Tesco can finally get on with its mega-merger with Booker, although worried rivals are doing what they can to stop it. And retail giants around the world continue the cracking pace of innovation. Notably, JD.com’s foray into the increasinlgy popular concept of unmanned stores features technology reportedly more advanced than rival Amazon. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Thursday, 21 December 2017





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Tesco can finally get on with its mega-merger with Booker, although worried rivals are doing what they can to stop it. And retail giants around the world continue the cracking pace of innovation. Notably, JD.com’s foray into the increasinlgy popular concept of unmanned stores features technology reportedly more advanced than rival Amazon. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Europe


Tesco gets the nod ▪ The grocer has been given the final go ahead for its GBP 3.7 billion merger with Booker by the UK’s competition regulator. However, major wholesalers across the country are joining forces to appeal the decision, arguing it gives Tesco too much power.



Innovative ideas ▪ Dutch retailer Albert Heijn is testing new smart shelf labels which will allow customers to avoid checkouts. UK grocer Waitrose is ramping up in food innovation, doubling the number of chefs working at its head office and opening a new GBP 1.5 million development kitchen next year.



Fizzy records ▪ Tesco is expecting English bubbly to break records over Christmas, after demand for domestic sparkling grew more than 60% across the UK market this year. Equally successful, Italians are celebrating local beer production reaching a new record high with 14.5 million hectolitres in 2016.




Asia


Digital developments ▪ JD.com is opening hundreds of unmanned convenience stores, with the technology already through testing. Rival Alibaba has confirmed its first data centre in India will come online in January. The e-commerce giant first revealed plans to bring its cloud business there in June.



Noteworthy stores ▪ Coffee giant Starbucks has opened another mega-store, this time in Korea. The 1097 sqm store is four times the size of its typical cafés. Luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton has opened a spectacular store in Singapore Airport, featuring a full-size model of a 1930’s French plane hanging from the ceiling.



Collateral damage ▪ The escalating battle for control between China’s internet titans is expected to fundamentally reshape the meat industry. The comments come following Tencent’s purchase of a stake in supermarket chain Super Species earlier this month.




USA & Canada


Walmart makes it easy ▪ The retailer’s startup incubator, Store No. 8, is proving its worth with speculation hotting up over a number of new innovations. The discounter is reportedly working on a personal shopping service aimed at ‘busy NYC moms’ as well as developing cashier-free stores.



Amazon’s own deliver ▪ E-commerce giant Amazon is looking at what could be a bumper next year for its private labels after a study identified more than 40 of its own brands as high performers. Sales from its Whole Foods private label sales alone totaled US$ 10 million in three months.



Carb loading ▪ At least seven Canadian wholesalers and retailers, including three major grocers, are under investigation after allegations of bread price fixing. Loblaw has addressed the issue, offering affected customers a CA$ 25 gift card and saying employees involved are no longer with the company.




Interesting reads


Generation rent ▪ The fashion industry is picking up on the growing popularity of renting clothes embraced by millenials, with online rental subscription services on the rise. Equally, sharing sites dedicated to luxury goods – from glitzy watches to flashy sports cars – are making major inroads.



Amazon not so scary ▪ While most retailers tend to view Amazon as a threat that demands constant innovation from its rivals to keep pace, 7-Eleven CEO Josheph Depinto says he sees Amazon as ‘co-opetition’.