Amazon is in hot water following discoveries of objectionable and racist material for sale on its platforms. Meanwhile, Hudson's Bay and Signa have indicated their intent for collaboration. Alibaba is advancing its artificial intelligence offerings with a smart clothing store pilot that could transform clothes shopping as we know it. Enjoy the read and have a good week.




Monday, 09 July 2018





Hello ,

Amazon is in hot water following discoveries of objectionable and racist material for sale on its platforms. Meanwhile, Hudson's Bay and Signa have indicated their intent for collaboration. Alibaba is advancing its artificial intelligence offerings with a smart clothing store pilot that could transform clothes shopping as we know it. Enjoy the read and have a good week.




America


Weighty criticism ▪ Amazon has been criticised for allowing its platforms to be used to spread white supremacy. Click here to see images of the questionable items permitted for sale. Meanwhile, the multi-billion-dollar company is also coming under fire for its strong anti-union stance that is leading many to question working conditions and remuneration for employees.



Drugstore deal ▪ Walgreens Boots alliance has completed its agreement to acquire a 40% minority stake in leading Chinese pharmacy chain Sinopharm Holding GuoDa Drugstores. The acquisition costs USD 416 million.



Empowering decision ▪ Walmart has shown its support of diverse suppliers by launching a ‘Supplier Inclusion Showcase’ on its website, to highlight companies operated by ethnic minorities, women, gay and lesbian people and people with disabilities.



Positive progress ▪ Etsy has turned its fortunes around and its shares have tripled in the space of a year. The e-tailer, known for its vintage and handmade goods, credits its transformation with a change in management and more competitive strategies.




Europe


Possible pairing ▪ Austria-based Signa and Canada’s Hudson’s Bay have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore a possible joint venture. Separately, the companies operate Germany’s two major department stores Kaufhof and Karstadt, and there are whisperings of a potential merger on the cards.



Future thinking ▪ Lidl Switzerland has announced its commitment to removing disposable plastics such as straws and cups by the end of 2019 and is currently sourcing materials made from recyclable alternatives. Meanwhile, as the German discounter revises its American approach after one year in the market, check out what the experts are forecasting for its future.



Supermarket strategies ▪ Tesco has increased the size of its single-serve range by 40% to cater to British consumers who live or eat alone, a market worth more than GBP 20 billion. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s is appealing to those customers with a sweet tooth and plans to expand its Patisserie Valerie offerings to an additional 31 stores.



New concepts ▪ Carrefour has launched its first outlet and rural store formats in Italy. The rural store opened in Giaveno and boasts strong community ties as well as a focus on fresh, locally produced food, while the outlet store near Florence offers over 5000 discounted products.




Asia & Australasia


Style revolution ▪ Alibaba is taking its artificial intelligence tech to the fashion world with the introduction of a revolutionary pilot store in Hong Kong. Key features of the concept include smart mirrors, omnichannel capabilities, and intelligent garment tags.



Fame pays big ▪ Australian shoe brand Volley has enjoyed unexpected success following an unpaid celebrity endorsement and is now set to open 50 stores in China following a massive increase in online demand.




Interesting reads


Creative concepts ▪ UK Fashion retailer Matalan caused a fright over the weekend, with a publicity stunt designed to bring awareness to sunscreen use. Meanwhile, Nike has launched a new tech format called ‘Nike Live’ which caters to specific communities by reflecting local tastes, with the first store to open in Los Angeles closely followed by Tokyo.



Tech battle ▪ Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant lead the way when it comes to voice assistants. But which one is better? Analysts break the duo down and examine their pros and cons.