Politics are rife in the retail world, with China unveiling new proposed retaliatory tariffs against America, and Amazon copping flak for its 'insult' tax bill in the United Kingdom. And if you thought it was too early to start shopping for Christmas – think again. British department store Selfridges has launched their festive shop, complete with Christmas tree, a whopping 145 days out from the December holiday. Enjoy the read.




Monday, 06 August 2018





Hello ,

Politics are rife in the retail world, with China unveiling new proposed retaliatory tariffs against America, and Amazon copping flak for its 'insult' tax bill in the United Kingdom. And if you thought it was too early to start shopping for Christmas – think again. British department store Selfridges has launched their festive shop, complete with Christmas tree, a whopping 145 days out from the December holiday. Enjoy the read.




United States


Pilot with robots ▪ Walmart has announced the creation of a custom robotics system to speed up the fulfilment of online orders. The technology known as 'Alphabot' will be trialled in Walmart's superstore in Salem, New Hampshire, and is designed to bring items out of storage and deliver them to staff who assemble the customer's purchases.



Operations and recruitment ▪ Amazon is once again being criticised for its tax affairs, with the company's UK tax bill bottoming out at the lowest it's been in five years, despite profits significantly increasing. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos' special three-question test for hiring new employees is going viral.



Momentous milestone ▪ Apple has beaten rival Amazon in the fiercely contested race to become the first American company to hit the USD 1 trillion mark. The tech giant’s stock rose 2.9% on the back of the news.




Europe


Hot, hot, hot ▪ The intense heat-wave gripping Europe is wreaking havoc on farmers across the continent. Army helicopters in Switzerland are being used to deliver emergency water supplies to cattle farms, while German poultry farmers are negotiating with supermarkets for higher payments as they battle with an increase in the cost of animal food brought on by the drought.



Fashion firsts ▪ Luxury fashion house Burberry has revealed a total branding makeover, and is the first design change for the company in two decades. Meanwhile, the Van Gogh Museum has partnered with skate shoe icon Vans to launch a new range of shoes inspired by the artwork of the museum's namesake.



Never too early? ▪ Selfridges has taken the plunge and become the first retailer to unveil its Christmas shop, over three months before the big day. They aren't the only ones planning ahead, Simply Crackers have launched giant sized, custom Christmas crackers that can be tailored to company branding and filled with an array of bespoke gifts including cheese, jewellery and lingerie.




Asia


Retaliations continue ▪ China has fired the latest shots in the ongoing trade saga with America, and is promising USD 60 billion tariffs on US goods should Donald Trump go through with new threats of higher levies against Chinese imports.



Hostile response ▪ Alibaba-designed office app Dingtalk is facing harsh criticism from Chinese employees who say it is 'inhumane and destroys trust' in the workplace. Functions of the chat service include monitoring the location of staff, face-scanning to verify attendance at meetings, and task completion reports.




Stars and stores


Doing it different ▪ US retailer Hy-Vee has unveiled a new concept store that is a combination of grocery, health, fitness and pharmacy. It carries many of the cooperative's original store products such as fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, dairy and frozen food items. Check out an image gallery of the unique new format.



Star power ▪ American actor and former wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has taken the title for the best-matched celebrity endorsement for his collaboration with athletic-wear manufacturer Under Armour. Meanwhile, six-year-old YouTube sensation 'Ryan' has struck an exclusive deal with Walmart that will see his own line of toys for sale at the retail giant.