Instacart is in big demand in the US. Retail heavyweights such as Aldi, Kroger and BJ's Wholesale Club are eager to work with the popular delivery start-up. Global fashion chain Zara wants to attract millennials with the help of technology, and plant-based and paleo-driven foods are hot trends in the US. Enjoy the read and feel free to share!




Wednesday, 14 March 2018





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Instacart is in big demand in the US. Retail heavyweights such as Aldi, Kroger and BJ's Wholesale Club are eager to work with the popular delivery start-up. Global fashion chain Zara wants to attract millennials with the help of technology, and plant-based and paleo-driven foods are hot trends in the US. Enjoy the read and feel free to share!

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US & Canada


Delivery boost ▪ After a successful pilot, German discounter Aldi is expanding its partnership with Instacart by adding more delivery areas in the Midwest. Also extending their tie-ups with the delivery start-up are BJ’s Wholesale Club and supermarket giant Kroger, which will add 500 curbside pick-up locations to its over 1,000 existing sites.



Format adjustments ▪ Michigan-headquartered supermarket operator Meijer will pilot a small-format store concept this summer and plans to open six stores in urban locations. Florida-based competitor Publix is about to enter the next phase of its GreenWise Market banner, which 'celebrates speciality, natural and organic foods'.



Assembly service ▪ Following its acquisition of labour marketplace TaskRabbit last year, Ikea has officially launched a service in selected US stores to help customers put together their furniture items. The TaskRabbit offer comes at a time when the Swedish flatpack giant has to compete with Amazon, which now sells furniture.




Europe


Innovative concepts ▪ Romanian supermarket chain Mega Image, a unit of Ahold Delhaize, has opened an experiential store in Bucharest, which offers a blend of bright and spacious interiors within a historically significant setting. French retailer Auchan continues its rebranding programme with two more stores being refurbished.



Tech push ▪ Fashion chain Zara, owned by clothing retailer Inditex, will roll out augmented reality technology across 120 flagship stores around the world from next month in a bid to attract millennials. Rival H&M is also investing in technology for enhanced customer engagement.



Reporting results ▪ Spanish grocer Mercadona enjoyed a 6% rise in turnover (paywall) to EUR 22.9 billion last year but posted a slump in profit due to record investment. UK-based fashion retailer French Connection has posted its sixth consecutive year of annual losses but shares soared after it revealed takeover interest.




Middle East & Latin America


Pharmacy expansion ▪ Encouraged by strong market conditions, UAE-based pharmacy chain BinSina has unveiled plans to increase its footprint in the region. The company wants to open 15 new outlets. The chain currently operates 100 stores located in shopping malls, high streets and community neighbourhoods.



Licensing deal ▪ Starbucks has entered into an agreement with Brazilian private equity firm South Rock to fully license the Seattle-based coffee giant's retail operations in Latin America. The value of the deal was not disclosed. Starbucks has 113 stores across the populous states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.




Image Gallery


Food trends ▪ What's on the menu tomorrow? Plant-powered deli slices or paleo-driven products made with chicken, sausage and cauliflower rice. Check out the hottest food innovations that were on the show floor at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim.



First look ▪ Nearly a year after it closed down its retail operations, US apparel chain Bebe has re-emerged with a lifestyle concept store in New York. The shop has a modern, elegant look with a glittering 'bebe' sign made of 38,000 Swarovski crystals. Click here for the slideshow.