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Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Friday, 02 December 2016

Hello, subscribers!
The decline in retail sales is slowing in Japan and Hong Kong; in the UK, Tesco and Sainsbury’s announce sustainability plans; and in the USA, no one comes close to Amazon during Cyber Weekend. Have a great day, and if you enjoy this edition, please share. On another note: To ensure our emails continue to reach your inbox, please add to your safe senders list.

asia & australia
Sales stabilise   Due to a steady job market and increasing household incomes, retail sales in Hong Kong fell by just 2.9% in October, the lowest decline in more than a year +++ In Japan, household spending continued to decline in the same month, although at 0.4%, it was an improvement on a 2.1% drop in September. ▪
More demonetisation impacts   India’s recent decision to pull cash out of its circulation has caused a shortage of new notes and a drop in daily sales of up to 80%. Consequently, in an effort to save their businesses, many small and medium-sized retailers without electronic payment facilities are still accepting the old notes. The initiative has adversely impacted the country’s border trade with Bhutan, it’s closest neighbour in South Asia. ▪
Majors strive for sustainability   Leading UK supermarket chains Tesco and Sainsbury’s have announced plans to replace the plastic stems with paper on all own-brand cotton buds by the end of 2017. Tesco is also appealing to food waste entrepreneurs to join BackIt (paywall), a new crowdfunding platform that helps small businesses develop food-waste-reducing products. ▪
Stick to single-market access   In the wake of Brexit, senior figures from major food retailers Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer have penned an open letter to the UK government warning that migrant workers and tariff-free access to the single market are crucial for the grocery sector. ▪
Lenta completes acquisition   Lenta, one of Russia’s largest retail chains, has purchased Kesko's food retail business in Russia for US$ 177.5 million. The deal is expected to see Lenta’s sales grow by 3-4 percentage points in 2017. ▪
Amazon claims top spot   Despite retailers such as Target and Walmart setting online records over the five-day shopping extravaganza, the e-commerce behemoth was miles ahead and captured 30.9% of online spending. This is according to market research company Slice Intelligence, which scanned over one million online shopping receipts from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. ▪
Starbucks boss moves on   On April 3, Howard Schultz will step down as CEO of the US coffee giant. However, he isn’t leaving the company. Instead, Schultz will take on the role of executive chairman to focus on new upscale initiatives. ▪
Ebay analyses emotions   On Tuesday, the US online private auction site opened a pop-up store in London where shoppers enter a booth containing a screen, headphones and a camera. People's faces are scanned and product suggestions are made based on analysis of what they "emotionally connect with". ▪
survey results
Christmas ads fall on deaf ears   UK businesses are expected to spend as much as GBP 5.6 billion on advertising this Christmas. However, according to a new report by, their efforts are likely to be in vain. Of the 11,500 surveyed, 69% of respondents said advertising had absolutely no effect. ▪
Mobile on the rise   According to Adobe, of the US$ 3 billion spent during Black Friday, US$ 1 billion came from mobile devices. And this is backed up by PayPal which has released data showing that more than a third of payments over Thanksgiving and Black Friday were mobile. ▪

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