Responding to consumer demand for convenience, US supermarket major Kroger partners with Walgreens to pilot a hybrid pick-up service. In Britain, Marks & Spencer offers a speedy lunch service, and Finland's S Group shares collected data with its customers. Read about these initiatives, upcoming acquisitions, and major payment boosts in today's issue.




Wednesday, 03 October 2018





Hello ,

Responding to consumer demand for convenience, US supermarket major Kroger partners with Walgreens to pilot a hybrid pick-up service. In Britain, Marks & Spencer offers a speedy lunch service, and Finland's S Group shares collected data with its customers. Read about these initiatives, upcoming acquisitions, and major payment boosts in today's issue.




United States


Plus-sized purchase ▪ Walmart will acquire Eloquii, a fashion start-up that sells clothing starting at size 14. Plus-size apparel is part of a USD 21.4 billion market and represents one of the fastest growing segments in women's apparel. The retailer already owns online labels ModCloth, Bonobos and Allswell.



Payment boost ▪ After being criticized for substandard wages, Amazon plans to raise its minimum hourly rate to USD 15 for its US workers, and has also hiked wages in Britain. For context, CEO Jeff Bezos will still make more in 11.5 seconds than his lowest-paid employee makes in a year, says news portal Quartz.



Hybrid offering ▪ Supermarket operator Kroger is partnering with Walgreens Boots Alliance for a one-stop shopping experience that allows its customers to order online and pick up groceries at some of the drug retailer’s stores. The pilot will run over the next few months.



Top changes ▪ Department store major J.C. Penny has named Jill Soltau, a 30-year retail veteran, as its new chief executive officer, and Instagram has appointed Adam Mosseri to head up the social networking service after its co-founders' shock departure last week.




Europe


Coffee deal ▪ Italian group Lavazza will buy the coffee business of US food giant Mars in a deal worth around USD 650 million. The Mars unit includes two leading brands in the office coffee service and vending machine segments and will help the Italians to expand their global reach.



Shopping habits ▪ Finnish shoppers are about to find out what they spend their money on at the supermarket after leading retailer S Group gave customers access to their shopping history. Detailed shopping data has been collected for years through its popular loyalty cards.



Speedy lunch ▪ British department store icon Marks & Spencer has launched a new ‘Mobile, Pay, Go’ service, enabling customers to pick up lunch in under 40 seconds. The upmarket retailer has unveiled plans to roll out the service in six stores by Christmas, following two successful pilot schemes.




Asia & Australia


Indian cloud ▪ Chinese online powerhouse Alibaba is looking to expand its presence in India by taking its ‘new retail’ concept into the country. The company's cloud business has announced a partnership with DLF shopping malls and is reportedly in talks with more Indian major retail players.



Under pressure ▪ Upmarket chocolate and cafe chain Max Brenner's Australian business, which operates 37 stores, has gone into voluntary administration, citing rising costs and sluggish retail trade. The brand was created over 20 years ago and initially consisted of a small chain of chocolate shops in Israel.




Image Gallery


Birkenstock debut ▪ The famous German footwear brand whose roots date back to 1774 has opened its first store in the United States, in New York. It features the brand’s full range of products for women, men and kids, and its new natural skincare line. Click here for pictures.



Fresh hypermarket ▪ Germany's Marktkauf, a unit of regional wholesaler Edeka Minden, has overhauled one of its sites in Lower Saxony with a focus on freshness. The re-created hypermarket has the largest meat, fish and cheese counter in the region. Click here for pictures (captions in German).