Season's greetings! It's that time of year again. Christmas is here and the RetailUpdate team would like to wish our readers, advertisers and contributors a happy Christmas and a safe start to the New Year. Enjoy our last newsletter for the year. We look forward to catching up with you again in January 2019.




Friday, 21 December 2018





Hello ,

Season's greetings! It's that time of year again. Christmas is here and the RetailUpdate team would like to wish our readers, advertisers and contributors a happy Christmas and a safe start to the New Year. Enjoy our last newsletter for the year. We look forward to catching up with you again in January 2019.

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Europe


Big tech ethics ▪ The security of Amazon’s data is once again being questioned. A German customer recently received over 1000 voice recordings from another user because of ‘human error’ by the global giant. Google is being pro-active and has launched a ‘responsible innovation team’ to review the ethics of its artificial intelligence.



Going green ▪ Consumer goods giant Unilever is set to buy The Vegetarian Butcher, a Dutch producer of meat substitutes such as vegetarian hamburgers and imitation meatballs. Meanwhile, the European Union have agreed to a ban on plastic straws, cutlery and cups that is likely come into effect by 2021.



Nestlé promises ▪ The Swiss food giant is supportive of the German government’s plans to cut sugar, with a commitment to reduce the sweetener in its products by another 5% by 2020. In Mexico, the foodie is investing USD 154 million in a new coffee processing plant.



Magic boxes ▪ Dutch grocer Albert Heijn is the latest supermarket to combat food waste, partnering with Too Good To Go, an app that allows the company to offer boxes of left-over fresh food at a reduced rate.




United States


Branching out ▪ Tobacco major Altria has signalled a shift away from its roots with the investment of USD 12.8 billion in e-cigarette start-up Juul. Meanwhile, Juul employees have received a memo banning vaping and Juul products in the office, to comply with a 2016 state law.



Beating expectations ▪ Nike is celebrating better-than-predicted quarterly results with footwear and apparel enjoying double digit growth globally. The athletic-wear company’s shares jumped a massive 7% following the news.



Partnership and profit ▪ Walgreen Boots Alliance is teaming up with tech company Verily to improve health outcomes and reduce care costs. The drug store chain has also reported a rise of 36.8% in quarterly profits, which saw its net income jump to USD 1.12 billion.



Label laws ▪ Consumers in the United States will see mandatory labels on food products that contain genetically modified ingredients as soon as 2020. Companies can choose whether to display a symbol, text or a digital link on the packaging.




Asia


Immersive shopping ▪ Alibaba’s Tmall is targeting luxury consumers with the launch of a new maison-style store format on its updated app. High end brands Valentino, Burberry and Bottega Veneta have all opted in to connect with younger shoppers.



Valuable allies ▪ In its latest round of funding, Indian food delivery service Swiggy has received backing from South African media group Naspers and Chinese tech major Tencent as it nears USD 1 billion in support. Meanwhile, check out which delicacies dominated Swiggy’s orders.




Weird and wonderful


Smart doll ▪ There’s a hot new Japanese robot on the market designed to bring you love. The ‘Lovot’ stands 16 inches tall and has been built to offer affection and friendship, essentially functioning like a pet without the mess. The USD 3000 e-doll uses deep learning tech to register behaviour and respond accordingly. Check out the video here.



Patriotic promotions ▪ Chinese Telco Huawei is getting a lot of love following the arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada this month, with tourist attractions in China offering free or discounted entry to those using the Chinese smartphone.