Amazon saw huge gains over the holiday season, but other retailers haven't been feeling so festive. Mattel reported a large loss in the fourth quarter, Unilever is struggling with profit problems, and job cuts are in the pipeline for Sears and Britain’s Morrisons. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share.




Friday, 02 February 2018





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Amazon saw huge gains over the holiday season, but other retailers haven't been feeling so festive. Mattel reported a large loss in the fourth quarter, Unilever is struggling with profit problems, and job cuts are in the pipeline for Sears and Britain’s Morrisons. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share.




Europe


Changing directions ▪ Morrisons is planning to scrap 1,500 jobs as part of a restructure of its in-store management, and says it will create 1,700 new roles in the process. Also shuffling its approach is Unilever, which has been turning to new products to boost sales as it struggles to raise prices.



Parisian delivery ▪ French supermarket operator E.Leclerc has announced plans to launch a food delivery service in Paris in the face of competition from Amazon, with products to be priced 15-20% below those of competitors. LZ Retailytics says however that the move may be aimed more at its local rivals.



Choice of drinks ▪ Lidl has created a sommelier chatbot, accessible on its UK Facebook page, which picks up on key words to help shoppers find the perfect wine pairing for their meal. Rival Waitrose will begin selling small bottles of milk in the to-go sections of over 60 of its stores following a successful campaign by a farmer in Devon.




US & Canada


Amazon gains ▪ It was happy holidays for the e-commerce giant, which posted a net income of US$ 1.9 billion in the three months ending December 31st, its biggest quarterly profit yet. The company continues to expand, with convenience store chain Casey's General Stores now offering its Amazon Cash service across all its locations.



And others lose ▪ Toy manufacturer Mattel reported a net loss of US$ 281.3 million in fourth quarter, hurt by weak demands for key brands and Toys R' Us bankruptcy. Sears has laid off 220 workers primarily at its Illinois headquarters, which follows a January announcement of 100 planned store closures under the Sears and Kmart names.



Hurry up ▪ Walmart has asked its suppliers to improve their on-time delivery performance, with the threat of fines if they do not. The criteria were announced during a two-day supplier growth forum at the retailer’s headquarters in Bentonville.




Asia & Australia


"Ant-icipating" change ▪ Alibaba will take a 33% stake in its payment affiliate Ant Financial, in a step ahead of an expected IPO by Ant. The deal will replace the current system, under which the e-commerce giant receives 37.5% of the spinoff’s pre-tax profit.



Going online ▪ H&M has its sights set on China for recovery from a profit slump with plans to open a store on Alibaba’s Tmall next month. The Swedish clothing retailer is placing its bets on digitalisation after evolving shopping habits have led to depressed sales in its physical stores.



Coffee takeover ▪ Singapore’s competition watchdog has greenlighted Dutch beverage giant Jacobs Douwe Egberts’ planned takeover of Malaysian café chain and coffee manufacturer OldTown, claiming that the deal will not severely lessen competition in the instant coffee sector.




Unusual and remarkable


Coffee and notebooks ▪ Following the success of its café in Milan, Italy’s Moleskine stationary brand has opened a second one, this time in Beijing. Like its Milanese predecessor, which opened in 2016, the location is a combination of café, gallery, library, and store.



Super Bowl ready ▪ Target has transformed its Target Plaza Commons space in home city Minneapolis into the "Bullseye Lodge", in anticipation of the Super Bowl, which will be held in the city on February 4th. The discounter is opening the space to the public for the first time, with activities and snacks on offer.