Another week, another pharmacy market entrant
With competition rapidly increasingly in the retail sector from e-commerce and discount food stores, more and more companies are rethinking their growth strategy and seeing the pharmacy business as an opportunity to regain a competitive position and widen their product range. On Tuesday, Albertsons, an American grocery store company, announced it intends to acquire the rest of Rite Aid, a drugstore chain, as part of a cash and stock deal. The grocery store company plans to rebrand its internal pharmacies using the Rite Aid name as well as maintaining some of the Rite Aid stores.
With this deal, the improved in-house pharmacies can increase frequent foot-traffic, and as a result, bring more customers to the food aisles. Albertsons is only one example of retailers changing the standardized path of not only expanding their real estate portfolio but also their expertise, with Amazon also trying to enter the pharmacy market. This acquisition seems like a familiar case in the pharmacy industry with big drugstore chains merging with other companies, for example CVS Health and health insurer Aetna and even Walgreens bought some stake in Rite Aid, to limit costs and increase profits.
To read more about this acquisition, click here.
Hyperloop Plans for India
On Monday, Hyperloop One, revealed it had signed a framework agreement over the weekend with the Indian Prime Minister, stating its plans to link ports in India between Pune and Mumbai by building a major Hyperloop system. The high-speed and fully electric transportation system would not only revolutionize public transportation, but also freight. It would mean that palletized freight and light cargo can be moved at a rapid pace between the ports, which will help with on-demand logistics, supply chains and other logistics processes.
This project is now undergoing a six-month thorough feasibility study which will help to design the structure for a public-private partnership that will be responsible for constructing the system using Hyperloop One’s technology. The first stage of construction includes a demonstration track for commercial purposes that will start in approximately two to three years. This project won’t be completed anytime soon but it will help with India’s environmental issues surrounding pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from transportation.
More information can be found here.
Apple to cut out the middle man
On Wednesday, it was reported that the smartphone giant Apple is currently having discussions surrounding the idea of buying its cobalt supplies directly from miners, in order to secure long-term supplies of the key battery ingredient. There are currently fears of a shortage of the metal due to the rapid emergence of electric vehicles. Apple wants to secure a contract where it can obtain several thousand tons of cobalt every year for a minimum of five years. This would be the first time the company has dealt with buying the metal itself.
Moreover, if Apple goes ahead with these plans, it will increase its scale of competition; the smartphone company would be competing with car manufacturers and battery producers looking to secure supplies of the raw material. With that being said, other companies, such as BMW and Volkswagen, are moving quickly on this matter to sign multiyear contracts to guarantee they have adequate supplies to meet their electric vehicle production targets, which require a lot more refined cobalt than smartphones.
To read more about this, click here.
Have a great weekend!
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