A number of European retail heavyweights are overhauling their store concepts to focus on freshness, while British giant M&S faces strong headwinds on its restructuring journey. Over in the States, bath product major Kohler's debuts an 'experience retail centre'. Get informed about the latest moves and feel free to share.




Thursday, 25 May 2017





Hello, dear reader,

A number of European retail heavyweights are overhauling their store concepts to focus on freshness, while British giant M&S faces strong headwinds on its restructuring journey. Over in the States, bath product major Kohler's debuts an 'experience retail centre'. Get informed about the latest moves and feel free to share.




Europe


Innovative ideas ▪ Russia's X5 Retail Group has resuscitated its hypermarket concept with the launch of a farmers' market project in collaboration with local growers. In Switzerland, Coop bets on the vegetarian market and will introduce a veggie store format. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, Jumbo has opened a convenience store with a focus on fresh, homemade meals.



Marks & Spencer struggles ▪ The British retailer reported a tough year with a 10% decline in annual profit due to falling clothing sales. Revenue dropped to GBP 10.62 billion. LZ Retailytics takes a closer look at the company's promising restructuring process and reckons that a focus on food could be the right move.


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Costco arrives in Iceland ▪ The official opening of the US member-based wholesale giant near Reykjavík this week attracted several hundred people. It is the first Costco store to open in the Nordic country, and already some 35,000 membership cards have been sold. Icelanders are known for embracing novelties.



Ikea's announcements ▪ The Swedish furniture giant has named Jesper Brodin as its new CEO after Peter Agnefjall decided to step down. The company also revealed that it's smart light bulbs will work to voice commands from Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant.




USA & Canada


Designed to showcase ▪ Kitchen and bath products giant Kohler has launched its first-ever experience centre in New York, which presents fully-functioning displays of the company's global product line. The centre is open to design professionals and regular customers.



Crunching numbers ▪ Home furnishing retailer Williams-Sonoma reported better-than-expected Q1 results with net revenues of U$ 1.112 billion, fuelled by a strong performance of its West Elm division. Meanwhile, DIY retailer Lowe's missed the estimates, despite a double-digit increase in sales to US$ 16.86 billion. Here is what an analyst says.


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Asia & Middle East


Spar partners in China ▪ The Netherlands-based international retail group has entered into a partnership with commercial company Jinfang to increase its presence across Southeast China. Jinfang, which operates in the supermarket sector, will convert 32 of its stores to the Spar brand.



Alliance in Japan ▪ Tokyo-based global logistics company Nippon Express has teamed up with Amazon have to help small and mid-size businesses in Japan export products to the US for a third of the current cost. If all goes well, the service will expand into other Asian markets and Europe.



Deals in Dubai ▪ Middle Eastern retail giant Emaar Malls will acquire a majority stake of online fashion site Namshi from Germany's Rocket Internet. Earlier this year, Emaar tried and failed to buy Souq.com. The region's leading e-commerce platform landed in Amazon's portfolio.




Sustainability matters


Intelligent packages and ethical sourcing ▪ Swedish retailer Coop has launched a new wrapping for meat that replaces traditional plastic trays and reduces packaging by 82%. Over in Britain, Sainsbury's is under fire from the Fairtrade Foundation for its ambitious approach to ethically sourced tea, coffee and bananas.



Energy efficiency measures ▪ Finnish retailer Kesko, which intends to source 100% renewable electricity for all its operations, has announced that it has improved its annual energy efficiency in compliance with Finland's Energy Efficiency Agreement.