A number of retailers are reinventing store spaces. Japanese convenience chain Lawson joined forces with China's Xianfeng Fruit for a multifaceted store model. Sainsbury's partners with Unilever to open ice cream parlours and Waitrose offers health checks. Across the Atlantic, Blue Apron launched its first pop-up. Get inspired by these ideas and enjoy the read!




Wednesday, 06 June 2018





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A number of retailers are reinventing store spaces. Japanese convenience chain Lawson joined forces with China's Xianfeng Fruit for a multifaceted store model. Sainsbury's partners with Unilever to open ice cream parlours and Waitrose offers health checks. Across the Atlantic, Blue Apron launched its first pop-up. Get inspired by these ideas and enjoy the read!




Asia


Buying stakes ▪ Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba has made a strategic investment in parenting portal Babytree, valuing the company at USD 2.19 billion. Over in Korea, BGF Retail, the owner of convenience store chain CU, has boosted its stake in fresh food delivery service Hello Nature to 50.1%.



Produce partnership ▪ Japanese c-store operator Lawson and Chinese brand Xianfeng Fruit have teamed up to open a ground-breaking new format in Hangzhou. The multifaceted concept combines aspects of fruit shops and convenience stores. More than 60 types of fruit products are on offer.



Portfolio expansion ▪ Indian online grocer Bigbasket will soon start selling branded beauty products and fresh meat on its platform. The Alibaba-backed company will also launch its own range in the beauty category and aims to generate 45% of overall sales from its private label business by April 2019.




Europe


Enhancing customer experience ▪ Sainsbury’s is teaming up with Unilever to launch Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlours in five of its supermarkets, while competitor Waitrose partners with healthcare company Bupa. The grocer is set to launch health checks across its store network. Health advisors will be on hand to offer assessments.



Scan, pay and go ▪ Belgium’s leading grocer Colruyt has introduced a new self-scan app which enables customers to scan and pay for their purchases with their smartphone without having to pass through the cash register. The app is currently being tested in some pilot stores, with a wider rollout up for consideration.


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Alexa speaks French ▪ France joins a rapidly growing list of countries offering Amazon's smart speakers. Starting today, users in the country can pre-order the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Spot. The expansion also includes a French version of Alexa, tweaked for the new market requirements.




US & Canada


Back to basics ▪ Hudson's Bay has agreed to sell its ailing digital shopping business Gilt Groupe to competitor Rue La La for an undisclosed sum. The Canadian retail conglomerate will also close up to 10 Lord & Taylor stores, including the Fifth Avenue location in New York, as it grasps for stability amid retail upheaval.



Irresistible offers ▪ Meal-kit service Blue Apron has opened its first pop-up store in New York, allowing visitors to explore its products in a unique environment. The start-up also announced a partnership with the New York Botanical Garden to raise awareness for sustainable gardening and cooking with fresh ingredients



Leadership realignment ▪ As part of a three-year transformation plan, Empire Company has shuffled senior management at its Sobeys supermarket and drugstore subsidiary. With the new appointments, the Canadian retailer is establishing a “truly national” merchandising team.




Unusual and remarkable


Chinese laboratory ▪ Carrefour, which opened its first high-tech store in Shanghai last month in partnership with tech giant Tencent, sees China as the ideal location to develop new methods for attracting shoppers. The French retailer is 'very positive' about the country and plans to launch more stores.



Celebrating beauty ▪ Cosmetics store operator Sephora is throwing itself an anniversary party and will host 'Sephoria', a multi-room event on October 20-21 in Los Angeles, featuring experiential and customised activities revolving around more than 50 of its most popular beauty brands.