Two of Europe's biggest retailers have issued profit warnings. German online retailer Zalando and electronics giant Ceconomy have cut their forecasts, both blaming the hot summer among other reasons. Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the upcoming festive season. Get informed on the latest developments and feel free to share.




Wednesday, 19 September 2018





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Two of Europe's biggest retailers have issued profit warnings. German online retailer Zalando and electronics giant Ceconomy have cut their forecasts, both blaming the hot summer among other reasons. Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the upcoming festive season. Get informed on the latest developments and feel free to share.




US & Canada


Expansion moves ▪ Starting at Thanksgiving, Aldi and Instacart are rolling out online grocery delivery to all of the discounter's 1,800 plus stores across the United States. Meanwhile, Ikea-owned TaskRabbit, an online platform for small jobs, is entering Canada with a launch in Toronto and more cities to follow.



Amazon activities ▪ German automaker Audi has partnered with the online powerhouse and Electricity America to help kick-start its electric vehicle ambitions. In time for the holiday season, Amazon is also doubling down on its Alexa-powered devices with plans to release “at least” eight hardware products later this month.



Hiring spree ▪ Package delivery company United Parcel Service is set to employ about 100,000 temporary workers for the crucial festive season, up about 5% from a year earlier to cater to the e-commerce sector that is expecting heavy shipping volumes. This follows Amazon's announcement to upgrade its delivery fleet.



Disappointing settlement ▪ Card companies Visa and Mastercard, as well as several US banks, have agreed to pay up to USD 6.2 billion to settle a long-running class-action with retailers over swipe-fees. However, the industry associations say the new agreement does not go far enough as it fails to address efforts to change network rules.




Europe


Investors alert ▪ German international electronics giant Ceconomy has warned that it will miss this year's profit targets, (paywall) blaming the hot summer and unspecified “strategic initiatives”. Berlin-based online fashion retailer Zalando also cut its 2018 outlook for a second time in as many months, sending its shares plunging.



Eastern ventures ▪ German fashion discounter Kik, a subsidiary of the Tengelmann group, will open its first shop in Romania this month. Meanwhile, Lithuanian retailer Maxima Grupė is focusing on growing in Poland with new CEO Arūnas Zimnickas.



Store debuts ▪ Homeware retailer Habitat has unveiled the first of two stand-alone flagship stores in a shopping centre in London with an investment of GBP 1.5 million from owner Sainsbury’s. Rival Tesco is set to celebrate the launch of its long-awaited discount store format today.



Digital experiment ▪ French grocer Auchan is trialling Rapid'Auchan, a 'scan and pay' service for shoppers, which has been designed in partnership with digital marketing company Budgetbox and mobile payment app Lyf Pay. The service will be integrated with the MyAuchan application.




Asia & Australia


Portfolio diversification ▪ Extending its push into healthier drinks, Coca-Cola has bought Australia-based Organic & Raw Trading Company, known for its Mojo brand of kombucha tea. The soft drink giant is looking to expand its portfolio as consumers move away from sugary sodas.



AI initiative ▪ Chinese internet major Tencent will share its advances in artificial technology with other companies. The company's operating platform will enable enterprises across various industries to harness the capabilities of the AI lab on machine-learning technology, super app WeChat, and facial recognition.




Sustainability matters


War on plastic ▪ Germany’s Rewe Group has introduced mineral water bottles made of 100% recycled plastic, which it regards as one of the most important innovations in the water market. Across the Atlantic, British grocer Waitrose is set to phase out single-use plastic bags by March 2019 across all outlets.