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Retail

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E-commerce can be a harsh mistress. Things move quickly, and a young startup can show loads of promise only to lose its way in the fickle world of business. Or they get in way over their heads with a new business investment due to meteoric growth. In the case of Lesara, the financing of their new logistics center in Erfurt came too late. 

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Alibaba has been making in-roads to Europe for quite some time. Their FinTech company, Ant Financial, has now acquired the currency exchange and payments company WorldFirst. Although other steps into Europe have already been made by the Chinese Internet giant, acquiring this UK payments company is a major one. There will definitely be more to come from Alibaba, as well as other Chinese e-commerce giants.

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Amazon wanted their second headquarters to be in Queens on Long Island, but they faced a backlash in New York State. Politicians and lawmakers were worried Amazon's second headquarters could push out residents as well as congesting the already over-packed and ailing New York Subway network. Amazon has finally decided to abandon their plans, but the road ahead to have an East Coast Amazon presence isn't going to be free of obstacles.

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If you are at a Delhaize supermarket in Belgium, you can pick up a package you ordered from Bol.com. Because Bol.com is owned by Ahold Delhaize, it is easy to open locations in the supermarkets of Delhaize in Flanders. Bol.com orders could already be picked up at Albert Heijn supermarkets. The Ahold Delhaize Group, owner of all three companies, is well on their way to putting the three brands together.

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Buying on the Internet is often cheaper than making a purchase at a bricks-and-mortar store. There are many reasons for the lower prices found online, like online retailers not needing store personnel or cutting out (most of) the middle man. E-commerce grows every year and is a multi-billion dollar industry, but with some of those billions being lost to tax evasion. In the UK, there is a big crackdown on sellers who are dodging taxes to offer those low, low prices. 

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Tesco has unveiled its new discounter brand called Jack’s. Tired of watching Aldi and Lidl win all the bargain hunter customers, they plan to compete with the competition by offering a free smart shop app that allows customers to pay for items on the go. The allows shoppers to scan the barcode on the items or shelf-front and pay simply by tapping their phone on a self-service checkout terminal before leaving. Jack's is also marketed as selling mostly British products.

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