Belgium's Colruyt Group bets on a new 'vertical farming' system, Sweden's Ikea targets big cuts in greenhouse gas emission and beverage giant Coca-Cola is set to use recycled plastic. In the US, ketchup maker Kraft Heinz is about to extend its portfolio with healthier options, and Aldi fights slavery in Australia. Laudable moves, aren't they? Have a great start to the week.




Monday, 03 December 2018





Hello ,

Belgium's Colruyt Group bets on a new 'vertical farming' system, Sweden's Ikea targets big cuts in greenhouse gas emission and beverage giant Coca-Cola is set to use recycled plastic. In the US, ketchup maker Kraft Heinz is about to extend its portfolio with healthier options, and Aldi fights slavery in Australia. Laudable moves, aren't they? Have a great start to the week.

ADVERTISEMENT
 



Europe


Promising partnerships ▪ UK grocer Tesco and German car maker Volkswagen joined forces to develop an electric vehicle charging network across 600 Tesco stores in the next three years. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola European Partners will team up with Loop Industries to accelerate the use of recycled materials in packaging.



Done deal ▪ The merger of Canada-based Hudson's Bay Company's retail operations in Europe with German department store Karstadt, a branch of Austrian Signa Holding, is completed. This way, Signa and HBC now form Germany's leading department store operator.



Conscientious choices ▪ Belgium's Colruyt Group has developed a new 'vertical farming' system, which the retailer says will enable high-quality plants to be grown with a small ecological footprint. Swedish furniture chain Ikea pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its production by 80% by 2030.



Product and supply decisions ▪ Lithuania-based Maxima Grupė has established a new procurement arm, which will concentrate centralised purchasing competencies at the group. Over in Britain, Sainsbury's is set to introduce wellness hubs in seven of its stores, bringing together its entire range of health and sports nutrition lines.




United States


Addressing eating habits ▪ Kraft Heinz has agreed to buy California-based Primal Kitchen, which makes health-conscious dressings and condiments, as the packaged foods giant seeks to diversify its product portfolio to better compete with start-up rivals. The USD 200 million deal is expected to close in early 2019.



Thinking big ▪ Amazon is reportedly testing its cashierless checkout technology for bigger stores with larger spaces in Seattle. While the concept functions well in a small store format, it is harder to use in bigger spaces with higher ceilings. The checkout-free system allows shoppers to buy things with a smartphone app.



Mobile record ▪ Record making sales made from mobile devices over the Black Friday period hit the headlines last week. Now, Payment provider, PayPal said it saw a similar trend during the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday shopping event with USD 1 billion+ in mobile payment volume.




Asia & Africa


Ice cream deal ▪ Chinese dairy group Yili has purchased Chomthana, the largest domestic ice cream manufacturer in Thailand. The group said that the acquisition will enable it to expand its global footprint. Chomthana operates in its home country and 13 foreign markets.



Store debuts ▪ UK toy retailer Hamleys has entered the Japanese market with the opening of two large, theme park-style outlets. Meanwhile, fellow Brit Marks & Spencer has launched a concept store (with pictures) in Singapore's VivoCity offering its own-brand fresh foods and beverages.



Cape Town kick off ▪ Amazon Web Services will launch its first data centre in Africa in Cape Town in 2020, giving its customers access to cloud-computing services. The company's technologies will also speed up time-to-market for its clients, which includes South African retailer Pick n Pay.




What to watch


Cross-border potential ▪ More and more retailers have started selling their private product range outside their own country. Coop Italia has created a special division for the purpose. German Retail Blog asked Brian Sharoff, president of the Private Label Manufacturers Association, for his take on the subject.



Fighting slavery ▪ Aldi has welcomed the introduction of 'The Modern Slavery Act' in Australia. The discount chain operator said that it is already working with suppliers to stamp out slavery in supply chains. The laws that address the issue were passed by the federal parliament last week.