The clock has finally run out on Sears. The US department store icon filed for bankruptcy on Monday. Things are looking a bit brighter on the other side of the Atlantic, where Amazon is poised to install a fashion pop-up store with a difference, and UK grocer Sainsbury's is tackling loneliness with 'talking tables'. Get inspired and have a great day!




Tuesday, 16 October 2018





Hello ,

The clock has finally run out on Sears. The US department store icon filed for bankruptcy on Monday. Things are looking a bit brighter on the other side of the Atlantic, where Amazon is poised to install a fashion pop-up store with a difference, and UK grocer Sainsbury's is tackling loneliness with 'talking tables'. Get inspired and have a great day!




United States


Bleak future ▪ After not being able to make a USD 134 million debt payment, Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11. The department store operator plans to shutter 142 Kmart and Sears stores by the end of the year and begin liquidation sales shortly. Its CEO, Eddie Lambert, is expected to contribute to a financing package.



Meat supply ▪ Ahold Delhaize USA has broken ground on a "state-of-the-art" protein processing facility in Rhode Island, which will provide the retailer's stores with beef, ground beef pork and prepared meats. The company's banners include Stop & Shop, Giant, Hannaford, Food Lion and Peapod.



Strong performances ▪ Supermarket operator Albertsons posted sales gains and improved operating results for its fiscal 2018 second quarter, including soaring e-commerce sales. Revenue totalled USD 14 billion. Supervalu also reported an uptick in sales for Q2, just days after getting the green light to be acquired by United Natural Foods.




Europe


Joining forces ▪ French retail group Casino has signed a partnership with family-owned grocer Quattrucci, which will see 12 supermarkets and hypermarkets, located in the Île-de-France region and the Oise department, join the Casino network. The stores are specialised in fresh produce.



Strategic decisions ▪ Slovenian retailer Mercator has sold 10 shopping malls to Austria's Supernova but will continue to operate its hypermarkets in the centres. Meanwhile, Portuguese conglomerate Sonae has cancelled the IPO for its food business due to ongoing tensions in international markets.



Sweet casualties ▪ Germany's sugar refiners have issued warnings because of low sugar prices. Nordzucker, the country's second-largest refiner, expects to plunge into the red after its net profit tumbled and leading Südzucker also said that its earnings will fall.




Asia & Australia


Delivery merge ▪ Chinese powerhouse Alibaba will combine food delivery services Ele.me and Koubai into one 'local service company' in a bid to 'redefine urban life' and make it more convenient. The two business units currently operate in a total of 676 cities with 3.5 million merchants signed up.



Getting serious ▪ German hypermarket operator Kaufland is ramping up its investment in Australia with an additional AUD 60 million capital to assist in the roll-out of its stores. Meanwhile, Google is approaching the Indian market with a 'shopping tab' and reportedly negotiates with local players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm.



Advertising helps ▪ Australian supermarket major Coles reports a rise in sales, helped by its 'Little Shop' promotion. Fellow retailer Myer also bets on advertising. The struggling department store chain has revived its well-known 'My Store' campaign, hoping to re-attract its lost customer base.




Inspiring Ideas


Fashion fever ▪ Amazon Fashion will open its first pop-up store in London later this month. The shop is said to be more immersive, and in addition to featuring on-site stylists, a different category such as beauty, winter trends or fitness and wellbeing will be highlighted each day.



Talking tables ▪ UK grocer Sainsbury's is tackling loneliness with special tables in 20 of its store cafés. They have been designated for customers to have conversations. The scheme, Talking Tables, was developed in association with the Chatty Café Scheme, founded by single mum Alex Hoskyn.