Investing in innovative concepts and improving their existing offer are opportunities for traditional retailers to attract customers and beat the online competition. H&M, Coop Danmark, Australia's Woolworths, Whole Foods 365 and their store ideas are featured in this issue. However, closures are sometimes inevitable to survive.




Thursday, 01 February 2018





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Investing in innovative concepts and improving their existing offer are opportunities for traditional retailers to attract customers and beat the online competition. H&M, Coop Danmark, Australia's Woolworths, Whole Foods 365 and their store ideas are featured in this issue. However, closures are sometimes inevitable to survive.




Europe


Scandinavian debuts ▪ Danish grocer Coop Danmark has opened Irma Øko in Copenhagen, an organic supermarket and announced that it is expanding its convenience food concept by adding a breakfast-to-go range. Due to a decline in profits, Swedish fashion giant H&M will open fewer stores but plans to launch new off-price banner Afound.



Inspiring ideas ▪ Being in the process of launching bigger stores in crowded cities, Aldi is working with authorities in Berlin to build more than 2,000 apartments above its outlets in the booming German capital. Meanwhile, London-based online retailer Farfetch plans to roll out new technology to open the 'fashion store of the future'.


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Jobs at risk ▪ In the latest phase of its turnaround plan, Britain's Marks and Spencer will close down 14 more stores, putting nearly 500 jobs into uncertainty. Soft drink giant Coca-Cola is axing around 300 jobs in the UK as it announces to shut down a manufacturing site and a distribution centre in the country.




US & Canada


Tech projects ▪ Employee-owned supermarket chain Woodman's is rolling out a pilot programme that includes 'rapid checkout' lanes and hand-held scanning devices to offer shoppers quicker options. Canadian grocer Metro is about to test a scan-and-go system and increase the number of self-checkout machines in its store network.



Against all odds ▪ Consumer goods giants Mondelez quarterly profits beat analysts’ estimates, fuelled by strong demand for its key brands like Cadbury and Oreo cookies in Europe and growth in emerging markets. Likewise, fast food major McDonald's full-year performance stands out at a time when overall US restaurant sales and traffic have struggled to grow.



Take a tour ▪ ... at Whole Foods 365, which opened its first location on the East Coast, in Brooklyn, with a focus on lower prices and convenience. Although there are fewer SKUs on offer than in traditional Whole Foods outlets, the produce department is still impressive. Click here for images of the concept.




Asia & Australia


Woolies' flagship ▪ In its largest individual investment in a store, Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has opened a new location in Sydney, featuring expanded fresh food, ready-to-go meals and health offerings. The produce, including hydroponic lettuce, is kept cool with jets of mist.



Convenient developments ▪ 7-Eleven Japan surpassed 20,000 convenience stores in January, becoming the first retail chain in the country to cross the milestone. Meanwhile, the chain's 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings is reportedly being targeted for privatisation by Berjaya Assets, a locally listed diversified group.




What to watch


French decisions ▪ President Emmanuel Macron’s government will present measures to reign in supermarket price wars in an attempt to strike a 'balanced commercial relationship' after the 'Nutella riots'. At the same time, Monoprix, a part of Groupe Casino, is reportedly in advanced talks with Amazon over a partnership.



Chinese shoppers ▪ Driven by general optimism and helped by parents who benefited from the country’s fast growth, Chinese millennials are buoying the luxury market at home, where US$ 22.07 billion in sales were generated last year. Meanwhile, Alibaba targets the older generation by launching an “elderly friendly” version of its shopping app Taobao.