The online heavyweights are at it this week, with French software company Orange partnering with Amazon, and Alibaba staying connected in Spain. South Korea's Samsung has made a controversial fashion move, and two US retail giants care for their pharmacy shoppers. Also, check out NYC's artsy new bookstore. Read on and have a great day!




Thursday, 13 December 2018





Hello ,

The online heavyweights are at it this week, with French software company Orange partnering with Amazon, and Alibaba staying connected in Spain. South Korea's Samsung has made a controversial fashion move, and two US retail giants care for their pharmacy shoppers. Also, check out NYC's artsy new bookstore. Read on and have a great day!

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Europe


Communication partnership ▪ French telecommunication company Orange is joining forces with online giant Amazon, with the two businesses pitting their voice technologies together. Users will now be able to make Amazon purchases through Orange's voice software, Djingo.



International express ▪ Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's delivery leg, AliExpress, is continuing its partnership with Correos, Spain's national postal service. The alliance has a goal of improving cross-border deliveries, and increasing smaller Spanish companies' international presence.



Smoking and drinking--safely ▪ Tobacco giant British American Tobacco is holding steady in a difficult market, meeting its yearly forecast, with targets bolstered by its foot in the market for cigarette alternatives. Meanwhile, liquor retailer Pernod Ricard is entering the chatbot scene with an interactive voice app for safe drinking.




Asia & Australia


Big funding ▪ Indonesian e-retailer Tokopedia has received USD 1.1 billion in backing, notably from Chinese powerhouse Alibaba and Japan's SoftBank. The funding will see Tokopedia expand, and marks a trend in investments into Southern Asia from Alibaba and others.



Fashion conflict ▪ South Korean software giant Samsung has partnered with controversial Italian fashion brand Supreme Italia. The clothing label has received backlash from US brand Supreme NYC for appropriating its name and branding. Samsung has stated the partnership has nothing to do with Supreme NYC.



Sustainable approach ▪ Australian supermarket major Woolworths has launched a new custom-made concept in Sydney. The Kitchen by Woolworths offers a wide range of organic fruit and vegetables, an expanded wholefoods range and healthy takeaway food options with a focus on sustainability.




US & Canada


Mobility moves ▪ Alibaba strikes again, investing in US-Israeli Optibus, a mobility technology company. Optibus has raised USD 40 million in funding. The company has seen major growth this year, and is planning for expansion into Europe, the US and Canada.



Healthcare dive ▪ Walmart is extending its relationship with pharmacy management company Express Scripts to offer affordable prescriptions. Supermarket operator Kroger offers a similar service with a new membership programme for pharmacy shoppers in collaboration with drug saving company GoodRx.



On the go ▪ Online giant Amazon is looking to the market of fast moving office workers with its new, small format Amazon Go store. The store has opened in Seattle, is focused on selling lunch foods on the go, and is part of the business's aim to open stores in work spaces.



Invitation to stay ▪ Office supply retailer Staples has launched a new concept in Quebec, Canada, featuring a co-working space called Staples Studio and a full-service café. A second location in Toronto is said to follow. The company also unveiled a new brand identity.




Lifestyle choices


Plant-based festivities ▪ British supermarket chain Tesco is boosting its range of vegan foods this Christmas after spiking demands. The call for vegan fridge and freezer foods has doubled this year. The supermarket has now rolled out a vegan party food line, among a variety of other festive foods.



Fashionable reading ▪ Iconic fashion brand Gucci has opened a new store dedicated not to clothing, but to books (includes pictures). The New York store provides a luxury, artistic environment. Books on offer will focus on the creative arts, including fashion.