A number of retailers have found themselves in hot water– in the UK, Sports Direct upset union reps while Boots caved to pressure and in the US, Starbucks is being sued. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though with plenty of inspiring ideas emerging – including a pop up store 100m up a cliff. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 04 September 2017





Greetings!

A number of retailers have found themselves in hot water– in the UK, Sports Direct upset union reps while Boots caved to pressure and in the US, Starbucks is being sued. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though with plenty of inspiring ideas emerging – including a pop up store 100m up a cliff. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Europe


Hot water ▪ Sports Direct warehouse staff have been asked to give feedback on working conditions via a sad or happy emoji on a touchpad when they clock in, but union representatives are criticising the move. They say fingerprint technology identifies respondents. UK Chemist Boots has cut the price of its morning-after pill after weeks of pressure from campaigners.



Onwards and upwards ▪ Slovenian retailer Mercator has the all-clear from its struggling parent company to re-enter Bosnia and Herzegovina, but LZ Retailytics says the real winners are the respective number twos in each territory. New data shows Cooperative U’s strong momentum is likely to see it overtake Auchan as the fifth largest retailer in France.



Pleasing results ▪ Italian grocer Unicoop Firenze enjoyed impressive sales growth well above the national average, reporting a 1.2% bump compared with 0.1% nationally. Dutch dairy company FrieslandCampina reported a 10.7% jump in revenue thanks to higher sales prices and its acquisition of Engro Foods.




USA & Latin America


Starbucks sued ▪ The coffee giant is being sued by an Indianapolis shopping mall operator over its plans to close its Teavana stores. The property group says by failing to fulfill its lease obligations the retailer opted to protect its own share price to the detriment of the company and other retailers.



Brazil moves on ▪ The nation wants to shake off the food safety scandal that shook its meat industry earlier this year, with ambitions to premiumise its meat exports. The industry is celebrating a much needed win after China authorised an increase in Brazilian meat exports, after taking on USD 1.75 billion worth last year.


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Sporting genius ▪ Advanced materials company Cocona has opened a pop-up shop, but not in any ordinary location. Its store is 100m up a cliff face in Colorado, and sells gear for climbers. American sports brand Peak has revealed what it is touting as the world’s first 3D-printed basketball boot.




Asia & Middle East


Smile to spend ▪ Customers at one KFC outlet in China will be able to pay for their meal with a smile. The initiative, enabled by Alibaba-backed facial recognition technology, is part of parent company Yum China’s drive to attract a younger generation of tech-focused, health-conscious consumers.



American ambitions ▪ Korean food giant SPC Group, owner of Paris Baguette, has unveiled aggressive plans to grow its US business fivefold in the next three years. It wants to have 300 of its baked goods stores in the country by 2020, boosting its workforce by up to 10,000.



Missed target ▪ US retailer Target underestimated the buying frenzy (Paywall) it would trigger after offering free shipping for its Israeli customers in a three-day promotion last month. The chain was forced to cancel thousands of orders.




Inspiring ideas


Selfless Selfridges ▪ The high-end retailer has opened the UK’s first interfaith charity shop, located inside the iconic department store. The initiative features products and prices typical of any charity store and will be jointly run by four different religious charities until late October.



Contactless future ▪ Car giant DS Automobiles has launched a car key that can make contactless payments, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK. Barclaycard and other credit companies are betting on the technology as the way forward, studying ideas like paying via fingernails, tattoos and eyes.