The battle for online supremacy continues with Walmart in tactical talks to bring Google into its Flipkart operations, and a potential Alibaba rival is seeking serious cash to take on the internet titan. Meanwhile, eco-blunders are making headlines with Nestlé being criticised for its reneging on palm oil sustainability and Amazon lobbying against a plastic ban in India. Enjoy the read.




Monday, 02 July 2018





Hello ,

The battle for online supremacy continues with Walmart in tactical talks to bring Google into its Flipkart operations, and a potential Alibaba rival is seeking serious cash to take on the internet titan. Meanwhile, eco-blunders are making headlines with Nestlé being criticised for its reneging on palm oil sustainability and Amazon lobbying against a plastic ban in India. Enjoy the read.




Europe


Long-term alliances ▪ After news of French retailers Auchan, Casino, and Schiever Group combining forces in purchasing with Germany's Metro, Carrefour and Tesco also announced plans to form a global long-term purchasing alliance, as they seek to cut costs. Meanwhile, the British retailer is trialling a new app that will allow customers to pay for goods using their smart phones before leaving the store without visiting a till.



Environmental flipflop ▪ Nestlé has backtracked on its commitment to palm oil sustainability and as a result its membership to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has been suspended. The Swiss food giant failed to submit its methods for ensuring environmentally sound practices regarding the oil.




Asia & Australasia


Ally gathering ▪ Walmart is using its acquisition of Indian e-tailer Flipkart to unite companies together in the battle against online behemoths Amazon and Alibaba. Walmart execs have admitted that keeping minority shareholders on board at Flipkart was a deliberate move, with the company also keen to include Google as an investor.



Raising the stakes ▪ Chinese e-commerce player Pinduoduo (PDD) is planning on raising USD 1 billion in an initial public offering as it takes on internet giant Alibaba and fights for market share. PDD has become one of China’s fastest growing start-ups and saw its revenue triple to USD 278 million in 2017.



Up in smoke ▪ Australia has come up trumps in a dispute over the plain packaging of tobacco products, with the World Trade Organisation rejecting complaints by big tobacco exporting countries of intellectual property infringement and brand violation. Another 12 countries are set to embrace plain packaging in an attempt to improve public health.



Pro plastics ▪ Global retail majors Amazon and H&M are lobbying hard against a single-use plastic ban in an Indian state. The ban is likely to increase costs for companies but is consistent with the Indian Prime Minister’s plan to remove all single-use plastic by 2022.




America


Competition heats up ▪ Amazon’s private label brands are at an all-time high with nearly 80 original in-house products. Brands such as Mama Bear and Wag are turning up the heat on existing, established brands and are set to have a significant impact on the market.



Sports talk ▪ Nike has cause for celebration with its shares jumping 12% following news of a strong fourth quarter performance. Meanwhile, fellow sportswear giant Adidas has warned its US customers of a possible data breach that could have jeopardised contact information and passwords.



Rumour has it ▪ Apple seems set to launch a platform to compete with rival Amazon Prime. According to industry sources, the tech giant plans to combine all of its media offerings into a subscription service, with predictions of a Netflix-style streaming option to be added next year.




Interesting reads


End of an era ▪ The closure of Toys R Us is now official, with the iconic American toy shop officially shutting down its 800 stores on Friday. Check out what it was like to visit the iconic toy store for the last time.



Into the future ▪ The shopping experience is constantly evolving. Click here to read predictions by New Zealand commentators on the future of retail, including how biometric scanning will turn shoppers into ‘digital wallets’.