” said Gap brand president, Steve Sunnucks.

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OPERATIONS

Planet Retail commentary on Tesco’s new CEO

BY Staff Writer

London — Natalie Berg, global research director at Planet Retail, commented:

“As a branding expert, Lewis’ first task will be to define Tesco. Philip Clarke himself has admitted that the brand has baggage. It doesn’t stand for value, yet it doesn’t stand for quality, and without a clear proposition we fear that Tesco will continue to lose customers to more relevant and better-defined channels.

(See related story: Tesco CEO to be replaced by Unilever exec)

“Being the first ‘outsider’ CEO in Tesco history, Lewis will quickly need to prove that having no direct retail experience isn’t necessarily an impediment to taking on the biggest job in U.K. retail. The board will be relying on his significant FMCG experience to help steer Tesco safely through the increasingly-fractious price skirmishes currently unsettling the industry.

“Despite Clarke’s relatively short, bumpy stint at the top, we have to remember that when he inherited the business three years ago, the focus was very much on international operations – some of which have since rightly

“Although we feel Clarke has made significant progress on refreshing existing stores, the fundamental issue remains – shoppers are no longer making that big weekly trip to an out-of-town superstore. Unfortunately for Tesco, over half of its stores fall in the 50,000+sq.-ft. bracket.*

“A change in leadership may bring some much-needed fresh thinking to Tesco, but the structural shifts in the grocery sector cannot be reversed. Lewis will need to reposition Tesco to adapt to this new normal.”

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