French grocer Monoprix and Amazon Prime are making the grade with their merger, and Ikea also finds itself in a comfortable position while 125-year-old retail icon Sears may be nearing the end of the road. Asia continues to provide new opportunities both domestically and for the foreign market, and footwear classic Dr Martens makes waves on social media. Read on to find out more.




Thursday, 11 October 2018





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French grocer Monoprix and Amazon Prime are making the grade with their merger, and Ikea also finds itself in a comfortable position while 125-year-old retail icon Sears may be nearing the end of the road. Asia continues to provide new opportunities both domestically and for the foreign market, and footwear classic Dr Martens makes waves on social media. Read on to find out more.




Europe


Auspicious openings ▪ The launch of Monoprix and Amazon Prime's partnership is ticking all the boxes. The French luxury supermarket chain reveals it is filling more orders than anticipated with the online giant's delivery service. Currently contained to Paris, Monoprix CEO Schultz has stated the company hopes the new service can be extended.



Ikea expands ▪ Ikea is also on top of its game after reporting satisfying yearly sales results. The Swedish furniture leader has revealed plans for growth, hoping to expand its stores to countries covering half the world by 2025.



In court ▪ Asda is continuing its court battle regarding equal pay for shop floor workers and depot staff. Meanwhile, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis has testified at the trial of two former executives accused of an accounting fraud that wiped GBP 2 billion off the supermarket chain's market value and admits shock after reading the accounts just weeks after he started his job in 2014.




United States


The mighty crumble ▪ Previously the nation's top retailer, Sears is now facing potential bankruptcy in the face of overwhelming debt. The US-based clothing and home-ware franchise has a USD 134 million debt coming due at the end of the week and is currently in talks to arrange emergency financing options.



AI bias ▪ Amazon causes further interest this week as it reveals a secret recruitment tool that it has been forced to retire due to an unintentional gender-bias. The tool was intended to fairly review and rank applicants' resumes, however the artificial intelligence interpreted males as more desirable due to their higher profile across the industry.




Asia & Australasia


Success in the East ▪ Swedish sports retailer Sneakernstuff is looking ahead to Seoul and Tokyo after their upcoming opening in Los Angeles. US chain Shake Shack is likewise approaching Singapore, confirming long-suspected rumours, and will launch at the Changi Jewel shopping centre, which is still under construction.



Mergers and disputes ▪ In Japan, FamilyMart Uny takes a USD 1.9 stake in Don Quijote after selling its entire Uny unit to the retailer. Meanwhile supermarket rivals in New Zealand enter disputes as grocery chain owner Foodstuffs accuses peer conglomerate Woolworths of releasing misleading price lists.



Vin plus! ▪ Powerful Vietnamese corporation Vingroup has purchased the Fivimart line of grocery stores, and will be converting all locations to Vinmart supermarkets. The stores will stock products from other Vingroup enterprises such as VinEco and Vinmart Cook.




Recognising Success


Insta famous ▪ In a turn-up for the boots, legendary footwear retailer Dr Martens is being recognised for its hugely effective Instagram account, which has recently been called the best in the UK. The account has been using a combination of on-street photography and customer content.



And the winner is... ▪ People development organisation the IGA Coca Cola Institute has won an award for its developments in workplace learning. The Coca Cola supported institute provides integrated training guides for almost 200 businesses in the retail industry.