Walmart is set to roll out its self-checkout technology. Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba has inked a deal to explore the Internet of Things and some European retailers have experienced an enjoyable Christmas trading season. Meanwhile, Swedish icon Ikea came up with a very quirky ad idea. Enjoy the read.




Thursday, 11 January 2018





Hello ,

Walmart is set to roll out its self-checkout technology. Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba has inked a deal to explore the Internet of Things and some European retailers have experienced an enjoyable Christmas trading season. Meanwhile, Swedish icon Ikea came up with a very quirky ad idea. Enjoy the read.




USA & Canada


Store experiences ▪ Walmart is expanding its Scan & Go technology, which allows customers to skip checkout lines, to 100 additional stores this year. Department store operator Kohl’s plans to lease space left vacant after shrinking some of its stores to retailers such as grocery stores and has already identified “a whole list of partners”.



Delivery options ▪ Sprouts Farmers Market has announced the launch of chain-wide home delivery in partnership with Instacart. August Access, a smart technology first tested by Walmart is now open to all US retailers, which means home deliveries are possible even when the consumer is away.



Expansion goals ▪ Lands' End aims to open up to 40 to 60 stores to grow sales to US$ 2 billion over the next five years. Currently, the multichannel retailer operates eleven standalone locations as well as 180 shop-in-shops at Sears. Independently-owned Bargain retailer Grocery Outlet plans to open 25 new stores this year.




Europe


Changes ahead ▪ Marks & Spencer has unveiled a GBP 25 million technology transformation plan as part of cost-cutting moves. It has also withdrawn its “cauliflower steak” from shelves after the product was ridiculed by consumers for its excess packaging and inflated price.



Temperature control ▪ Swiss retailer Migros has partnered with the start-up company Axino Solutions to launch a technology for its refrigerated food sections across its Zurich stores. The system uses specially developed sensors and can monitor the temperature of individual products.



Christmas Boost ▪ Sainsbury’s has updated its full-year profit forecast following record sale rises over the festive period. Specialist retailer Majestic Wine also saw strong Christmas sales, and Sweden's Ica Gruppen enjoyed a sales increase during the holidays as well as throughout the year.




Asia & Australia


Floating ideas ▪ Alibaba has signed an agreement with Taiwan-based integrated circuit designer MediaTek for long-term cooperation on the Internet of Things. The Chinese e-commerce leader is also exploring the possibility of listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.



Overseas adventures ▪ Japanese baby products firm Ficelle has made its debut in Thailand following a successful half year trial of online sales. The firm hopes to cash in on a growing luxury goods market. Tokyo-based company Muji, known for its minimalist homeware products, is set to open a hotel in China, its first hospitality project.



Developments Down Under ▪ Australian fashion brand Diana Ferrari is to close all its retail stores, but its shoes will continue to be sold online. The country’s iconic Violet Crumble chocolate bar is back in Aussie hands after family owned Adelaide business Robern Menz made a deal with Nestlé to acquire the brand.




Weird and wonderful


Preparing Early ▪ Swedish furniture giant Ikea has taken advertising to the next level by creating a printed advert which doubles up as a pregnancy test. Expectant mothers are encouraged to pee on the ad and, if pregnant, will be offered a coupon for a discount on cribs.



Have a drink ▪ Starbucks is now offering a 'blonde espresso' at all its US locations to lure in new customers who haven't yet developed a taste for strong coffee. Diet Coke is also getting a makeover after facing falling sales as people switch to other low-calorie fizzy drinks.