Two retail leaders are betting big on e-commerce - French major Carrefour entered the online private sales market and Walmart transforms a number of its Sam's Club locations into fulfilment centres. Some eccentric innovations are also featured in today's issue such as intelligent toothbrushes and humanoid robots. Enjoy the read!




Friday, 12 January 2018





Hello ,

Two retail leaders are betting big on e-commerce - French major Carrefour entered the online private sales market and Walmart transforms a number of its Sam's Club locations into fulfilment centres. Some eccentric innovations are also featured in today's issue such as intelligent toothbrushes and humanoid robots. Enjoy the read!




Europe


France goes digital ▪ Carrefour has agreed to acquire a 17% stake in online fashion retailer Showroomprivé to develop its omnichannel offerings. The move comes after rival Casino agreed to an e-commerce partnership with UK's Ocado. Compatriot Leclerc has also revealed plans (paywall) to pour EUR 1 billion into its digital operations.



Organic alliance ▪ French retail group Les Mousquetaires has announced that it acquired a minority stake in grocer Les Comptoirs de la Bio. The deal - labelled a 'marriage of convenience' as both cooperatives operate within the same geographies - will fuel the former's growth in the fast-growing organic segment in France.



Focus on luxury ▪ Gucci-owner Kering plans to spin off German sports brand Puma to the French conglomerate’s shareholders to develop its premium brands. On Wednesday, the Italian icon has opened Gucci Garden in Florence, a concept store combined with a restaurant and a museum. Click here for images.



Challenges ahead ▪ Britain's biggest retailers have reported their Christmas results this week, with some enjoying healthy festive takings, while others issued profit warnings. The Guardian names the winners and losers and LZ Retailytics reckons that there will be a challenging year ahead for UK grocers.




USA & Canada


Walmart's decisions ▪ The world's leading retailer is closing 63 Sam's Club stores across the country with about 10 of them to be transformed into e-commerce distribution sites. The news follows the announcement that Walmart will raise entry-level wages for employees as it benefits from the big overhaul of the US tax code.



Lidl's impact ▪ The German discount chain has put the US grocery industry in "a state of turmoil" according to a new study by the University of North Carolina. In terms of price cutting, Lidl puts more pressure on its American rivals than Amazon or Walmart.



Next steps ▪ Once-bankrupt electronics chain Circuit City will relaunch its website next month, with plans to open brick-and-mortar again in the future. Meanwhile, Pet supply retailer Petco is delving deeper into pet medical care with the expansion of in-store veterinary services.




Asia


Anti-aging acquisition ▪ Shiseido has purchased breakthrough technology from Massachusetts-based Olivo Laboratories. The US start-up is developing a material that mimics youthful skin and is intended to help the Japanese cosmetics maker to gain an edge in the growing field of anti-aging products.



Reporting results ▪ Japanese supermarket operator Aeon announced a 37% jump in third-quarter operating profit, helped by restructuring efforts. Fast Retailing's Uniqlo casual clothing chain generated more sales from abroad than from the domestic market. Group net profit in Q3 came to 78.5 billion yen.




Cutting edge


Smart helpers ▪ Colgate-Palmolive has introduced the first app-enabled electronic toothbrush with artificial intelligence, which will give feedback on brushing techniques, while UK online grocer Ocado trials a humanoid robot that helps warehouse workers, predicting their needs and hand them tools.



The show must go on ▪ The Consumer Electronics Show, which finishes today in Las Vegas, has evolved from a marketplace for quirky gadgets to a battleground of the tech titans. Some insiders think that the event has outgrown its shell and needs to move to an innovative city in the future.