Shoppers flock to discounters, and software develops this week as Amazon starts handing out free samples and drugstore chain CVS upgrades its health solutions. UK retail takes a hit, while Lidl prepares for Brexit, and wholesaler Metro turns a profit in India. Meanwhile, its time for your cat to get ripped. Read on, and have a great day.




Thursday, 10 January 2019





Hello ,

Shoppers flock to discounters, and software develops this week as Amazon starts handing out free samples and drugstore chain CVS upgrades its health solutions. UK retail takes a hit, while Lidl prepares for Brexit, and wholesaler Metro turns a profit in India. Meanwhile, its time for your cat to get ripped. Read on, and have a great day.

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United States


Amazon update ▪ In a largely unannounced move the online leader is testing out a free sample program, sending free brand samples to customers. Meanwhile, the company's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is undergoing a separation from his wife, author Mackenzie Bezos.



Healthy concept ▪ CVS Health is already putting its new acquisition, health insurer Aetna, to good use. The pharmaceutics retailer is set to open several concept stores, piloting a new model focusing on health and improving customer experience.



Room to grow ▪ Family owned discounter, Ocean State Job Lot, has acquired six former Toys 'R' Us outlets, and a long-term lease on a seventh. The Rhode Island-based retailer is looking to upgrade its customer experience and move into more spacious locations.



Coffee plans ▪ Starbucks is scaling back on its plan to open 1,000 upscale Reserve stores. The coffee powerhouse is instead setting its sights on a more moderate six to ten locations. The original, ambitious plan has been cooled due to the rising competition over quick coffees.




Europe


Supermarket struggles ▪ British supermarket Sainsbury's has seen a sales slump over the festive season, with British retailers all seeing the worst Christmas in years. Wallet conscious consumers have been heading to discounters instead, Aldi and Lidl seeing their biggest influx of UK shoppers yet.



Brexit imports ▪ German discounter Lidl has created its own customs department in its London office. The office will source customs staff, and work to make sure imported food still makes its way to its UK stores post-Brexit (paywall).



No tax relief ▪ After HMV's fall into administration, it has appeared that over the past financial years the entertainment retailer has been denied tax relief coming to GBP 3.35 million. This was largely due to restrictions put on property tax reductions.




Asia


Profit in India ▪ The Indian leg of German retailer Metro AG, Metro Cash and Carry, has turned profitable. The company expanded into India 15 years ago, and in another 5 should be turning over more than EUR 1 billion, says CEO Olaf Koch.



Network expansion ▪ Indian online electronics retailer, Rocking Deals, has revealed expansive new plans to open 500 new stores over the next 5 years. Meanwhile, upmarket luggage retailer Rimowa has launched a new store in Tokyo, its first standalone.




Tech world


Smart cycling ▪ Transport retailer Halfords has upped the ante on its latest bicycle, rolling out the world's first 'smart bike'. The bikes are called Cybics and support connection to Alexa. A voice-controlled display on the cycle's handle bars will give cyclists directions, weather and traffic updates.



Feline fitness ▪ Fat cats are adorable, we all know it, but for the health of flabby felines everywhere South Korean business Pet Ding has developed an exercise wheel. The cat-sized hamster wheel, called The Little Cat, comes with app-controlled laser light, perfect for a fluffy indoor friend.