Big name brands are shaking up the waters in today's edition: Lidl's US purchases may mean market disruption, and Amazon's streaming developments cause trouble for Spotify. Sainsbury's rolls out electric vans, and Unilever buys big in toothpaste. Meanwhile, Starbucks gets stuck into solar farming in Texas.




Tuesday, 16 April 2019





Hello ,

Big name brands are shaking up the waters in today's edition: Lidl's US purchases may mean market disruption, and Amazon's streaming developments cause trouble for Spotify. Sainsbury's rolls out electric vans, and Unilever buys big in toothpaste. Meanwhile, Starbucks gets stuck into solar farming in Texas.




United States and Canada


Supermarket action ▪ German discounter Lidl is set to disturb the supermarket status quo in New York and New Jersey, with its purchase of 27 Best Market outlets. The chain of Metro grocery stores in Quebec will allow customers to bring their own reusable bags for groceries.



Amazon update ▪ Shares in music streaming giant Spotify have fallen after reports that the e-commerce leader will be launching its own streaming service. In Germany, workers at four Amazon warehouses have gone on strike in search of better pay and conditions, and in opposition to "a company that puts pressure on its employees with stressful work".



Blocking liquidation ▪ Eddie Lampert, former CEO of embattled department chain Sears has encountered roadblocks in his attempt to buy up Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. After purchase negotiations were entered it was disclosed that Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores will potentially be entering liquidation.




Europe


Evie delivers ▪ UK grocer Sainsbury's is ramping up its new online delivery service with electric vans, naming the first automobile installation 'Evie'. The vans are zero emission, and can cover around 80 miles per battery charge. They will deliver up to 30 orders in a day.



Freedom of information ▪ Swiss confectionery giant Nestlé and French multinational Carrefour have joined hands to make information available to consumers through crypto company Blockchain. Customers will be able to check unfalsifiable supply chain and production information through their phones.



Dental purchases ▪ British-Dutch retailer Unilever is set to acquire oral hygiene brands Fluocaril and Parogencyl from Procter & Gamble. The brands are already particularly popular in France and have a good reputation among dental care providers.



Ethical action ▪ Two retailers have introduced new sustainable food items this week. Italy's Barilla is rolling out a line of sustainable wheat biscuits, and the Netherlands' Jumbo has launched a 1-star Beter Leven certified dairy range. Swiss wholesaler Coop has also made gains, and is now recognised by the World Wildlife Fund.




Asia


Hard times ▪ The logistics arm of online retailer and Alibaba competitor JD.com saw a USD 342 million loss last year. The results mark the 12th consecutive year of losses for the subsidiary, and will cause the branch to be closed if a change isn't seen in two years.



Changing hands ▪ UK fashion label LK Bennett has been bought up by Rebecca Feng, its Chinese partner. The UK brand entered administration last month, and Rebecca Feng made the purchase amid competition that included founder Linda Bennett.




Better beverages


Solar coffee ▪ Coffee mega-franchise Starbucks is joining hands with solar company Cypress Creek Renewables and U.S. Bank, to develop a swathe of solar farms across Texas. Two farms currently developed are providing enough energy for the equivalent of 360 Starbucks stores in the state.



Upscale, at home ▪ British high-end retailer Waitrose is offering something a little different to spice up the customer experience. In home gin tasting, dubbed Gin O' Clock, features five different gins over a two-hour tasting session and is valued at GBP 400 for a six to ten person session.