Companies are continuing their efforts to save the planet, with Ikea serving soiless salads, and Tesco trialling recyling technology. Amazon sees a conclusion to Jeff Bezos' divorce, and Target raises minimum wage. Meanwhile, German Retail Blog takes a look at Schwarz Group success – and ruthlessness. Read on, and have a great day.




Friday, 05 April 2019





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Companies are continuing their efforts to save the planet, with Ikea serving soiless salads, and Tesco trialling recyling technology. Amazon sees a conclusion to Jeff Bezos' divorce, and Target raises minimum wage. Meanwhile, German Retail Blog takes a look at Schwarz Group success – and ruthlessness. Read on, and have a great day.

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Europe


Green initiative ▪ Swedish furniture massive Ikea is set to serve its own container-grown salad in store. The leafy greens will be developed in on-site LED lit containers using water and nutrients, without soil. The venture is part of a circular farming initiative.



Environmental efforts ▪ UK grocer Tesco has revealed it will be testing out new technology to produce recyclable plastic for all its plastic packaging. Belgian retailer Colruyt is also doing its bit, with reusable bags for fruit and vegetables to be launched this June.


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Reporting results ▪ Upmarket UK grocer Waitrose has partnered with Kuwait franchise City Centre, with Waitrose products to be available in six City Centre locations. Meanwhile, a partner of Dutch retailer Spar's UK leg will be trialling new scan and pay software Ubamarket in certain stores.




United States


Amazon update ▪ Following his divorce, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will retain full voting rights for his USD 143 billion stake in the e-commerce company. Bezos and partner MacKenzie, who will own 25% of the shares, revealed the settlement on Thursday. The retailer is also preparing an Alexa-backed challenge to the Apple AirPod.



Franchise developments ▪ Discount giant Target is raising its minimum hourly wage to USD 13, beating competitor Walmart's USD 11, and getting an advantage in the increasingly tight labour market. Walmart, on the other hand, is overhauling its online babycare sector in a bid to make up for the loss of Babies “R” Us.



New openings ▪ Organic grocer Sprouts Farmers Market is keeping up its intense development pace, with 13 new stores to be opened in the second half of 2019. Struggling department chain Sears will be opening three new stores in its smaller Sears Home & Life format.




Asia


Price debate ▪ Austalian grocery leaders Woolworths and Coles have gaps on their shelves after suppliers have pulled products in a dispute over price hikes. The supermarkets have refused to approve increased prices of popular products such as oats and pet food.



Saving moves ▪ Japanese financial holdings company Nomura Holdings is culling more than 30 of its 156 retail branches in the country, cutting USD 1 billion in costs in an attempt to salvage its struggling business. E-commerce retailer Rakuten is working on a labour of love with CEO's search for a light-based cancer cure (video).



Making the cut ▪ Top e-commerce players Alibaba and JD.com have been approved for China's list of blockchain service providers. Alibaba has also recently signed with Japan's top cosmetics retailer Shiseido in a deal that will market products predominantly to the Chinese market.




Weekend Inspirations


Schwarz practices ▪ After the recent unexpected departures of the top dogs at major grocers Kaufland and Lidl, German Retail Blog looks at how the Schwarz group companies continue to thrive while culling assets. Click here for a discussion of the moves at play.



Shaping up ▪ Despite the retail malaise Walmart CEO Doug McMillon believes the average US consumer 'is in pretty good shape'. McMillon observes that consumers have been keeping up expenditure, even though the US-China trade dispute has caused concerns among retailer. Click here for an in-depth talk.