Online retail is not without its challenges, and today’s edition examines some of these. The accuracy of product reviews left on major e-commerce sites has been called into question by a leading UK consumer watch group. Amazon’s ‘bundled’ product rating system is faulty, and President Trump has signed legislation holding third-party retailers accountable for the sale of counterfeit goods online. Enjoy the read!




Monday, 08 April 2019





Hello ,

Online retail is not without its challenges, and today’s edition examines some of these. The accuracy of product reviews left on major e-commerce sites has been called into question by a leading UK consumer watch group. Amazon’s ‘bundled’ product rating system is faulty, and President Trump has signed legislation holding third-party retailers accountable for the sale of counterfeit goods online. Enjoy the read!

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Europe


Seeking security ▪ Employees of German wholesaler Metro have voiced concerns over the proposed sale of the Real hypermarkets chain. They seek clarification of sale plans and an assurance from CEO Olaf Koch that Real will be sold as a whole, as previously promised.



Leadership coup ▪ Designer UK fashion brand Superdry’s management is in a state of chaos following the collective resignation of its board of directors after co-founder Julian Dunkerton won a shareholder vote returning him to the board. Former CEO Euan Sutherland is receiving a GBP 728,000 payoff despite his immediate resignation.



Misleading consumers ▪ Consumer lobby group Which? has issued a warning for consumers over the accuracy of online reviews for big retailers, following the discovery of products which failed independent testing, receiving glowing reviews. Amazon is also copping flak after a different study showed its ‘bundled’ ratings system is flawed.



Doing good ▪ Many retailers are upping their social responsibility. Carrefour Romania is launching a sustainable agriculture programme, the largest in the country, while H&M is creating greater transparency in its clothing supply chain. British Grocer Co-op has pulled the sale of kitchen knives in response to a spate of fatal stabbings.



Star endorsement ▪ German sports giant Adidas is teaming up with American pop sensation Beyoncé, with the latter taking a creative role and introducing her ‘Ivy Park’ range. South Africa’s Woolworths will also benefit from Beyoncé’s star power, with the launch of a cosmetic range designed by her make-up artist Sir John.




United States


Space and surveillance ▪ Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced details of Project Kuiper, a space-based initiative that will launch thousands of satellites and connect billions of people to high-speed internet. Meanwhile, the US government is coming down on Amazon over its facial recognition tech, and President Donald Trump is tackling counterfeit sales in online, third-party marketplaces.



Legal matters ▪ Nike has had allegations made against it by celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti of bribing high school athletes to attend certain ‘Nike’ colleges. The sportswear giant is choosing to ‘not respond’ to the claims, which were released in a 41-page document uploaded to Twitter.




Asia


Serving fans ▪ In a further effort to push into China, the US National Basketball Association is teaming up with leading Chinese sporting retailer Topsports to open the largest NBA store in China, and the league’s largest outside North America.



Value for money ▪ Alibaba-owned Taobao is extending its shopping app to promote premium products at cheaper prices. The move comes as the world’s biggest e-commerce website takes on renowned bargain social commerce treasure trove Pinduoduo.




Consumer behaviour


Survey says ▪ A list ranking America’s ‘most loved’ brands has been released, with six retailers making the top 25. There’s even a break-down of brand preference by generation. Check it out here.



The convenient truth ▪ Convenience stores in the United States experienced their 16th consecutive year of record high sales, as shoppers, and millennials particularly, opt to keep less pantry items, instead favouring pre-prepared foods. Meanwhile, bacon-based menu items are on the rise, with 68% of fast food menus featuring the salt-cured pork.