Walmart looks to the sky for its latest hit against Amazon while fellow discounter Target calls it quits with embattled food start-up Hampton Creek. In the beverage world, lager king Heineken gets the all-clear for its latest takeover, while China’s growing taste for wine fuels a burgeoning online industry. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 21 August 2017





Greetings!

Walmart looks to the sky for its latest hit against Amazon while fellow discounter Target calls it quits with embattled food start-up Hampton Creek. In the beverage world, lager king Heineken gets the all-clear for its latest takeover, while China’s growing taste for wine fuels a burgeoning online industry. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




USA


Reach for the sky ▪ Walmart is taking its battle with Amazon to a whole new level, applying for a patent for a blimp-style floating warehouse. It would allow the retailer to deliver goods to shoppers’ doorsteps via drones. Its online rival was granted a patent for a similar concept last year.



Relationship breakdown ▪ Target has ended its relationship with troubled food start-up Hampton Creek following allegations of food safety breaches. The plant food company disputed the claims and is not under investigation, but the retailer says the decision is the result of several factors.



Game of two halves ▪ Sporting retailers are struggling to shake their losing streak, with Hibbett and Foot Locker the latest to post disappointing results. On the flipside, dollar stores have stood their ground against intensifying competition from large discounters. Dollar Tree and Dollar General both forecast increased sales for the year.




Europe


Takeover cleared ▪ Heineken has been given the all-clear for its takeover of 1,900 Punch Taverns pubs. The Dutch brewer offered to sell 30 pubs to ease concerns of competition by the authorities. The deal makes Heineken, which already has 1,100 sites, the third largest pub group in the UK.



Sustainability matters ▪ Aldi is switching to a CO2-based natural refrigeration system across all its UK stores. Fellow German discounter Lidl says it has boosted the range of sustainable goods it sells in its Dutch stores by 40% in two years.


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Supplier deals ▪ Aldi Ireland has signed a three-year contract with Iverk Produce worth EUR 70 million. The fruit and vegetable wholesaler will supply 27,000 tonnes of locally-grown potatoes to the retailer. Gluten-free producer Explore Cuisine has secured its first Tesco listing, to stock three of its products on its shelves.




Australasia


Wine online ▪ China’s developing taste for wine, which saw a 7% jump in consumption last year, is fostering a budding online wine industry. Over in Australia, online wine retailer Vinomofo will launch a wine subscription service, as it looks to cater to consumers wanting flexibility and customisation.



Store openings ▪ Indian online furniture retailer The Bent Chair plans to open 20 new studios across the country and partner with about 30 retail brands in the coming year. Korean skincare brand Etude House has launched its first Malaysian flagship store, featuring customisable lipsticks.



Digital crackdown ▪ Australia has joined China and Japan in introducing tighter controls on digital currency exchanges in a bid to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing online. The move has been welcomed by the industry.




Weird and wonderful


Creating a buzz ▪ Ikea’s Game of Thrones-inspired photo shoot has gone viral, closing in on 6,000 likes so far. The post comes following revelations that the hit show uses its rugs for their fur capes. Toy company Funko has opened its first retail store, with fans lining up around the block to get in. See photos here.



Roast in peace ▪ The classic Sunday roast is falling out of favour with Brits, dropping out of the nation’s top five favourite meals. The longheld tradition made up less than half of the estimated 1.4 billion eaten annually, with families opting for more convenient midweek alternatives.