Get automatic and get delivering is the message today, with Amazon's robots hitting Washington streets, and Alibaba's futuristic hotel service being showcased. Chinese rival JD.com is reaching hard to find areas, and with Sony another heavyweight is leaving the UK. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola gets ready for springtime in Japan. Read on and have a great day!




Thursday, 24 January 2019





Hello ,

Get automatic and get delivering is the message today, with Amazon's robots hitting Washington streets, and Alibaba's futuristic hotel service being showcased. Chinese rival JD.com is reaching hard to find areas, and with Sony another heavyweight is leaving the UK. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola gets ready for springtime in Japan. Read on and have a great day!

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United States and Mexico


Big moves ▪ E-commerce giant Amazon is getting its own automated delivery service up and running, with toy car sized robots, called Scouts, set to be trundling through suburban Washington, near Seattle. Meanwhile, the company has topped its previous record in the amount it spent on lobbying in 2018.



Raises and declines ▪ Supermarket giant Walmart is focusing its fleet of truck drivers, implementing pay increases and halving driver application and hiring time. The grocer is also working to stop online payment declines, with a technology solution being tested.


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Revenue decrease ▪ Despite China's receding economy, the US's retail market is on track to fall behind its East-Asian competitor. Forecasts predict a USD 100 billion dollar gap in the country's retail sales for 2019. Mexico has seen a slump in store revenue, with a one percent fall in sales predicted for the coming year.



Ebay re-focusing ▪ Online trader Ebay is being pushed to shed two of its holdings, UK classifieds site Gumtree, and online ticketer Stubhub, in order to zero in on its main business. The pressure is coming from two major Ebay shareholders, Elliot Management and Starboard, and is due to Ebay's declining market value.




Europe and Africa


Tesco updates ▪ The financial directors of Britain’s supermarket leader have been acquitted of 2014 fraud charges after Carl Rogberg, former finance director, was cleared on Wednesday this week. The retailer collaborates with chef Jamie Oliver over a new charity food waste programme.



Relocation relocation ▪ Korean tech giant Sony is picking a new home for their UK headquarters. The company is building a new base location in the Netherlands. The move will allow them to circumvent potential customs issues post-Brexit, and maintain their European business as-is.



African ventures ▪ French retailer Carrefour, along with multinational CFAO, has opened its first store in Senegal (paywall). The retailer is planning for eight to ten outlets in West Africa, along with three Supeco stores, by 2020. In Kenya, software giant Huawei has rolled out its new mobile series three months after release.




Asia


Automatic assistance ▪ On the topic of automated solutions, e-commerce giant Alibaba has developed robots capable of performing basic room service. The robots, among others such as facial scanners and bartenders, are being shown at Alibaba's FlyZoo hotel.



Tech solutions ▪ Online retailer JD.com has made a drone delivery to Indonesia. The delivery is JD.com's first such outside China, and reflects the company's focus on delivering to remote areas. The Amazon of Japan, Rakuten, has joined forces with network testing company Viavi Solutions for its mobile network.




Drinks selection


Pretty in pink ▪ Beverage retailer The Coca-Cola Company's Japanese leg is tapping into the springtime spirit in the country, with a line of cherry blossom themed bottles. The pink, flower emblazoned bottles are set to hit shelves this week for a limited release.



Capsule coffee ▪ Munich's city-centre has seen the re-opening of a nearly 500sqm Nespresso shop (picture gallery, in German). The store showcases Nespresso's capsule coffee in a boutique environment, and allows customers an immersive, in-home experience.