The global shopping event known as ‘Prime Day’ encountered some hiccups early on, when a computer anomaly prevented customers from placing orders. Across the Atlantic, France has concerns about the rising number of supermarket purchasing alliances and will investigate whether these violate competition standards. And it’s grim times for Marks and Spencer, as 350 store management jobs are cut in an attempt to survive the fiercely competitive market. Enjoy the read.




Tuesday, 17 July 2018





Hello ,

The global shopping event known as ‘Prime Day’ encountered some hiccups early on, when a computer anomaly prevented customers from placing orders. Across the Atlantic, France has concerns about the rising number of supermarket purchasing alliances and will investigate whether these violate competition standards. And it’s grim times for Marks and Spencer, as 350 store management jobs are cut in an attempt to survive the fiercely competitive market. Enjoy the read.




America


Phenomenal failure ▪ Amazon’s much anticipated Prime Day started with some glitches, when their website and app suffered technical hiccups and failed to load. Meanwhile, the online titan’s German workers are on strike, joining their Polish and Spanish peers to protest against poor working conditions



Solid growth ▪ US retail sales rose steadily in June, boosted by an increase in purchases of motor vehicles, building materials and food services. Economists suggest the positive growth sets the market in good stead for a robust second quarter.



Bouncing back ▪ Gymboree is coming back strong with a brand reboot, after filing for bankruptcy last year. The children’s clothing retailer is hoping its makeover will turn its fortunes around and is boasting a new store concept, a refreshed website and an app with augmented reality features.




Europe


Axe falls ▪ 351 managerial jobs at beleaguered retailer Marks and Spencer are on the chopping block as the high street chain continues to restructure and streamline the business. CEO Steve Rowe expects further redundancies as part of the plans to cut costs by GBP 350 million over the next three years.



Probing partnerships ▪ Following the recent spate of alliances between supermarket retailers, France’s anti-trust authority will investigate whether the collaborations jeopardise competition rules and how they are likely to impact on suppliers and consumers.



Suspension lifted ▪ Nestlé has been welcomed back into the fold by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and had its membership reinstated, following its belated submission of an action plan committing to environmentally sound practices regarding the oil.



Keeping it fresh ▪ Tesco tech expert Paul Wilkinson has switched positions as he takes on a new role as head of product for space, range and display within the supermarket’s commercial sector. Meanwhile, competitor grocer Sainsbury’s has announced a trial partnership with WHSmith, which will see the former’s food-to-go ranges stocked at the latter.




Asia


Cash injection ▪ Alibaba-owned food delivery platform Ele.me is pursuing new funding of USD 2 billion from investors to gain an upper hand in the bitter battle for market domination against competitor Meituan Dianping. Ele.me is valued at USD 9.5 billion.



Virtual money ▪ Many Hong Kong retailers are preparing to take bitcoin payments, using a point-of-sale device from Indonesian start-up Pundi X. The broadening use of cryptocurrency for retail payments runs contradictory to the stance of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority who maintains that bitcoin is not an adequate method of payment.




Interesting reads


Humanium Metal Initiative ▪ Swedish entrepreneurs have crafted a line of watches made from the melted-down metal of illegal guns seized by authorities in El Salvador. The repurposed metal is the first of dozens of planned designs that allow wearers to take a stand against illegal guns in developing counties. They are expected to retail for $279.



Hashtag summer ▪ Instagram is once again proving its worth as a valuable marketing tool, as companies worldwide credit it with their success. Fashion in India is being revolutionised by the photo-sharing app and the American swimwear industry is ‘on fire’ as year-round summers with insta-pics of bikinis at exotic beaches bolster sales.