There's a focus on the automatic today as international grocer Ahold Delhaize flexes robotic muscles, and Spain gets digital. Meanwhile, Alibaba and JD.com compete in the space of cutting edge technology. Delivery service Instacart furthers its pickup ventures, and Mexico gets to meet the Spanish Alexa. Have a good read!




Thursday, 08 November 2018





Hello ,

There's a focus on the automatic today as international grocer Ahold Delhaize flexes robotic muscles, and Spain gets digital. Meanwhile, Alibaba and JD.com compete in the space of cutting edge technology. Delivery service Instacart furthers its pickup ventures, and Mexico gets to meet the Spanish Alexa. Have a good read!

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Europe


Looking good ▪ Dutch supermarket leader Ahold Delhaize will be partnering with tech start-upTakeoff in order to create robotized warehouses, to help with packing and delivery for US stores. The retailer is also seeing healthy figures closer to home, with sales of EUR 3.47 and 1.27 billion across its Dutch and Belgian sectors respectively.



Uphill slog ▪ British fashion house Marks and Spencer's has seen declining sales in both its clothing and food sectors, in the first half, and doesn't expect things to improve any time soon. However, CEO Steve Rowe is convinced the brand is on the right track, despite the challenges.


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Online in Spain ▪ Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés is the first company in the country to join hands with AliExpress, and will be opening a pop-up shop for the Alibaba subsidiary in Madrid (in Spanish). Meanwhile, supermarket chain Mercadona is developing a Barcelona warehouse dedicated to online orders.



Southern success ▪ UK consumer group Co-op has invested in a GBP 45 million Bedfordshire distribution centre, which is set to create 1,200 jobs. Meanwhile, Westfield London turns 10 and has been named as England's best-performing shopping centre in a recent report.




Asia


Looking ahead ▪ Both of China's e-retail titans - Alibaba and competitor JD.com - are wading into automated waters. JD.com has revealed multiple new cutting edge products over the last year, from drones to self-driving trucks, while Alibaba is set to unveil an automated hotel - complete with robotic concierges.



Chicken for China ▪ Russia will soon be tapping China's frozen food market, with plans to start supplying the country with poultry by the end of the year. Russia's domestic production has increased after Western import disputes, and the Chinese market will provide a valuable source of exportation.




USA and South America


AI in Mexico ▪ Spanish language versions of Amazon Echo are set to hit Mexico this week, with online ordering already available for Echo and other products. The online giant is also starting streaming services in the country with Amazon Music.



Convenient re-distribution ▪ US fuel distributor Hallum Inc is leaving convenience stores behind, and selling its retail holdings to energy co-operative Jackson Energy, along with its fuel ventures. Jackson Energy has an associated chain of convenience stores with a large presence across the US.



Curbside collection ▪ Grocery delivery service Instacart is set to go national with the launch of its curbside pick-up project, Instacart Pickup. The service, which will be rolled out to nearly 200 participating stores, will allow users to purchase groceries online, and collect them from their selected grocery store.




The old and the new


Fairy lights and adverts ▪ London is looking sharp for the festive season already, with Oxford street dazzling in a typical display of lights. However, not all is quite as bright, with some retailers holding off on traditional Christmas TV adverts, causing a tight season to loom for broadcasters.



Floppy phones ▪ And now for something completely different - Korean electronics giant Samsung has furthered development on its concept of a bendable phone, with a new prototype being revealed. The company has also stated its aims of investing a whopping USD 22 billion in AI by 2020.