There are some inspiring and amusing reads today as we slide into the weekend. The psychology behind consumer response to discount pricing is explored, as well as how customers expect to be recognised by retailers. On a more entertaining note, check out the vegetable-laden pool in China that is teeming with bathers. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend.




Friday, 01 February 2019





Hello ,

There are some inspiring and amusing reads today as we slide into the weekend. The psychology behind consumer response to discount pricing is explored, as well as how customers expect to be recognised by retailers. On a more entertaining note, check out the vegetable-laden pool in China that is teeming with bathers. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend.




Europe


Top changes ▪ German electronics leader Ceconomy has assigned a new CEO and CFO, industry experts Joern Werner and Karin Sonnenmoser respectively. Major Lithuanian retailer Maxima Grupė has also acquired Tomas Palevičius as CEO for its new International Sourcing operation.



Staffing matters ▪ Asda employees are victorious in a landmark ruling over equal pay, which could see the supermarket face a GBP 8 billion payout. Meanwhile, Lidl has created 400 new jobs with the opening of its largest distribution centre in Doncaster.



New appointments ▪ Marks & Spencer has appointed Samantha Hornsby as its new head of food online, after poaching her from rival Tesco where she performed a similar role. Department store H&M have hired Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower Christopher Wylie to drive their foray into data analytics and artificial intelligence.



Sweet and sour ▪ The war against sugar is ramping up in Europe, with the continent’s largest sugar refiner Südzucker announcing plans to close two of its factories in Germany. British fizzy drink company Britvic has enjoyed a 4.5% quarterly boost in sales following its shift to align with consumer preferences and offer low-sugar beverages.



Sustainability flop ▪ Major retailers such as TK Maxx, Sports Direct and Amazon have been slammed by the Environmental Audit Committee for their poor commitment to offsetting their environmental impact. Retailers Tesco, Primark and M&S were applauded for being the most proactive.




United States


Tactical edge ▪ Amazon is celebrating a strong holiday quarter that saw its sales increase 20% on the previous year, while its outlook for the coming year is bleaker than expected. In further diversification, the global juggernaut is primed to expand its military influence by taking on a USD 10 billion contract with The Pentagon.



Top tech ▪ Online grocer Farmstead has launched ‘Refill & Save’ a new program which uses artificial intelligence to power self-learning predictive models of customer behaviour to avoid overstocking fresh food. In the footwear world, Puma is matching Nike with the release of its own self-lacing smart shoe.



Safe deliveries ▪ US courier giant FedEx is getting underway with its late-night order deliveries. The system is expected to help retailers compete with Amazon. The online major itself is under fire from an Ontario couriers union, over misuse of employee labour. The company has denied the accusations.



New ventures ▪ Dutch giant Ahold Delhaize's US supermarket chain, Giant, is rolling out a new pick-up service with online subsidiary Peapod. Another European original, UK furniture chain Oak Furnitureland, has opened its first US outlet.




Asia


Strong performance ▪ Alibaba’s shares have jumped 6% off the back of a quarterly profit report that beat analyst expectations. Despite its growth tracking at a three-year low, the company's gross merchandise volume – a key indicator of performance – grew by 29%.



Subcontinental shifts ▪ India’s new e-commerce regulations have sent Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon into a flap as they remove products and hastily readjust their structures. Meanwhile, Walmart Canada is partnering with Indian fashion-focused e-platform Myntra to connect customers between the two countries.




Weekend reads


Customer psychology ▪ Delve into the minds of shoppers with this read that explores whether promotional pricing actually encourages purchasing and check out this fascinating survey that explores the ways consumers want to be tracked by retailers.



One for the gram ▪ Chinese tourists would rather take ‘Instagram-able’ and ‘WeChattable’ holiday experiences over the more traditional shopping sprees according to new findings in China. An encounter that would certainly be worthy of a social media post is the ‘human hotpot’ experience at a Chinese hotel. Check out the video of guests soaking in a literal vegetable hotpot here.