The delivery competition in the US is heating as Instacart has cut its prices to take on rivals Amazon and Shipt, while on the other side of the world, a Hong Kong start-up wants to make international shipping easier. In the meantime, the Christmas spirit has arrived in the UK with Lidl and Tesco donating to the poor and lonely. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend




Friday, 30 November 2018





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The delivery competition in the US is heating as Instacart has cut its prices to take on rivals Amazon and Shipt, while on the other side of the world, a Hong Kong start-up wants to make international shipping easier. In the meantime, the Christmas spirit has arrived in the UK with Lidl and Tesco donating to the poor and lonely. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend

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Europe


Competition allegations ▪ Amazon's treatment of sellers has come under scrutiny in Germany. The country's antitrust authority has launched an investigation into whether the US e-commerce titan is exploiting its market dominance in its relations with third-party retailers who use its website as a marketplace.



Bittersweet exit ▪ After spending ten years at the helm, Unilever CEO Paul Polman has decided to retire from the business. Alan Jope, the current president of the company's beauty & personal care division, has been appointed his successor. The Guardian shares a look back at Polman's legacy.


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Joining forces ▪ British department store chain John Lewis has partnered with upmarket grocer Booths to launch its click-and-collect service in the latter's stores. The pair started a trial this week. Over in Poland, Carrefour Polska has teamed with a number of partners to promote organic farming in the country.




United States


Delivery rivalry ▪ Instacart has lowered prices on grocery delivery by a third, making the service a more competitive option than Amazon and rival e-commerce service Shipt. Meanwhile, a new study predicts a robust growth in the meal kit delivery market as main players continually fine-tune their offerings.



Health care initiative ▪ Retailer Albertsons has launched virtual health clinics inside five Safeway supermarkets in the Phoenix area. The self-guided telemedicine stations with artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology are reportedly scheduled to be rolled out in Safeway locations across the state through next year.



Ups and downs ▪ Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch enjoyed strong sales in Q3, sending its shares soaring. Not so lucky was Dollar Tree. The discount store operator missed analysts' estimates for quarterly same-store results, hit by a surprise drop in sales at its Family Dollar stores.




Asia


Easy shipping ▪ Hong Kong-based start-up Easyship aims to make international shipping for e-commerce as easy as payments. The company, which was founded in 2015 by former Lazada duo Tommaso Tamburnotti and Augustin Ceyrac, has closed a USD 4 million funding round to go ahead with the idea.



Japanese trial ▪ Seven-Eleven Japan is teaming with NEC to open a cashierless convenience store that uses facial recognition to authenticate shoppers and check them out. The move is regarded as a first step toward the eventual debut of unmanned stores in the country.



Top trends ▪ As lifestyles change, more and more Asian consumers are choosing to shop little and often. A new survey reveals that social shopping, technology and health are among the most important trends set to influence Asia’s grocery retail market over the next five years.




Laudable intentions


Ethical sourcing ▪ Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has signed a partnership with Dutch retailer Albert Heijn to make its private-label chocolate fully traceable from 2019, reflecting consumers’ growing interest in knowing where the raw material comes from.



Christmas spirits ▪ British grocer Tesco has launched its latest national Food Collection scheme in a move to help people in food poverty over the festive period. Meanwhile, competitor Lidl will donate Christmas dinners to charities, which are tackling isolation and loneliness across the UK.