Business models and future-proofing are on the menu today, with Ikea trying out furniture-leasing, and Alibaba looking to secure its cloud business. Amazon makes headway with new regulations in India, and Tencent-supported Maoyan has a slow trading debut. Meanwhile, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer try out new ideas. Read on and have a great week!




Tuesday, 05 February 2019





Hello ,

Business models and future-proofing are on the menu today, with Ikea trying out furniture-leasing, and Alibaba looking to secure its cloud business. Amazon makes headway with new regulations in India, and Tencent-supported Maoyan has a slow trading debut. Meanwhile, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer try out new ideas. Read on and have a great week!

ADVERTISEMENT
Banner





Europe


Rent and re-use ▪ Swedish furniture giant Ikea is testing out a new business model: rentable furniture. The retailer will lease out furniture items to customers, with a view to reselling them upon return. Rentable kitchens are also on the cards. The scheme will initially be trialed in Switzerland.



Store moves ▪ Lithuanian retailer Maxima Grupė's merger of the Polish Sano and Stokrotka supermarket chains has been completed. The Sano stores will be rebranded to Stokrotka over the next few months. Meanwhile, conglomerate Despar is opening two new Europsar stores in Italy.



Product progress ▪ The Belgian branch of French multinational, Carrefour, is calling an end to cotton buds. The retailer is replacing the plastic-based swabs with environmentally friendly, non-plastic alternatives. In another eco-sustainable move Dutch retailer Albert Heijn has developed several strains of lettuce produced on water.




Asia and Australia


Cloud retail ▪ While China's e-commerce titan Alibaba enjoys huge profitability compared to competitor Amazon, it may be left behind when it comes to cloud and physical sales. The retailer has begun to invest more heavily in cloud services, opening data centres worldwide.



Amazon world ▪ The online giant's India leg is seeing changes after the country's new FDI rules. Key sellers have been removed, with others coming in to fill the gaps, and delivery times delayed. Down under, Australian's are feeling the effect of the retailer's growing popularity.



Challenging start ▪ Online conglomerate Tencent's venture with China's largest ticketing app, Maoyan Entertainment, has seen an underwhelming debut. Maoyan's Hong Kong trading on Monday saw a drop of 1.4 percent. The company has stated they are committed to creating long-term value.




United States


Fresh ventures ▪ Discount giant Target is joining hands with online women's brand Flamingo. The brand, a subsidiary of start-up Harry's, will get physical for the first time in Target stores. Meanwhile, supermarket chain Hy-Vee is testing an app that monitors expiry dates.



On the move ▪ Dutch retailer Ahold Delhaize's online unit, Peapod, is making another round of deliveries, partnering with Californian logistics firm Deliv to support same-day service and one-hour delivery. Meal kit service Blue Apron is bringing out a new line of kits, available on partner Jet's City Grocery platform.



Closing up ▪ San Diego-based fashion retailer Charlotte Russe has filed for bankruptcy, and plans for almost 100 store closures. The womenswear franchise has stated they are still looking to sell the business. Click here for a map of the store closures across the country.




Future developments


Updated markets ▪ Department chain John Lewis is entering a partnership with Qubist, a social media app that will allow the retailer's staff an active role in marketing and promotion. Meanwhile, grocery giant Marks & Spencer has welcomed aboard ChargedUp, a start-up which provides phone-charging facilities for customers.



Cashless no more ▪ In the midst of tech developments and online manoeuveres, New Jersey is poised to become the second state in the US to ban cashless stores. If the law passes, stores will not be able to prohibit customers from making cash purchases. The measure only applies to point-of-sale transactions.