Google has cause for celebration as its parent company Alphabet reports exceptional returns. Alibaba is on the defence after well-known US brands accuse the e-giant of bullying tactics. Meanwhile, fraught Australian department store Myer’s has appointed a new chief executive to whip it into shape. Enjoy the read.




Tuesday, 24 April 2018





Hello ,

Google has cause for celebration as its parent company Alphabet reports exceptional returns. Alibaba is on the defence after well-known US brands accuse the e-giant of bullying tactics. Meanwhile, fraught Australian department store Myer’s has appointed a new chief executive to whip it into shape. Enjoy the read.




US


Highs and Lows ▪ Google's parent company Alphabet has experienced a massive profit gain, growing by 73% or US$ 9.4 billion in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the CEO of embattled retailer Sears is out to purchase some of the company’s more successful brands, following unsuccessful attempts at luring outside buyers.



Innovative swings ▪ In a move to further its investment in the Indian market, Amazon has increased its funding in fintech startup Capital Float by US$ 22 million. The e-tail giant is also generating hype around its plans to build a robot capable of performing domestic duties. Speculation is afoot that Amazon is considering a move into TV home shopping, with a possible acquisition of Evine Live.



Tech focus ▪ Walmart is urging suppliers to enter food into online tracking system blockchain, in an effort to better manage food safety issues and decrease waste. The US retail giant is also expected to visit Israel this week, with an apparent interest in Israeli technology.




Asia & Australasia


Battles ahead ▪ Alibaba is copping flak after reports have emerged the online behemoth is ‘punishing’ companies who refuse to sign an exclusive contract with them. Affected brands describe being blocked from special sales, having advertising removed and products no longer appearing in top search results.



New blood ▪ Retail analysts are hailing the appointment of Myer’s newly chosen CEO John King as a positive step towards revitalising the besieged department store. The former House of Fraser boss is expected to pursue cheaper store rent as part of a colossal effort to turn the retailer’s fortunes around.



Offline endeavours ▪ Tmall has opened its first physical store in its Hangzhou headquarters, in an effort to capitalise on the city’s policies around cross-border retail. The shop sells high end beauty and fashion items and customers complete transactions via smart phones.




Europe


Intriguing data ▪ Ad spending stats released in the UK reveal that Sky has jumped ahead of Procter & Gamble as the biggest spender on traditional advertising. In the supermarket sector, Tesco had the largest increase, while Aldi’s spending decreased by 32%.



Belt tightening ▪ In an apparent effort to cut costs, Nestlé has begun an appraisal process with a view to consolidate the US$ 633 million North American advertising business it does with approximately five agencies.



Sustainable supermarkets ▪ Dutch grocer Albert Heijn has been bestowed with an award for being the most sustainable supermarket chain in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, Coop Norway is doing its bit for the environment with the launch of its Plastic Clean-up campaign.




Moral quandaries


Online ethics ▪ The legitimacy of some online reviews have been called into question following a Washington Post discovery that merchants can secretly use Facebook to inundate Amazon with fake reviews. Meanwhile, the Facebook inquiry into data mining may have an impact on retailers.



Keeping quiet ▪ The luxury fashion sector trails behind other retailers when it comes to fair trade transparency. Brands such as Dior, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana have been the subject of much criticism for refusing to reveal information about their supply chains and the conditions for workers.