There are some fascinating tech innovations in today’s edition. Luxury watch-maker Omega has teamed with AMSilk to launch a wrist band made from synthetic spider silk, and artificial intelligence innovations are rapidly becoming part of the mainstream shopping experience. Enjoy the read and don’t forget to share.




Tuesday, 29 January 2019





Hello ,

There are some fascinating tech innovations in today’s edition. Luxury watch-maker Omega has teamed with AMSilk to launch a wrist band made from synthetic spider silk, and artificial intelligence innovations are rapidly becoming part of the mainstream shopping experience. Enjoy the read and don’t forget to share.




United States


Successful bidder ▪ Walgreens has topped the bidding war for bankrupt retailer Shopko. The pharmacy giant scooped up the 63 Shopko pharmacies in a USD 52 million sale that has approval from the United State Bankruptcy Court.



Fishy business ▪ Walmart and tuna catching company StarKist have reached an agreement over antitrust allegations brought by the retail giant in 2016. StarKist will pay USD 20.5 million after pleading guilty to fixing prices on shelf-sold seafood in the United States. Other major US companies including Kroger, Hy-Vee and Meijer have also sued the tuna provider but have yet to reach a settlement.



Domino effect ▪ The decline of iconic retailer Toys ‘R’ Us in the United States has caused another decline – on toy sales nationally. In 2018 there was a 2% decrease in the sales of toys, down to USD 21.6 billion from USD 22 billion in 2017.




Europe


Top dog ▪ Frozen food major Iceland has taken out the award as the UK’s top supermarket for customer service. The figures announced by The Institute of Customer Service saw the supermarket chain score 83.2 against a national average of 77.7.



Green light given ▪ A proposal for a 30,000 square foot retail development around London’s iconic Oxford Street has been approved as part of a project estimated to cost GBP 300 million. Meanwhile, Lidl Ireland is jumping into the home delivery game and mitigating potential costs by outsourcing deliveries to third party provider Buymie.



Progressive thinking ▪ Environmental ideas are circulating, with UK grocer Morrisons trialling paper bags for groceries and charging more for plastic bags. Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever is testing reusable packaging on major brands and Italy is planning compulsory origin-labelling of food.




Asia


Staunch approach ▪ Alibaba is vehemently continuing its strategy of ‘investing aggressively’ in the face of a challenging commercial environment and the growing hostilities between China and the United States. This comes as the US charges Chinese tech giant Huawei with stealing trade secrets and a global business plan based on ‘lies and deceit’.



New chief ▪ Walmart-owned Japanese supermarket group Seiyu has appointed a new CEO (in dutch), after almost a year of the position being vacant. Lionel Desclee has taken the top job and is tasked with rising to the e-commerce challenge against an aging Japanese population.



Eat fresh ▪ Sandwich giant Subway is launching its new-generation Hong Kong store concept at a University campus. The new store features an overhauled menu, bright decor and charging ports for smart devices. Check out the photos here.




Future thinking


Customised shopping ▪ More and more retailers are investing in artificial intelligence that allows them to predict customer behaviour and sway purchasing decisions in real time. Check out how AI is becoming mainstream and what it means for both retailers and shoppers.



Spidey senses ▪ German synthetic spider silk producer AMSilk has paired with Swiss watchmaker Omega to launch a watch strap made from a ‘Biosteel’ synthetic. The $270 watch is available for sale in Europe and boasts strength, flexibility and anti-bacterial properties.