Australia's Woolworths, Britain's Marks & Spencer and German sports brand Adidas are all betting on artificial intelligence to improve shopper experience. US pharma giant Johnson & Johnson and Apple also have the customer in mind with a joint health initiative. Read about these moves in today's newsletter and have a great day.




Tuesday, 22 January 2019





Hello ,

Australia's Woolworths, Britain's Marks & Spencer and German sports brand Adidas are all betting on artificial intelligence to improve shopper experience. US pharma giant Johnson & Johnson and Apple also have the customer in mind with a joint health initiative. Read about these moves in today's newsletter and have a great day.

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Europe


Asset sales ▪ French retailer Casino continues to cut its debts and will sell a further 26 stores, hypermarkets and traditional supermarkets, to the Fortress Investment Group. The deal is said to be worth EUR 501 million and follows the EUR 100.5 million sale of six ‘Geant’ hypermarkets to domestic rival Leclerc.



Online offers ▪ German footwear giant Adidas has partnered Findmine, a US artificial intelligence platform provider, to help shoppers complete their look online. UK retailer Marks & Spencer has similar intentions with the introduction of a new AI-powered visual search technology style finder tool.


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Fresh look ▪ After a complete makeover, Swedish fashion retailer H&M has opened its new concept store in London, which marks a departure from the chain’s typical format with its bright white interiors. The design aims to create a more personal and welcoming ambience. Click here for pictures.




The Americas


For a safer space ▪ Amazon Prime Air researchers are developing a traffic management system designed to create safe airspace for drones. The subsidiary of the online giant is working with NASA and Single European Sky ATM Research to test it and also creating standards.



Healthcare partnership ▪ Pharma company Johnson & Johnson has teamed with Apple for a healthcare initiative. The companies will start a research study to investigate whether the latest Apple Watch, in conjunction with an app from the pharmaceutical company, can accelerate the diagnosis of a leading cause of stroke.



Solid performance ▪ Carrefour Brasil, one of Brazil’s largest retailers, reached USD 4.2 billion in consolidated fourth quarter sales, which represents a 10.2% growth from a year before. It was the company's first double-digit quarterly growth since the end of 2016.




Australia & Asia


Cutting edge investment ▪ Australian supermarket major Woolworths is working on a large-scale conversational artificial intelligence platform that it expects to run "at enterprise scale" in its operations. Powered by leading-edge AI and machine learning, the project will be used to create future shopping experiences.



E-commerce efforts ▪ Two companies of India's Reliance Group, Retail and Jio Infocomm, will jointly launch a new online platform in the country. Analysts regard Reliance Retail as an opportunity waiting to be unlocked as the company has been on an upward trajectory over the years.



Vietnamese base ▪ Ikea Vietnam plans to invest USD 450 million in a retail centre and warehouse system in Hanoi. Once completed, it will be the Swedish retail giant's main supply hub for the Southeast Asian market, where the company is steadily expanding its footprint.




What to watch


Space in demand ▪ Three-quarters of British warehouse owners say their space is full to capacity and storage costs have soared by up to 25% in the past three months after a surge in Brexit-related inquiries. A shortage of space is observed specifically close to major cities in the UK.



Fears and expectations ▪ It’s not Brexit, terrorism, or climate change that keeps CEOs awake at night. Instead, recession is the primary concern for 1,400 global business leaders interviewed about their biggest fears for 2019. On a lighter note, here are the top trends driving store growth this year.