Legal drama abounds in the retail world, with Heinz facing a multi-million fine over misleading marketing in Aussie courts, Walmart now defendant in a lawsuit accusing it of technology theft, and Chinese social commerce platform Pinduoduo under fire over accusations of selling counterfeit goods. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share.




Thursday, 02 August 2018





Hello ,

Legal drama abounds in the retail world, with Heinz facing a multi-million fine over misleading marketing in Aussie courts, Walmart now defendant in a lawsuit accusing it of technology theft, and Chinese social commerce platform Pinduoduo under fire over accusations of selling counterfeit goods. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to share.




United States


Going to court ▪ Walmart is facing a USD 2 billion lawsuit from Silicon Valley firm Zest labs, which has claimed that the Bentonville-based retailer stole its technology to ensure product freshness. Walmart has said that it will respond to the complaint in court.



Delivering challenges ▪ Supermarket major Kroger has rolled out a delivery service in four US cities in a bid to challenge Amazon and Walmart. The Seattle-based rival has in the meantime joined forces with several other retail companies to form a US Postal Service lobby group.



Ways to grow ▪ Starbucks is leveraging on food to ensure growth, with the opening of the first U.S. standalone Princi in the coffee giant's home city of Seattle. Starbucks has also finally confirmed its partnership with Alibaba in China, which will see it gain a presence on the e-commerce giant's Ele.me food delivery platform.




Europe


Joining forces ▪ Cosmetics major L'Oréal has signed an agreement to acquire natural cosmetics company Logocos Naturkosmetik, with plans to expand sales of the German firm's all-vegan brands internationally. French retailer Carrefour has partnered with NGO Seafood Watch, to monitor the sustainability of its fish supply chain in Brazil.



Farm talk ▪ British grocer Morrisons is allowing customers to choose their own eggs in 200 of its stores, in a bid to reduce food waste. The free-range eggs will be sourced from farms around the country. Irish retailer SuperValu has said that it will provide farmers financial support following the withering effects of the heatwave across Europe on crops.



When in Rome... ▪ Grocer Iceland has raised the ire of Welsh language campaigners after refusing to install Welsh signage at a new store in north Wales. The Welsh language has official status in the country, alongside English, but regulations concerning its use are not binding for the private sector.




Asia & Australia


Digital efforts ▪ Chinese social commerce platform Pinduoduo has landed in the sights of market regulators, who are calling for an investigation into accusations of sales of counterfeit goods on the site. Indian e-tailer Flipkart is set to launch a second loyalty programme, to challenge Amazon's Prime service.



Expensive effects ▪ The Australian consumer watchdog is calling for Heinz to receive an AUD 10 million fine, after the food giant was accused of misleading consumers by representing toddler-targeted products, which contained high amounts of sugar, as being nutritious and healthy.



Japanese moves ▪ Muji has opened a store in Canberra. The outlet in the Australian capital is the Japanese retailer's fifth location Down Under. Meanwhile, compatriot Uniqlo is launching an AI-powered digital assistant in Japan, which will offer shoppers personalised recommendations sourced from the fast fashion retailer's catalogue.




Going Green


Manure couture ▪ A Dutch start-up is looking at tackling an environmental issue with a rather odd choice for clothing material - cow poo. Founder Jalila Essaïdi says her take on bio-couture, which involves extracting cellulose fibres from cowpats, is more energy efficient than the normal textile manufacturing process.



Plant power ▪ A new study has shown that sales of plant-based products have increased across all categories, with a growth of 20% in the 52 weeks ending June 2018. The non-dairy milk category continued to take the biggest share, with a total value of USD 1.6 billion.