Amazon is making its sellers an offer they can’t refuse, and speculation is mounting over the whereabouts of its first Australian warehouse. Over in the bricks-and-mortar space Walmart is expanding its vending machine initiative while pharmacy giant Boots is backing down over a very public spat. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 24 July 2017





Greetings!

Amazon is making its sellers an offer they can’t refuse, and speculation is mounting over the whereabouts of its first Australian warehouse. Over in the bricks-and-mortar space Walmart is expanding its vending machine initiative while pharmacy giant Boots is backing down over a very public spat. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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USA


Amazon’s buy and sell ▪ The e-tailer is looking to bolster its global inventory by offering to buy products from its third-party merchants at full price before selling them to customers around the world. Meanwhile, a group of Democrats in Congress want the Whole Foods purchase reviewed over concerns it will limit access to healthy foods in less privileged areas.



Walmart’s pickup line ▪ The big-box retailer plans to expand its fleet of pickup towers for online orders to another 80 locations across the country, up from 20 at present. The expansion reflects the retailer’s strong focus on streamlining its online delivery network.



Novel ideas ▪ Beauty giant Sephora has launched a new store concept, called Sephora Studio. The store is big on digital features and small on space. Fast food giant McDonald’s has launched its own clothing line, which customers in selected locations can get free when they order a meal delivery for a limited time.




Asia & Australia


Eyes on Melbourne ▪ Speculation is rife that Amazon’s first Australian warehouse will be located on the outskirts of the city, following the posting of several job ads. A giant fulfilment centre would be vital to the e-commerce giant gaining market share in the country.



China for e-fashion ▪ Teen fashion brand Abercrombie & Fitch is looking to ramp up activity in the region, partnering with online mega retailer Alibaba. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton has launched its own online platform in the country, looking to give local e-commerce giants a run for their money.



Familymart’s new recruits ▪ Japan’s second biggest convenience store chain says it is hoping housewives are the answer to its staffing challenges – with the retailer looking to hire 100,000 part-timers over the next two years.




Europe


Boots under fire ▪ The British pharmacy chain has backed down after its refusal to reduce the price of emergency contraception escalated into calls for a boycott. The move comes off the back of a nation-wide campaign by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service – which saw Tesco and Superdrug halve prices of its stock.



People power ▪ Carrefour is making the most of word-of-mouth endorsement, bringing online reviews to 200 of its private label products instore. The French grocer will display two-year's worth of selected reviews on the products, against the backdrop of a challenging local market for private labels.



Greenwash effect ▪ Coop Danmark’s upmarket brand Irma is trialling vegan and vegetarian sections in its stores, coined “Det Grønne Måltid” (the green meal). LZ Retailytics sees it as a clever move in a fiercely competitive local market. Lidl in Spain has become the first retailer to be awarded the “Zero Waste” certificate from Aenor.




Insider Insights


Pharmacy threats ▪ The German drugstore industry is under threat from world leaders such as Walgreens and A.S. Watson. The German Retail Blog looks at this in detail, and how the growth trajectory of these giants will present significant competition for German empires in western and eastern Europe.



Chinese business dominates ▪ Tech giants Alibaba and Tencent are making their mark on Southeast Asian start-ups. The fierce rivals are the driving forces behind capital and business experience contributions in the region. The duo were also both among the 115 Chinese firms on this year’s Fortune Global 500 list, an all-time high for the country.