Online powerhouse Amazon is about to triple its distribution space in Latin America, while Chinese rival Alibaba expands its fashion footprint. Swedish giant Ikea bets on digital developments and one of the of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is investing into anti-smoking research, which causes some suspicion.




Thursday, 14 September 2017





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Online powerhouse Amazon is about to triple its distribution space in Latin America, while Chinese rival Alibaba expands its fashion footprint. Swedish giant Ikea bets on digital developments and one of the of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is investing into anti-smoking research, which causes some suspicion.




USA & Latin America


Mexican expansion ▪ Amazon is looking to take advantage of the country’s growing e-commerce industry and will build a mega-warehouse near Mexico City. The decision comes amid talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. Although being a relative newcomer, Amazon is already the nation's third-largest online retailer.



Smoke-free research ▪ Philip Morris has pledged up to US$ 1 billion over the next years to a foundation that will fund scientific research designed to eliminate the use of smoked tobacco. The cigarette maker says its future is in e-cigarettes and other smoke-free devices, but anti-tobacco campaigners are highly sceptical.



Planning ahead ▪ US discounter Target is set to hire about 100,000 workers for the holiday season, which is a 43% increase from last year. Retailers make nearly a third of their annual sales and generate nearly 40 percent of their profits during the holiday season, which starts a day after Thanksgiving.




Europe


Ambitions in Russia ▪ A new alliance, currently consisting of three regional retail chains, has plans to take a top position among the country’s grocery retailers. Its business model is at the early stage of a buying group according to LZ Retailytics. Discussions with other companies, mainly middle-sized regional retailers, are under way.



Upswing in Britain ▪ JD Sports proved that the athleisure obsession is far from dead. Its sales rose 41% to EUR 1.3 billion in the first half year. John Lewis enjoyed a nearly double-digit weekly sales growth and announced that it will shutter its Edinburgh distribution centre as the facility can no longer keep up with the company's expansion.


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Inspirations from Italy ▪ French retailer Les Mousquetaires has introduced Italian specialities line ‘Creazioni D’Italia’ in its Intermarché stores in France. Following an idea from an Italian-Dutch confectionery supplier, Dutch grocer Albert Heijn started a pilot by placing shelves of impulse items next to its self-checkouts.




Asia & Australia


Alibaba's fashion partnership ▪ The Chinese e-commerce major is teaming up with New York Fashion Week via its online market place Tmall. The deal will introduce American labels to the burgeoning fashion market in China, while also increasing the already-strong presence of Chinese talent in the Big Apple.



Southeast Asian moves ▪ While Singapore-headquartered supermarket chain Sheng Siong is on the hunt for new store locations, Ikea goes online in the region. The Swedish company is determined to launch an e-commerce site for both its Malaysian and Singapore markets.



Closures Down Under ▪ Australian retail spending is weak across all categories, but department stores are hit the worst. Melbourne-headquartered chain Myer says it will close more stores after its bottom-line profit tumbled. This comes after fierce rival David Jones also revealed a fall in sales last month.




Digital Living


Visualising reality ▪ Furniture giant Ikea is taking the latest step into the future of shopping with the launch of the augmented reality app, which was developed in partnership with Apple. It creates lifelike pictures of furniture in a customer's home.



Apple's squares ▪ The US tech icon introduced a new store concept, including outdoor plazas, indoor forums and designated boardrooms for local entrepreneurs. Apple doesn't call them stores anymore, but town squares because they are 'gathering places where everyone is welcome'.