The holiday season is in full swing with some promotions a resounding success, such as the ‘Harvey’s Angels’ choir visiting London offices and promoting new fashion. Others have not been quite so fruitful, with Cheesecake Shop’s promo resulting in in-store scuffles. Stay unruffled this silly season and enjoy the read.




Monday, 10 December 2018





Hello ,

The holiday season is in full swing with some promotions a resounding success, such as the ‘Harvey’s Angels’ choir visiting London offices and promoting new fashion. Others have not been quite so fruitful, with Cheesecake Shop’s promo resulting in in-store scuffles. Stay unruffled this silly season and enjoy the read.

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Europe


Striving for dominance ▪ It’s a battle of the German discounters with both Aldi and Lidl announcing expansion plans. Aldi is setting up shop in Lithuania, while Lidl is opening its first store in New York. The latter has also been identified as Spain’s largest client in the produce sector, with a 35% increase in spending to EUR 1.9 billion.



Paris riots ▪ French retailers have lost around EUR 1 billion in sales since the start of the ‘yellow vest’ movement last month, that has seen thousands of protestors rioting in opposition to President Macron’s economic reforms, fuel taxes and the cost of living. The French government has delayed a food price rise for farmers because of the protests.



Lewd misconduct ▪ Luxury fashion house Ted Baker is in hot water with plummeting sales and allegations of sexual harassment against its CEO Ray Kelvin. The company has removed an area at its HQ labelled the ‘Hug Zone’ after a petition accused Kelvin of enforcing a ‘hugging’ culture and asking female staff for inappropriate physical interactions.




United States


Shifting tides ▪ Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey will take on the additional role of chairman in April 2019, replacing Muhtar Kent who is retiring. Kent is making the most of his last few months in the role, this week refuting claims that soda sales are declining, claiming sparking beverages including water are on the rise.



New ventures ▪ Amazon is eyeing airports as its next venture, with the retail titan looking to bring its check-out free store format to hungry, time-poor travellers. Meanwhile, Amazon’s plans to enter Israel may be on hold, as taxation issues raise concerns for the company.



Female founders ▪ Leading alcohol beverage company Constellation Brands has announced its plans to invest USD 100 million into female-led start-ups to help diversify the traditionally male-dominated industry. Kick-starting the effort are Austin Cocktails and Vivify who will each benefit from funding.




Asia & Australasia


Setting a precedent ▪ The Australian government passed a bill forcing tech giants such as Apple, Facebook and Google to give police access to encrypted data. The bill, which includes fines of up to AUS 10 million for failure to release data linked to illegal activity, is likely to become law by the end of the year.



Unethical discovery ▪ An investigation into Chinese toy factories has alleged massive mistreatment of employees, many of whom are producing products for toy majors Hasbro, Disney and Mattel. The ‘nightmare’ working conditions include forced overtime and unsanitary living conditions.



Active play ▪ Singapore is set to be the home of the world’s Nerf family entertainment centre. Customers will be able to experience the foam-firing plastic guns in multiple activity zones around the 18,000 square foot space.




Publicity tricks


Marketing mishap ▪ A free cheesecake promotion in celebration of Cheesecake Factory’s 40th anniversary ended in a brawl as customers and DoorDash delivery drivers swamped the restaurants trying to get their hands on one of the 40,000 free slices on offer.



Fa la la la ▪ Luxury British department store Harvey Nichols has gone next level with its Christmas campaign, leading a choir of carol singers known as ‘Harvey’s Angels’ across offices in London. Each ‘angel’ is clothed in the retailer’s latest partywear, with items available on Instagram through shoppable posts.