European grocers are fast-tracking eco practices, with Lidl looking to drop plastic bags in Wales, and Nestlé working on its cocoa sources. Chinese e-commerce keeps busy as JD.com makes a strategic partnership, while in the US online shoppers go for big names. Meanwhile, retail experts discuss strategies and market developments. Have a great weekend and enjoy the read.




Friday, 08 March 2019





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European grocers are fast-tracking eco practices, with Lidl looking to drop plastic bags in Wales, and Nestlé working on its cocoa sources. Chinese e-commerce keeps busy as JD.com makes a strategic partnership, while in the US online shoppers go for big names. Meanwhile, retail experts discuss strategies and market developments. Have a great weekend and enjoy the read.

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United States and Mexico


Ahead of the pack ▪ A study has shown retail stars Amazon and Walmart are leading the fray in online shopping in the US, despite a large percentage of participants shying away from the delivery market. Meanwhile, Walmart's Mexico outfit has seen a 5.4% rise in sales.



Disappointing results ▪ Retailing company Kroger has seen its Q4 profits take a dive, missing market predictions amid growing competition. Meanwhile, bookseller Barnes & Noble saw their Q3 earnings scrape a pass, but forecasts for the rest of 2019 have been lowered.


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Gear up! ▪ Iconic clothing label American Eagle is doubling down on its Aerie brand, with up to 75 store openings planned. Meanwhile menswear retailer Indochina has partnered with baseball league the Boston Red Sox, opening a second Boston location in the process.



Creative partnerships ▪ Department chain TJ Maxx is joining hands with social media and image sharing giant Instagram to launch 'Maxximizing', a game users can play by interacting with site via images of TJ Maxx goods. Meanwhile, homeware store West Elm is creating a new platform for itself via partnership with rental channel Rent the Runway.




Europe


Going green ▪ Discount giant Lidl is gearing up to stop the sale of plastic bags across its Welsh stores. If the venture goes well, the grocer will extend it to all of its UK outlets. The bags are currently sold for 9p and, if cut, will save around 2,500 tonnes of plastic per year. A cotton and jute alternative will also be available.



Eco action ▪ Another major company has announced a change in its cocoa business: Swiss food retailer Nestlé is developing a scheme to help stop deforestation and supply chain transparency. Meanwhile, coffee manufacturer Tropical Mountains is treating nature with respect.



Jobs at risk ▪ Royal favourite women's fashion label L.K. Bennett has gone into administration. 500 jobs are in question with five store closures guaranteed and online sales halted. Business will continue at its remaining stores while a buyer is sought.




Asia


Growing connections ▪ Online retailer and Alibaba competitor JD.com has opened a new store, Joybuy, in a partnership with Google. Joybuy will now be selling products on Google Express, a platform owned by the Alphabet search engine. The move comes after Google's significant investment in the company last year.



Promising ventures ▪ UK clothing label Manifesto has opened a flagship in Singapore's Mandarin Gallery, and features a Sahara inspired aesthetic (picture gallery). Meanwhile, South Korea's newly implemented smartphone payment service, Zero Pay, has gotten off to an 'abysmal' start.




Analysts view


Complex investments ▪ Spanish discounter Dia has seen difficulties following its massive drop in stocks, prompting investors to make increasing attempts to salvage the company. German Retail Blog interviewed retail heavyweight Stephan DuCharme about the undertaking.



Diversification challenges ▪ Retailers in Russia will need to look for new growth channels, as evidence shows that the rise of small-format discounting minimarkets is beginning to slow. Challenges include revenue cannibalisation and rising costs. LZ Retailytics takes a closer look at some banners and their performance.