The retail world is investing in the future. Walmart is funding college degrees for its workers. KFC is cutting calories as part of a shift to healthier food in the UK and Ireland. Franprix delivers groceries when the customer is not at home, and China' JD.com has unveiled a self-driving truck. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share.




Thursday, 31 May 2018





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The retail world is investing in the future. Walmart is funding college degrees for its workers. KFC is cutting calories as part of a shift to healthier food in the UK and Ireland. Franprix delivers groceries when the customer is not at home, and China' JD.com has unveiled a self-driving truck. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share.




US & Canada


Employee benefits ▪ Walmart is offering its workers affordable access to a college degree, with the company subsidising the cost of tuition, books, and fees. At its latest annual shareholders meeting, America's largest employer also rolled out both a new, more relaxed dress code, and a scheduling app for employees.



Challenges for Amazon ▪ A proposed class action lawsuit has named the e-commerce giant among companies accused of using Facebook's ad placement tools to discriminate against older job seekers. Amazon has also kicked off a nationwide expansion of its Whole Food discounts programme for Prime members.



Going digital ▪ Arkansas-based Edwards Food Giant and Edwards Cash Saver supermarkets have stepped up their online grocery offerings, and rolled out a curbside pickup service. Customers at the chain's eleven stores will now be able to access their full catalogue online, and use click and collect shopping at four of these stores.




Europe


Arrival in absence ▪ French supermarket chain Franprix has started tests with delivering groceries to the customer’s home, while the shopper isn’t at home and is set to roll out the offer in Paris if successful. Walmart and Amazon have tested a similar service in the US.



Healthy options ▪ As people are more passionate than ever about eating well, KFC UK & Ireland has pledged to remove 20% of calories per serving from its menu, a move hailed as industry leading. The foodservice chain also plans to add more healthy and vegetarian offerings over the coming months.



Coming to agreements ▪ Russian retailer X5 group has announced a partnership with the Republic of Tatarstan, which will focus on innovation and new technologies. Polish retailer Eurocash has completed its acquisition of Mila supermarkets (paywall) from Cyprus-based Domelius Limited, with 187 stores involved in the deal.




Asia & Australia


Trade-in offers ▪ Ikea is set to start buying back its baby furniture in Japan to defend its market share against the growing trend of purchasing or sharing second-hand goods online. The Swedish furniture chain also plans to offer furniture rentals in the country within two years.



Truck technology ▪ Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has unveiled a self-driving truck, as part of moves to automate its logistics operations. The truck, developed at the company's research centre in the US, has already accumulated 17,000 hours of test driving on public highways.



Saving the Earth ▪ Mars plans to shift its Australian operations entirely to renewable energy, as part of a USD 1 billion global investment to reduce its environmental impact. The move is part of the company’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2040.




Weird and Wonderful


Cabernet conversations ▪ French retail group Auchan has launched its first vocal chatbot for food and wine. The chatbot, which contains over 1200 wine references, including both new and old world varieties, can suggest pairings, and make recommendations based on tastes and budgets.



12-10 win ▪ Adidas has scored a goal against rival Nike in the running to sponsor teams for the upcoming football World Cup. The sportswear brand will be providing shirts for 12 out of the 32 participating teams, including its native Germany, two teams more than Nike.