Data privacy gets a sharp reminder in today's edition, with Facebook removing millions of users' data from Amazon servers. Meanwhile, Ikea doubles down on its rental furniture scheme, Lidl and Kaufland undergo leadership changes, and Japan's FamilyMart convenience chain rolls out facial recognition. Read, share, and have a great day.




Thursday, 04 April 2019





Hello ,

Data privacy gets a sharp reminder in today's edition, with Facebook removing millions of users' data from Amazon servers. Meanwhile, Ikea doubles down on its rental furniture scheme, Lidl and Kaufland undergo leadership changes, and Japan's FamilyMart convenience chain rolls out facial recognition. Read, share, and have a great day.

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Europe


Abrupt changes ▪ Two major German retailers have seen unexpected management changes. Discount giant Lidl's Chief Executive Jesper Højer has stepped down suddenly after holding the position for two years. Grocery chain Kaufland has also seen the abrupt departure of boss Patrick Kaudewitz after 26 years.



Cost effective ▪ Furniture giant Ikea is upping the ante on its rental furniture endeavour, and wants to roll the project out to all its main markets. The retailer is also looking for more locations in major cities, maximizing on getting stores closer to customers.


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Expansion and takeovers ▪ Russian poultry manufacturer Cherkizovo Group is eyeing up local rival Prioskolie. The deal would propel Cherkizovo Group to be the country's poultry leader. In other news Polish retailer Dino Polska has opened 33 new stores in 2019's first quarter, hitting a new benchmark of 1,009 stores now open.



Cut backs ▪ Brewery titan Carlsberg is continuing to cut back on non-core assets, selling its premises in Trondheim, Norway. Debt-laden French retailer Casino has seen falling shares, with a drop on Wednesday after credit rating agency Moody's lowered ratings for the company.




Asia and Australasia


High stakes ▪ Yahoo-formed investment company Altaba is shutting up shop and will be selling Yahoo's highly valuable stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, with expected shareholder revenue of USD 40 billion. In Asia's largest deal this year, tech giant Tencent has raised a bond sale of USD 6 billion.



Down under ▪ The downtrodden Australian retail economy has seen a surge recently, with February figures climbing 0.8%, giving retailers their best month since 2017. In New Zealand, the long awaited opening of beauty giant Sephora's first shop in the country finally looks ready to go ahead.



Convenient developments ▪ Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart is trialling facial recognition software at checkouts in response to the nation's labour shortage. Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup has acquired the Shop&Go convenience chain. According to sources the struggling franchise made the offer to sell itself.




United States


Amazon update ▪ Social media titan Facebook is removing user data that has been stored on e-commerce leader Amazon's cloud servers after databases openly housed 540 million users' information. Meanwhile, US Amazon warehouse employees across the country struggle to receive fair treatment after workplace injuries.



Openings and closures ▪ Supermarket chain Wegman's is opening its first store in North Carolina. The 104,000 square foot outlet will open in September, and employ almost 500 people. Jewellery conglomerate Signet has reported higher than expected Q4 earnings, and will be closing around 150 stores to further streamline the franchise.




What to watch


Brainy robots ▪ Something from a horror movie? Well, no, but software startup Brain Corp has created a product just as catchy as its name with its new delivery robot, AutoDelivery. The robot can be employed in warehouse, store, and factory settings and sports competitive features.



Responsible future ▪ Beverage retailer Pernod Ricard is looking to push up its ethical profile in the coming years. The store has an eight pledge social responsibility plan spearheaded by activist investor Elliott. The goals include land conservation, gender equality, and combating alcohol abuse.