US President Trump criticises Amazon for causing job losses, while at the same time the online giant announces 1,000 new full-time jobs in the UK. Discount rival Target is bouncing back with promising Q2 results and across the Atlantic, Sweden's Ica Gruppen experiments with an innovation hub. Get informed and feel free to share.




Thursday, 17 August 2017





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US President Trump criticises Amazon for causing job losses, while at the same time the online giant announces 1,000 new full-time jobs in the UK. Discount rival Target is bouncing back with promising Q2 results and across the Atlantic, Sweden's Ica Gruppen experiments with an innovation hub. Get informed and feel free to share.




USA


Back on track ▪ Target has recovered from a year-long sales slump proving that its investments in online and store remodels are paying off. The US discounter reported a rise in sales in Q2 and has raised its profit outlook, while apparel retailer Urban Outfitters reversed a string of declines, but analysts remain sceptical.



Future stores ▪ Saks Fifth Avenue is trialling a salon concept with augmented reality in New York, which will offer beauty services along with a medical spa and retail.



Amazon attacks ▪ After a critical tweet by US president Trump accusing the online giant of causing job losses, the company's market valuation fell by US$ 5 billion. At the same time, the e-commerce leader announced plans to build a new fulfilment centre in Bristol creating more than 1000 new jobs.




Europe


Ica starts Icax ▪ The Swedish retail group, which has seen a double-digit rise in profits for its second quarter, has developed a new innovation hub, called Icax, which aims to boost its use of digital technology, delivering three to six new projects per year.



Fresh leadership ▪ Coop Sverige has appointed Magnus Johansson as new CEO to lead the Swedish retailer "into a new phase". Just two weeks after Alex Williamson took over the helm at House of Fraser, the digital team has been reduced and outsourced to India.


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Great expectations ▪ Bulgarian supermarket chain T-Market, one of the top three retailers in the country, is expecting sales to grow by 26-28% this year, according to its CEO Edvinas Volkas. The company, which has around 70,000 customers per day, operates 63 supermarkets in 30 cities in Bulgaria.




Asia & Australia


Alipay partners with Yelp ▪ Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is continuing to follow Chinese travellers and their wallets overseas after it sealed a deal with Yelp in the US. The partnership allows Alipay users to make payment through the service when they use Yelp for restaurant bookings.



Growing in China ▪ Tech giant Tencent has posted its best-ever quarterly results, driven by higher income from smartphone games, payments and online advertising. Singapore supermarket operator Sheng Siong is looking into the Chinese market for growth and will open its first test store in Kunming this year.



Wesfarmers lifts profit ▪ The Australian conglomerate has reported a large increase in profit but revealed a slump for its earnings powerhouse, Coles. Total revenue across its businesses, which includes also Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks, hit AU$ 68.44 billion, up 3.7%.




What to watch


Contamination consequences ▪ Eggs tainted with the insecticide fipronil have led supermarkets across Europe to pull fresh eggs off the shelves. The contamination scandal will hurt the Netherlands, the region's top exporter, and challenges food security, says Chris Elliott, director of the Institute for Global Food Security.



Success formula ▪ Commitment to health and wellness is on the rise in the grocery community, a recent study has found. 81% of food retailers view such initiatives in supermarkets as a significant business growth opportunity for the entire industry, according to the Food Marketing Institute.