Health is on the menu in the retail world, with Costco dropping a food court classic for Acai bowls, and even Oprah having a taste with a restaurant investment. Meanwhile, online grocer Ocado is dishing up expanded offerings with a shift into clothes and homeware. Tim Hortons has planned an entry into China, but a growing local threat is brewing. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share!




Thursday, 12 July 2018





Hello ,

Health is on the menu in the retail world, with Costco dropping a food court classic for Acai bowls, and even Oprah having a taste with a restaurant investment. Meanwhile, online grocer Ocado is dishing up expanded offerings with a shift into clothes and homeware. Tim Hortons has planned an entry into China, but a growing local threat is brewing. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share!




US & Canada


Online offers ▪ Amazon is giving Prime members USD 10 credit for its upcoming Prime Day event if they make a minimum purchase of the same value at Whole Foods. Hy-Vee has partnered with Shipt and Instacart, with the grocer saying that the tie-ups will expand delivery areas and same-day delivery.



Better bites ▪ A food court favourite has been disappearing from Costco's menus – its Polish dog; with the retailer experimenting with healthier alternatives instead. Oprah Winfrey has made an undisclosed investment in health focused restaurant chain True Food Kitchen, and will also join the firm's board of directors and act as a consultant.



Final goodbye ▪ The last Sears store in Chicago city limits is closing. The shutting of the 80-year-old Six Corners store marks a further step in the downfall of a retailer that has lost USD 11.2 billion since 2010. Nearby merchants have expressed concerns over the implications of the closure for the store's 113 employees.




Europe


Expanded offerings ▪ Online grocer Ocado has unveiled plans to use its warehouses to begin selling clothes and homeware. The e-tailer has also opened a second general merchandise warehouse in South London. Meanwhile, Coop Italia has announced a new private label line of personal care products for both men and women.



Green goals ▪ Food packaging company Tetra Pak has announced that it is halfway towards hitting its target of sourcing only renewable energy, two years on from making a pledge to do so by 2030. Kaufland Romania has said that it will reduce plastic consumption by at least 20% across all its operations by 2025.



It's not coming home ▪ Grocer Iceland said that it would close all its UK stores early if England reached the World Cup Final, with plans to shut shops two hours before the game, and to pay employees for their time off. Unfortunately for the supermarket's staff, however, the Three Lions lost their semi-final 2-1 against Croatia.




Asia & Australia


Deals and delivery ▪ Australian Post and eBay are challenging Amazon by teaming up to offer e-tailers a warehousing and delivery service which they say will beat the Seattle-based giant on delivery times. Walmart plans to sell its Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu, in what could amount to a JPY 300 billion to 500 billion deal.



Home focus ▪ Tencent's mobile payment service WeChat Pay will concentrate development on serving outbound Chinese tourists in popular foreign destinations, rather than offering more local wallets to overseas customers, due to the huge popularity of the service at home, the company has said.



Coffee clash ▪ Tim Hortons has announced plans to open 1,500 outlets in China over the coming decade. However, the Canadian chain may face a threat in the form of local coffee delivery startup Luckin Coffee, which, despite beginning operations only this year, has already seen itself valued at USD 1 billion in a fundraising round.




Staying healthy


Warning signs ▪ The Australian federal government has released a consultation paper exploring possible new sugar labelling methods for food and drink products, in order to help consumers make healthier choices. The suggestions raised included using visual depictions of the amount of added sugar.



Culinary compass ▪ Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has created an online platform enabling consumers to view the nutritional values of its private label products. The tool allows shoppers to find healthy alternatives based on their dietary needs.