Danish toy maker Lego suffered a significant drop in revenue and is set to revamp its business. French retailer Auchan invests in its Hungarian network but is hurt by weakness in its home market. Across the Atlantic, Walmart makes sure it doesn't miss out on artificial intelligence and Amazon ventures further into fashion. Enjoy the read!




Wednesday, 06 September 2017





Hello dear reader,

Danish toy maker Lego suffered a significant drop in revenue and is set to revamp its business. French retailer Auchan invests in its Hungarian network but is hurt by weakness in its home market. Across the Atlantic, Walmart makes sure it doesn't miss out on artificial intelligence and Amazon ventures further into fashion. Enjoy the read!




Europe


Setback for Lego ▪ The Danish toy maker posted its worst financial performance since 2004. Revenue fell 5% to US$ 2.4 billion in the first half year. 8% of its staff will be laid off to overhaul the business and focus on digital. Chairman Knudstorp admits that Lego was getting ahead of itself in the pursuit of rapid growth.



Auchan invests in Hungary ▪ The French retailer, which has reported a lower-than-expected growth for its first half year, enjoys a good demand in Eastern Europe. The company is committed to spending nearly EUR 54 million to finance its expansion in Hungary. Auchan aims to operate 60 supermarkets nationwide by 2022.



Enhancing customer experience ▪ Dansk Supermarked’s discount banner Netto has started a loyalty initiative in Poland aimed at teaching children and parents to eat healthily. It differs considerably from the ones of its competitors, says LZ Retailytics. Over in Spain, Eroski upgraded its shopping app (paywall) to include its loyalty card.




Asia & Australia


A mall for Alibaba ▪ The Chinese e-commerce powerhouse is reportedly building a five-floor shopping centre near its headquarters in Hangzhou. It is called 'More Mall' and will open next spring. The move is regarded as a further step in Alibaba's goal to mix physical and digital retail.



Store openings ▪ Ikea has decided to launch its first Indian store next April in Hyderabad. The Swedish furniture retailer plans to open 25 stores in the country. Compatriot Hennes & Mauritz continues its expansion in Australia and will introduce its first outlet in Canberra later this year.


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USA & Canada


Amazon goes beyond basics ▪ The online giant has officially launched its first own-brand fast fashion apparel collection called Find. Developed by its European fashion division, the label offers 500 womenswear items and 200 for men. The line could give a new dimension to Amazon’s fashion business, which so far has thrived on selling basics.



Walmart bets on AI ▪ If artificial intelligence lives up to the hype and becomes the most important aspect of cloud computing over the next years, Walmart wants to make sure it’s prepared. The retailer is planning to build its own artificial intelligence network cluster based on AI chips from tech company Nvidia.



Pottery Barn unveils flagship ▪ The home furnishing giant debuts with a new retail concept in New York. The store, due to open this week, will offer an assortment of multi-functional furniture as well as a complete range of distinct design aesthetics. Many products will be available for same-day pickup or expedited delivery.




What to watch


British-made in demand ▪ Manufacturers and retailers in the UK are reporting an upswing in sales, despite fears Brexit could hamper future growth. Its organisation body says there is a rising demand for British goods from Europe and the rest of the world.



Closure in London ▪ Marks & Spencer is reportedly planning to shut down its iconic Covent Garden store due to increased business rates. The site, which includes a food hall and a café, employs around 125 staff who will be redeployed elsewhere in the retailer’s estate.