Green initiatives have grabbed our attention today. Schwarz Group paves the way with a commitment to stop plastic waste from ending up in the ocean, Lidl makes a major solar panel investment and TopShop will delight animal-lovers with its range of vegan shoes. Conversely, Nestlé is reprimanded for not doing enough to help the war against plastic. Enjoy the read and have a great week!




Monday, 15 April 2019





Hello ,

Green initiatives have grabbed our attention today. Schwarz Group paves the way with a commitment to stop plastic waste from ending up in the ocean, Lidl makes a major solar panel investment and TopShop will delight animal-lovers with its range of vegan shoes. Conversely, Nestlé is reprimanded for not doing enough to help the war against plastic. Enjoy the read and have a great week!




US & Canada


ID check ▪ Walmart has been slammed by the US Food and Drug Administration for selling tobacco and related products to under-age consumers. Kroger and 7Eleven were also called out, and all are required to submit a compliance plan of action within 30 days.



Positive partnerships ▪ Amazon has teamed up with First to launch robotic programmes and mentorships in schools across 21 states, with the aim of expanding computer science education. Meanwhile, Canadian food retailer Metro has joined with Uber Eats for home delivery of prepared meals.



Major loss ▪ Campbell Soup is selling its Bolthouse Farms banner for USD 510 million, almost USD 1 billion less than it paid for the fresh food unit in 2012. Private equity firm Butterfly Equity is taking on the beset business, with the deal expected to close in July.




Europe


Sun power ▪ Lidl is planning a major solar panel installation at a Belgium distribution centre to the tune of EUR 1.6 million. The investment will see the German discounter generate enough energy to cover 33% of all its requirements for necessities such as industrial cooling, air conditioning and lighting.



Amazon of Africa ▪ Africa’s largest e-commerce platform Jumia has gone public, and its stock skyrocketed more than 75% on its first day of trading. The shares were initially priced at USD 14.50 and soared to a whopping USD 25.46 by the end of trading.



Progress in Portugal ▪ Healthy living retailer Go Natural is planning rapid expansion in Lisbon and Porto, with a proposal to double the number of existing stores this year. Meanwhile, French supermarket Intermarché is changing up its pricing model in Portugal to attract consumers.



Sustainable retailing ▪ Lidl and Kaufland parent company Schwarz Group has become the first grocery retailer to back the STOP Ocean Plastic project, which aims to prevent plastic waste entering marine environments. Meanwhile, Greenpeace has called for Nestlé to step up and act over single-use plastics, and fashion brand Top Shop has launched a range of vegan shoes.




Asia & Australasia


Excessive overtime ▪ Jack Ma has come out in defence of the harsh overtime working culture that exists in many Chinese tech firms. The Alibaba founder calls it a ‘huge blessing’ for youngsters emerging in the field and cites the gruelling schedule as a key to achievement and success.



Online enterprise ▪ Australian outdoor wear brand Mountain Designs have relaunched themselves online, following a period of regeneration after being acquired by Spotlight Group. Meanwhile, Oxfam’s online presence has not been enough to save the charity from shutting its retail operations.




Point-of-sale ponderings


Television team-up ▪ The self-checkout tills at Marks and Spencer gave customers more than they bargained for last week, when the voice-automated instructions came from iconic television duo Ant and Dec. The British department store also teamed up with Britain’s Got Talent judges to provide voice-overs.



Sellers rejoice ▪ Photo-sharing phenomenon Instagram has launched the highly anticipated in-app shopping capability. Customers, in the US initially, can make purchases within the app instead of being redirected to another website.