Amazon is stirring up the industry by announcing it will close Whole Foods stores in the UK and further expanding into private label sportswear in the US. Retailers in China are experimenting with automated stores, and the Christmas season is nearly in full swing with the latest launch of festive ads. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Wednesday, 08 November 2017





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Amazon is stirring up the industry by announcing it will close Whole Foods stores in the UK and further expanding into private label sportswear in the US. Retailers in China are experimenting with automated stores, and the Christmas season is nearly in full swing with the latest launch of festive ads. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Asia & Africa


Unmanned stores ▪ French retail group Auchan plans to open several hundred of its Minute stores without checkout counters in China. Nanjing-headquartered multi-format operator Suning has launched its second unmanned outlet in Shanghai and aims to add another 8 to 10 such markets at the end of the year.



Branching out ▪ Leading Russian grocer X5 Retail Group has opened a trade office in Hong Kong to boost its imports from overseas. Similar representations in Central Asia and Latin America are in the planning. Italian baked goods manufacturer Bauli has opened a croissant factory in India, its first production facility outside of Italy



E-commerce in Egypt ▪ Cairo-based online grocer Knockmart Food Industries and digital platform Jumia Egypt have entered into a strategic partnership by launching Jumia Fresh with the ambitious goal to become the largest grocery and home appliance online marketplace in the country.




Europe


Detailed offer ▪ Austrian retail group Signa has disclosed the financing for its EUR 3 billion bid for Kaufhof, the German retail chain owned by Canada's Hudson's Bay. Meanwhile, the latter has finally appointed Milton Pappas as Chief Marketing Officer, effective immediately.



Amazon under fire ▪ The online giant plans to close two underperforming Whole Foods stores in the UK, but remains committed to the country. In other news, it was revealed that the retail disruptor is being sued in Germany for its use of the registered trademark 'Black Friday'.



Reporting results ▪ German online fashion retailer Zalando has posted a 28.7% increase in its third-quarter sales despite a “weaker than expected October”. Discounter Primark has bucked the economic downturn in Britain with a 19% surge in revenue to EUR 7.05 billion in its fiscal year.




USA & Canada


Scaling back ▪ Discounter Target is keeping its eye on stores that aren’t living up to expectations and will close 12 outlets across several US states. Iowa-based retailer Hy-Vee is slowing down the pace of its store openings as it evaluates the viability of large formats.



Fashion expansion ▪ Amazon's foray into private label fashion continues with the introduction of new sportswear brands. The additions will allow the Seattle-based company to challenge some of the biggest names in activewear, including Nike, Lululemon and Under Armour.



Digital alliances ▪ Price Chopper and Market 32 Supermarkets have launched online grocery ordering and delivery in partnership with Instacart. Best Buy customers can now use Amazon’s Alexa device to access its deals of the day. The command, “Alexa, talk to Best Buy” brings up tailored recommendations.




What to watch


Christmas calling ▪ After Asda and Tesco, more retailers have debuted their festive offerings in the UK. Kevin the Carrot is returning to spearhead Aldi’s sales push while Lidl's campaign focuses on showcasing its range of festive food. Check out the holiday ads here.



Product predictions ▪ Whole Foods Market’s global buyers and seasoned trend-spotters have compiled a list of the most anticipated food trends for the year ahead. Floral flavours, functional mushrooms and root-to-stem recipes are just a few of the picks expected to take off in 2018.