Retail is making a global impact in today's issue, with Amazon aiding astronomy developments in Chile, and the families behind two retail empires contributing to the repair of Notre Dame Cathedral. Walmart makes its first subscription box partnership, and Asda proposes controversial contract changes. Meanwhile, The North Face campaigns for Earth Day.




Wednesday, 17 April 2019





Hello ,

Retail is making a global impact in today's issue, with Amazon aiding astronomy developments in Chile, and the families behind two retail empires contributing to the repair of Notre Dame Cathedral. Walmart makes its first subscription box partnership, and Asda proposes controversial contract changes. Meanwhile, The North Face campaigns for Earth Day.




United States


Star gazing ▪ Amazon is lending an arm to Chilean astronomers, helping to process massive amounts of data with its cloud computing services. Currently 83% of the data collected by said astronomers cannot be kept due to lack of resources. Meanwhile, Italy's antitrust authority is investigating the online giant for suspected power abuses.



Walmart moves ▪ The world's biggest retailer is joining hands with children's fashion start-up Kidbox. The service is subscription based, where customers will receive customised clothing boxes seasonally. Walmart has also unveiled massive remodelling plans that will cover 500 existing stores, with only 20 new outlets planned.



Fitting in ▪ Philadelphia is setting its own theme, showcasing local retailers in its upcoming Fashion District. The 838,000sqft shopping complex is scheduled to open later this year, and will feature a 'Uniquely Philly' section with a view to increase oppurtunities for Philadelphia business.



Progress reveal ▪ Discounter Target has given an update on its extensive remodelling plans, with a video tour of one of its revamped locations. 300 of the individually tailored outlets were done up in 2018, and another 300 are scheduled for this year. You can check out the video here.




Europe


Lidl developments ▪ It has been revealed that the German discount titan will be the owner of a massive new bottling plant in the UK. The Derbyshire location will supply Lidl with soft drinks and mineral water. The grocer's Italy leg is also pulling out the stops, with its first store to host an 'urban garden'.



Grocery update ▪ UK supermarket major Asda is under fire for proposed changes to staff contracts that could see 3,000 employees worse off financially. The changes would see the end to paid breaks, more flexibility required from staff, and an increase in hourly rates. Germany's largest supermarket chain, Edeka, is planning to open greenhouses in select stores.



Overseas branches ▪ The Swedish leg of Swiss retailer Coop is trialling a delivery service based in Gothenburg Landvetter Airport for people on the move. The Spanish branch of Dutch multinational, Spar, is combating poor diet with the launch of a nutrition app.




Asia


Driving progress ▪ E-commerce massive Alibaba is getting into the driver's seat - your driver's seat, in fact. A series of apps are under development that will connect drivers to restaurants and allow them to order and make reservations from behind the wheel via voice technology.



Taking a look ▪ In a feat of environmentalism and architecture this Mumbai cafe has been made entirely out of cardboard (picture gallery). Locally designed by Nudes studio, everything in the building was made from recycled, biodegradable materials. Spanish fashion label Oysho has made its Singapore debut, with a 220sqm store located at Jewel Changi (picture gallery).




Global contributions


Former glory ▪ The French owners of upscale retail empires Kering and LVMH are pledging a combined EUR 300 million to aid the restoration of fire-damaged landmark Notre Dame Cathedral. The cathedral is a 'symbol of France, of its heritage and of French unity' said LVMH in a statement, and both companies and the families behind them are committed to its complete restoration.



On this day ▪ Outdoors brand The North Face is making a different kind of pledge with the launch of a new spring campaign that is pushing for April 22, Earth Day, to become an officially recognised holiday. On April 22 the franchise will close all of its 113 stores, including its headquarters, across the US and Canada.