Online powerhouse Amazon has gained a grocery foothold in France. Rival Walmart also had its eyes on Europe when tapping a Tesco veteran as new Jet.com president. Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba intensifies its efforts to grow in Southeast Asia and Irish packaging giant Smurfit Kappa rejects a takeover bid. Enjoy the read!




Tuesday, 27 March 2018





Hello ,

Online powerhouse Amazon has gained a grocery foothold in France. Rival Walmart also had its eyes on Europe when tapping a Tesco veteran as new Jet.com president. Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba intensifies its efforts to grow in Southeast Asia and Irish packaging giant Smurfit Kappa rejects a takeover bid. Enjoy the read!

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Europe


French footprints ▪ Ending months of speculation, Amazon has signed a distribution deal with Casino on Monday. Groceries from the group's upmarket banner Monoprix will be available to customers of Prime Now. Meanwhile, French competitor Carrefour is reportedly interested (paywall) to buy Polish chain Piotr i Pawel.



Irish rejection ▪ Smurfit Kappa does not agree with the revised takeover bid from International Paper, valued at EUR 9.5 billion. Dublin-headquartered packaging giant says that the offer made no strategic sense and undervalues the group, which operates in 35 countries in Europe and the Americas.



British facelifts ▪ Marks & Spencer has unveiled a new clothing and home leadership team that will be responsible for overhauling the retailer’s non-food division. Meanwhile, Tesco is about to launch the new Google voice (paywall) ordering app, which adds the ability to select a delivery date.




US & Mexico


Changes at the top ▪ Walmart’s Jet.com division has named Tesco veteran Simon Belsham as its new president, reporting to CEO Marc Lore and focusing on online grocery. Home improvement chain Lowe's is in search for a new boss as CEO Robert Niblock plans to retire after 25 years with the company.



Latino banner ▪ Following a radical shake-up, Walmart de Mexico unveiled its first 'omnicanal' store on the outskirts of Mexico City. It combines regular shopping with internet purchases and drive-through areas. The model will be copied for all new supermarkets and refurbishments throughout Central America.



Fresh, fresher mushroom ▪ The expansive produce department of a new Whole Foods store in New Jersey offers something a bit different: a mushroom farm. The local coordinator is convinced that customers will find this 'level of innovation' very exciting as they get the freshest possible produce they can buy.




Asia & Australia


Thai expansion ▪ Competition in Southeast Asia is heating up and Alibaba is taking firm steps to ensure its footing in the region. The Chinese online giant is in talks with the government in Thailand to set up a logistics centre in the country as part of its aggressive expansion.



Payment competition ▪ Global card companies like Visa and Mastercard are losing market share to upstarts in India. Transactions through India’s homegrown Unified Payments Interface reached almost half the value of debit and credit cards swiped at stores last month according to central bank data.



Australian battles ▪ The A$ 100 billion-plus supermarket industry Down Under continues to be dominated by Woolworths according to new research by Roy Morgan. The market leader and Aldi could grow their respective market share in 2017, while rival Coles fell behind.




Weird and wonderful


Robotic interaction ▪ Robot posture and movement style affects how humans interact with them. But what movement types are reassuring or alarming? Disney Research investigated the possibilities of how a robot might approach a simple interaction with a nearby human.



Fighting waste ▪ In a bid to cut food waste in half, the Netherlands has launched a national programme, called United Against Food Waste. Retailers and FMCG companies as well as researchers are part of the initiative and the Dutch government will invest EUR 7 million in the project.