Collaborations and partnerships are inspiring us today. Purchasing platform Horizon has been launched by four major European retailers, while Walmart and Procter & Gamble partner up to provide clean drinking water. KFC joins in with Chinese folklore and dedicates a restaurant to the memory of a communist hero. Enjoy the read!




Thursday, 07 March 2019





Hello ,

Collaborations and partnerships are inspiring us today. Purchasing platform Horizon has been launched by four major European retailers, while Walmart and Procter & Gamble partner up to provide clean drinking water. KFC joins in with Chinese folklore and dedicates a restaurant to the memory of a communist hero. Enjoy the read!

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United States


Heating up ▪ Discount giant Aldi has filed a lawsuit against rival Lidl US and two former Aldi employees for passing trade secrets to its competitor. The discounter alleges that the ex-employees breached non-compete and non-disclosure agreements by taking jobs with Lidl, and sharing its confidential expansion plans.



Changing strategies ▪ Amazon is set to close all 87 of its pop-up shops throughout America and shift its focus to opening more bookstores. At Amazon-owned Whole Foods, workers who rejoiced the rollout of a $15 minimum wage, are now distraught that their hours are being cut, seemingly in a response to the wage increase.


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Collaborative practice ▪ Walmart and Procter & Gamble are teaming up to provide a global clean drinking water initiative that aims to raise 100 million litres in 2019. Meanwhile, Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan healthcare have announced that their joint healthcare company will be called Haven and aims to provide better healthcare for their combined 1.2 million employees.



Store closures ▪ Discounter Dollar Tree has announced it will close 390 stores, and refurbish another 1000 outlets. Lifestyle retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is also planning to shut up to 40 stores, despite a strong fourth quarter performance which saw same-store sales increase by 3%.




Europe


Fresh ventures ▪ Retailers Casino, DIA, Metro and Auchan Retail have received approval from competition authorities to launch their new purchasing platform, Horizon. Carrefour is planning to invest EUR 466.5 million in its Brazil operations including new stores and formats.



Innovative thinking ▪ Swedish retailer H&M is moving with the digital times: computer scientist Danica Kragic Jensfelt is up for a spot on its board of directors. French supermarket major Carrefour is using blockchain tech for consumers to trace milk origins.



Food, glorious food ▪ Leading British supermarket Tesco will now use 100% sustainably sourced cocoa in its own-brand chocolate. Norwegian grocer Meny has unveiled a new protein-rich bread range made of partly ground insect larvae flour, and Carrefour Belgium is reducing salt in its bread by 25%, with other products on the way.




Asia & Australasia


Partnering up ▪ Alibaba is getting cosy with a range of German brands to target Chinese consumers demands for European produced goods and ultimately lift sales. The e-commerce behemoth has also partnered with the National Basketball Association to enable Alibaba users access to original programming and merchandise.



Hot water ▪ Starbucks India is facing significant fines after it was caught profiteering from a tax cut. The coffee giant failed to reduce its prices accordingly when the government cut the goods and services tax (GST) by 13% in 2017.




Weird and wonderful


Locally inspired ▪ In a bizarre fusion of American capitalism and communist superstars, chicken giant KFC has opened a restaurant in China with decor that resembles a shrine to ‘quasi-mythical figure’ and communist hero Lei Fing. It is being hailed as an example of how American chains will do anything to win over China. Check out the video here.



Branded podcasts ▪ The popularity of podcasts is skyrocketing right now with celebrities and Fortune 100 companies jumping on board. High-end UK department store Harrods has taken notice. This week it is launching its first ever podcast series, Harrods: True Tales of Luxury which aims to share intimate anecdotes about luxury.