Starbucks is ramping up the pace of store closures as competition and falling sales hit hard. The bosses of Asda and Sainsbury's received a rough grilling by MPs over their planned merger. Toys R Us is to close up shop in Australia, and even World Cup fans have less reason to rejoice, as beer runs low across Moscow. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share!




Thursday, 21 June 2018





Hello ,

Starbucks is ramping up the pace of store closures as competition and falling sales hit hard. The bosses of Asda and Sainsbury's received a rough grilling by MPs over their planned merger. Toys R Us is to close up shop in Australia, and even World Cup fans have less reason to rejoice, as beer runs low across Moscow. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share!




US & Canada


Caffeine struggles ▪ Starbucks is tripling the pace of store closures, with 150 US stores to be shut in the face of slowing same-store sales and intensifying competition. The coffee giant has also said that it will slow down its store expansions, and focus new store growth on under-penetrated markets.



Programme expansions ▪ Amazon has officially opened its Prime Wardrobe service to all Prime members in the US. The "try before you buy" offering gives customers a week to return items they don't want. Meanwhile, supermarket chain Publix is expanding its Instacart delivery service in Florida.



Community matters ▪ Walmart has announced over USD 17 million in commitments to the quality of life in its home region of Northwest Arkansas, with a focus on the arts and recreational amenities. The retailer also tweeted its shock at the fact that one of its former stores has been converted into a detainment centre for migrant children.




Europe


Tough talk ▪ The CEOs of Asda and Sainsbury's were excoriated by MPs during a parliamentary committee session discussing their proposed merger. The chairman described claims the brands would continue to be run separately as "baloney", and called the deal a "financial fix" for the two retailers.



Waste not want not ▪ The Central England Co-Operative is expanding its food waste distribution project to all of its stores, following a successful pilot. British sandwich chain Pret A Manger has launched its first reusable cup, which is made entirely from bamboo fibre and is dishwasher safe.


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Asia & Australia


Difficulties Down Under ▪ Toys R Us is to shut down all of its Australian operations in the coming weeks, with 700 jobs at stake. Baby products manufacturer Gaia Skin Naturals has been fined AUD 37,800 over misleading claims that products containing synthetic chemical preservatives were organic.



Retail redesign ▪ Australian department store chain David Jones is seeking to secure its brick and mortar future with a AUD 200 million redevelopment of its Sydney flagship. The seventh floor of the redone store will house Australia's largest footwear department.



Going global ▪ Luxury candy brand Sugarfina is expanding into Asia, with the opening of its first store outside of North America in Hong Kong. The retailer plans to open other locations in the territory, and continue expanding internationally through a series of franchise partnerships.




Raise a glass


Shortages brewing ▪ Moscow has been running low on beer, as eager World Cup fans drink the Russian capital dry. Bars, restaurants, and brewers themselves have all been struggling to meet the sudden spike in demand in a country where beer consumption has fallen by a third over the past decade.



Time for a drink ▪ Carlsberg has placed a time capsule in the foundation of its future head office in the Copenhagen district of Valby. The box includes a beer brewed with yeast created at the Danish brewer's research laboratory in 1883, and a book of greetings from employees who will work at the site.