Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Thai conglomerate CP Group set to buy 7-Eleven franchise in Indonesia

Charoen Pokphand Indonesia, an affiliate of Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group poised to buy 7-Eleven franchise in Indonesia for $75 million. The objective is to revive the convenience store chain. Although the franchise is top-of-mind for Thais, its presence in Indonesia is overshadowed by local players such as Indomaret and Alfamart.

Indonesia’s 2015 decision to ban alcohol sales at small retail stores dealt a major blow to 7-Eleven. Modern Sevel said it closed around 25 locations in 2016.

CP Indonesia is the country’s top poultry producer, logging $2.9 billion in revenue in 2016. The acquisition is expected to boost its downstream business.

Another interesting development that could come out of the acquisition is CP Group’s partnership with Ant Financial, and the existence of True Money in Indonesia. It seems like CP Group is already laying out plans to cater to the country’s unbanked population.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Myanmar’s to launch online payment platform now has more than 500 local partners selling on the website and are forging international partnerships to bring on more partners to sell on its platform. Aside from partnership expansion plans, the ecommerce platform is poised to launch its own online payment system.

The firm is cooperating with several banks to launch its online payment system, in addition to using existing services such as AGD Pay, OK Dollar, and Wave Money.

Currently, customers can pay via cash on delivery or swipe on delivery. Bringing in an online payment option may take some time, as trust is a big hurdle to ecommerce in the country.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended Reading: How in-home package delivery can save ecommerce

Would you allow UPS to drop off a package inside your home when you’re not there?

That question is at the heart of a three-month pilot program that smart lock maker August tried out last winter with 76 of its users in an attempt to see if the company could help jumpstart the ecommerce industry.

“It’s a question of working with those providers to make this something that’s commercialized, with training,” the company said. “We’ve already completed trials with some, and some are moving toward commercialization plans. The trick will be to get people to the point where they take such things for granted, much as we all do now with things like taking rides with Uber or Lyft, or staying in people’s homes via Airbnb.”

Read the rest of the story here.





United Parcel Service (UPS) reported a 3.2% increase in profit fuelled in part by ecommerce growth, writes Wall Street Journal.

However, the delivery giant warned that a weaker industrial environment will continue to drag on.

Revenue increased 3.8% to $14.62 billion for Q2, while profit rose to $1.27 billion.

UPS predicts that its ecommerce business will grow faster than expected through the end of the year as US consumers continue to show strength.

The company has expanded its margins on the domestic side, despite the slow economy. However, as Chief Executive David Abney said, “We have realized that the key to us is not what the economy may hand to us or may blow against us, but its more about staying focused on our strategies.”

The results show that the company’s efforts to improve profitability in the higher cost ecommerce delivery segment are starting to pay off. But the strength in ecommerce and consumer spending was countered by slowing exports due to an inventory overhang among industrial customers, which is negatively impacting B2B shipments, a traditional stronghold for UPS.

Delivering ecommerce packages tend to be more expensive, due to the scattered nature of the residential deliveries. UPS raised prices across the board, with specific increase targeted at bigger packages that take longer to deliver.

UPS has also been working to pool more consumer deliveries, adding retail locations and lockers for self-service pickup.

Cross border and export shipment growth in Europe helped boost the company’s international results. Shipments from Europe to the US alone grew at a double digit pace in the quarter. UPS has been expanding their operations in Europe and other international markets, executives in the company have also said that they would be keeping an eye out for potential acquisitions in emerging markets.

UPS is a solid example of how companies, whether a global giant or a smaller operation, can focus on strategy which will protect them from a volatile market. It also hints at the logistics giant’s global expansion aspirations.

A version of this appeared in The Wall Street Journal on July 29. Read the full version here.