Alibaba’s predicted trading volume for this year could soon see the Chinese e-commerce giant surpass Walmart as the world’s largest retailer; in Europe, Lidl has launched an e-commerce website in Belgium and in the US, Amazon says a survey confirms their policy of gender pay equality. Enjoy the read, and don’t forget to share — RetailUpdate is absolutely FREE.
asia & australasia
Alibaba poised for top spot With trading volume expected to total US $462.3 billion this fiscal year, the e-commerce behemoth may soon surpass Walmart to become the world’s top retailer. By 2020, the company’s annual trading volume is estimated to be as much as US $980 billion. Meanwhile, Alibaba founder Jack Ma is proposing an international online sales platform, which, he says, will help develop cultural ties between countries.
News Down Under In Australia, Coles’ customers may end up paying more for their groceries if an “effects test” proposed by the federal government goes ahead. The effects test is designed to prevent big companies acting in ways that could reduce competition without economic justification +++ Meanwhile, in New Zealand, first-half-year profits for clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson Holdings dropped 21%. The retailer warns that warm weather during autumn is affecting sales in New Zealand and Australia.
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Lidl goes online in Belgium The supermarket discounter has launched an e-commerce website in Belgium — the first outside of Germany. As Lidl gradually grows its e-commerce presence, the Netherlands is expected to be next +++ In the UK, the Swiss coffee capsules brand Nespresso will open a café in London this summer.
BHS given chance The struggling department store chain has been given a chance to move forward. On Wednesday, 95% of BHS’s landlords and creditors voted in favour of its CVA application, which means rent on 164 of its stores will be reduced.
Amazon pays women equally In response to pressure from activist shareholder Arjuna Capital to release its policies on gender pay equality, the e-commerce giant claims a recent survey shows last year female employees earned 99.9 cents for every dollar earned by men in the same positons. Meanwhile, Amazon is suing their ex-logistics chief Arthur Valdez claiming he has shared trade secrets with his new employer, Target.
Improving customer experience Home furnishings retailer West Elm is planning a digital campaign that will link makers with local designers. “Maker Toolkit” provides expert guidance to help designers and makers scale their work +++ Meanwhile, home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware, is starting a new membership programme. For an annual fee of US $100, customers can purchase an RH Grey Card that will provide 25% savings across all brands.
Big Easter spending A survey by marketing agency Savvy reveals UK shoppers could spend up to GBP 775 this Easter — a 3.7% increase on last year. The survey comprising shopping decision makers of 1,000 households, also found that 42% plan to purchase Easter eggs and dinner ingredients from discounters like Aldi.
The top hot cross bun The ideal hot cross bun is complicated; it is shiny on top and has a complex blend of taste and textures, according to a new consumer study by Cambridge Market Research (CMR), which tested pre-packed buns from 10 major retailers.