Tech innovations are a hot topic today, with inspiring ideas and ethical challenges aplenty. Walmart is encouraging customers to use the virtual reality trailers set up in parking lots and polemic facial recognition surveillance at a Taylor Swift concert sparks debate over how it should be used in retail and marketing. Enjoy the thought-provoking read!




Monday, 18 February 2019





Hello ,

Tech innovations are a hot topic today, with inspiring ideas and ethical challenges aplenty. Walmart is encouraging customers to use the virtual reality trailers set up in parking lots and polemic facial recognition surveillance at a Taylor Swift concert sparks debate over how it should be used in retail and marketing. Enjoy the thought-provoking read!

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US & Canada


Brand engagement ▪ Amazon has launched a marketing tool that will allow retailers to create their own customer reward schemes. “Amazon Moments” works across platforms and is available in over 100 countries. Meanwhile, the online behemoth has invited recently elected Democrat Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to visit its premises after she criticised the factories for their “dehumanising conditions”.



Reporting results ▪ Soft drink major PepsiCo is predicting a profit drop this year due to increased advertising spending, higher taxes and a stronger dollar. Further north, winter clothing retailer Canada Goose has seen its revenue soar by over 50% in its third quarter, largely due to the increased sales of its parkas.


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Teaming up ▪ Canadian cannabis company Tilray has partnered with Authentic Brands, the parent company of Prince Sports and Juicy Couture. The deal, worth USD 100 million initially, will centre around the development of cannabis-infused cosmetics, moisturisers and other beauty products.




Europe


Transfers and trolleys ▪ Lidl is set to buy 33 stores from French retailer Groupe Casino, who is continuing to strip away its loss-making assets. The agreement is worth approximately EUR 42 million. In the UK, Lidl is trialling miniature trolleys to encourage children to take part in food shopping and healthy eating.



Bouncing back ▪ Following a significant period of decline, British retail sales have seen a substantial year-on-year increase of 4.2%, making it the biggest jump since December 2016. In further positive news, London’s Fashion Week is expected to bring in sales of over GBP 600 million.



System changes ▪ Tesco is using a new accounting standard affecting the treatment of leases and will impact how its assets and liabilities are presented. The British grocer has said it will have no financial bearing on the company.




Asia & Australasia


Gaming glory ▪ E-commerce giant Tencent is reportedly in discussion with American video game publisher Electronic Arts to bring the latter’s popular new release “Apex Legends” to China. The move would strengthen Tencent’s reputation as a distributer of trendy international titles, after its success with Fortnite.



Toasting success ▪ Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates has published another record half-year profit with a 17% jump in profits to AUS 219 million. The impressive hike is largely being attributed to growth in China, with further growth of 50% in three years being forecast.




Talking tech


Seeing is believing ▪ Walmart is embracing virtual reality tech with gusto and is bringing trailers equipped with the tech into its parking facilities. Consumers will experience the DreamWorks animation “How to Train Your Dragon” through a specialised chair and headset, which will seemingly bring to life the film through visuals and smell.



Innovative and invasive ▪ The facial recognition industry is worth billions, goes largely unregulated, and is quickly becoming a commercial tool for retailers and marketers with the installation of “data metric smart cameras” at popular events such as concerts, sports games and malls. The ethics are murky, with privacy advocates aghast at the stealthy way data is collected without consent.



New era predictions ▪ Technology is rapidly changing how the retail world operates, with new innovations trialled and piloted daily. Forbes has released their top four picks of how companies will gain “mindshare” with customers in 2019.