There are great technology innovations to be inspired by today. Walmart is tapping further into Israeli tech to streamline its point of sale processes, while Alibaba invests in enterprise and a news app. If you’re after a giggle to kick start your week, check out the ad campaign by Australian brand Budgy Smuggler, it’s sure to bring a smile.




Monday, 01 April 2019





Hello ,

There are great technology innovations to be inspired by today. Walmart is tapping further into Israeli tech to streamline its point of sale processes, while Alibaba invests in enterprise and a news app. If you’re after a giggle to kick start your week, check out the ad campaign by Australian brand Budgy Smuggler, it’s sure to bring a smile.

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United States


Security breach ▪ Jeff Bezos' security expert has announced that the Saudi Arabian government accessed the Amazon founder's personal mobile phone and took information from it. There is speculation that this material was then used by the National Enquirer in an attempt to blackmail Bezos last month.



Middle East tech ▪ Retail powerhouse Walmart looks to be teaming up with Israeli start-up SuperSmart to help develop a checkout-less service, similar to Amazon Go. The Israeli company currently works openly with two other retailers and is conducting pilots in various stages at a number of other chains in Europe.


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Expansion strategies ▪ Discount chain Five Below is ploughing ahead with development plans, and intends to open at least 145 new stores in 2019. Red Bull is expanding into restaurants, with drive-in chain Sonic to start selling the beverage, while Coca-Cola is taking on the energy drink giant with its own offering.




Asia & Australasia


Selling up ▪ Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has announced it will close 30 of its floundering Big W stores over the next three years. The exit cost is predicted to be AUS 270 million and the company’s shares jumped 2.2% on the back of the news.



Conflicting views ▪ Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has warned that the European Union risks a trade war if it continues its ‘grossly unfair’ plans to reduce the use of palm oil. The EU plans on cutting the use of the commodity for environmental reasons, while Malaysia maintains it is an attempt to protect European interests.



Joining forces ▪ Alibaba has acquired collaboration platform Teambition, in a move that signals its interest in enterprise services – an industry estimated to be worth USD 1 billion in China alone. The e-commerce giant has also invested USD 171 million in Tencent-backed news app Qutoutiao.




Europe


Metro stake ▪ Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky is set to solidify his interests in wholesale chain Metro. This follows German family-owned investment firm Haniel’s move to extend stock options it had previously granted Kretinsky over its remaining 15.2% stake.



Sustainability matters ▪ Environmental group Greenpeace has named and shamed Sainsbury’s after it was revealed the UK grocery chain had made the least progress on plastic reduction of all the major supermarkets. Meanwhile, French-headquartered Consumer Goods Forum has named representatives from Metro, Mars and Mondelēz to lead its sustainability committee.



Reporting results ▪ Swedish retail major H&M has enjoyed a positive first quarter with sales increasing by 10%. Despite this, predictions for the second quarter are dim with a sales decrease expected due to increased full-price sales and lower markdowns.




Weird and Wonderful


Image gallery ▪ An assortment of retail, art and community has combined into Manhattan’s newest offering Showfields, which claims to be ‘the most interesting store in the world’. The four-storey space offers experiential pop-ups and rotating brands to allow digital-heavy labels to mix with consumers. Check out the pictures here.



Fun campaign ▪ Australian swimwear brand Budgy Smuggler has tapped into true Aussie humour to make a comment on Brexit in its latest ‘cheeky’ ad campaign. The promo featured speedo-clad men in the streets of London pushing the slogan, “Brexit the EU. Brenter the AU!” and “Join the AU. It’s like Europe, just not as emotional.” Check out the amusing video and images here.