A number of creative store concepts have caught our attention today, among them Starbucks' new roastery in Milan, where customers can experience the art of brewing coffee, and a French cognac label, which informs its shopper about distillation and the 'magic of the spirit'. Get inspired by their theatrical approaches and have a relaxing weekend.




Friday, 07 September 2018





Hello ,

A number of creative store concepts have caught our attention today, among them Starbucks' new roastery in Milan, where customers can experience the art of brewing coffee, and a French cognac label, which informs its shopper about distillation and the 'magic of the spirit'. Get inspired by their theatrical approaches and have a relaxing weekend.




Europe


Joining forces ▪ German department store chains Karstadt and Kaufhof are about to merge. Canada’s Hudson’s Bay, which bought the latter in 2015, is ready to seal a joint venture with Austria’s Signa Holding, which owns Karstadt. Major job cuts are expected at the headquarters of the two retail groups.



Sudden departure ▪ German discount chain Aldi Nord needs to find a new boss. Marc Heußinger has stepped down as head of the retailer effective immediately. His tasks will be taken over by his deputy Torsten Hufnagel for as long as the shareholders of Aldi Nord have decided, who will succeed Heußinger (in German, paywall).



Going green ▪ Danish brewer Carlsberg has launched ‘Snap Pack’, a glue-based packaging format that replaces the plastic film that is typically wrapped around a six-pack, while discounter Aldi has announced the next step of phasing out plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables in the UK.



Leadership appointments ▪ Britain's Marks & Spencer has recruited Jeremy Pee, a senior executive from Canadian retailer Loblaw, to be its new digital boss. Croatian retailer Agrokor has named Marin Poljak, who worked for Philip Morris, as the new president of the management board and head of its frozen foods business.




US & Canada


Challenging Amazon ▪ A group of workers at Whole Foods wants fellow employees to unionize, claiming concerns about the direction of the grocer in the 'Amazon era'. Chicago start-up Shipbob is also helping to cope with the online giant by offering smaller businesses to streamlining their processes.



Tech investment ▪ Texas supermarket chain H-E-B plans to build an innovation lab for its digital team and on-demand delivery service in a recently renovated industrial warehouse in Austin. The retailer wants the facility to be transformed into a “world-class” collaborative workspace for its members.



Crunching numbers ▪ Canadian convenience store operator Couche-Tard enjoyed a strong performance in the first quarter, revenue from its stores rose 27.6% to USD 3.55 billion. Electronics retailer Gamestop was not that lucky. Net sales from the video game software business fell 18.5% to USD 300.9 million.




Asia & Africa


Cashless payment ▪ Amazon has brought its Amazon Pay service to brick-and-mortar shops in Japan, where only 20% of all consumer transactions do not use cash. The Japanese unit of the US e-tailer has partnered with start-up Nippon Pay and is providing the service at dozens of small businesses.



Tie-up with start-up ▪ Chinese tech giant Tencent announced a partnership with coffee start-up Luckin, following the steps of rival Alibaba, which teamed up with Starbucks a month ago. The two new partners hope that the cooperation will create a new lifestyle of ‘smart retail’.



Out of Africa ▪ More than 60% of South African online shoppers have purchased from overseas retailers in the past year, with clothing the most popular item and the US the most popular place to buy from. This is according to a new report by payment provider Paypal.




Picture Gallery


Italian dream ▪ Starbucks has hit the home of the espresso and opened its first branch in Italy with an upmarket Milan “roastery”. The American coffee giant hopes to entice customers with a premium experience, but locals are sceptical. Click here for a video clip and pictures.



Spiritual experience ▪ French cognac brand Louis XIII, a unit of beverage giant Remy Martin, wants customers to experience the secrets of cognac distillation and the magic of spirits. Its first European cognac boutique in London is located at luxury department store Harrods. Click here for images (in German).