Amidst the failed mergers, immoral opiate sales and fierce rivalries, there are some inspiring and amusing promo stories that have caught our eye. US retailer Target is cleverly building hype around the launch of a limited-edition collection, the social media ‘influencer’ phenomenon is unpacked by analysts, and a naughty brand of sausages has UK customers tweeting up a storm. Enjoy the read and have a great week.




Monday, 29 April 2019





Hello ,

Amidst the failed mergers, immoral opiate sales and fierce rivalries, there are some inspiring and amusing promo stories that have caught our eye. US retailer Target is cleverly building hype around the launch of a limited-edition collection, the social media ‘influencer’ phenomenon is unpacked by analysts, and a naughty brand of sausages has UK customers tweeting up a storm. Enjoy the read and have a great week.

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Europe


Fall out ▪ With Sainsbury’s plans to merge with Asda and disrupt the UK grocery scene officially axed, the grocery chain drastically needs to come up with a revival plan ahead of an investor meeting this week. Walmart-owned Asda is also reportedly ‘disappointed’ by the failed union and rumours are abound that Amazon may be poised to swoop into the UK grocery market.



Tough decisions ▪ Embattled department store Debenhams is planning to close 50 of its loss-making stores, with the locations of the first 22 stores to be shut announced here. Meanwhile, fashion retailer Forever 21 is downsizing considerably as it looks to reduce its UK store portfolio and close its online presence in China.



Shocking tactics ▪ The ‘aggressive’ marketing strategy by some online UK pharmacies for highly addictive opiate drugs has been called into question. An investigation has revealed at least two major pharmaceutical e-tailers are emailing consumers urging them to order by falsely claiming supplies are running low or telling customers their limit restrictions have been lifted.




United States


Follow up ▪ Shares of US retail majors Walmart and Target took a dive following last week’s release of Amazon’s one-day delivery plans. Meanwhile, Walmart’s vastly different take on artificial intelligence operated stores compared to Amazon, has analysts comparing the models and predicting outcomes for the differing visions.



Roaring rivalry ▪ Coffee giant Starbucks has come out swinging against its Chinese rival Luckin Coffee, claiming its discount-heavy strategy to win customers isn’t sustainable in the long term. Meanwhile, Luckin is pushing forward with rapid store expansion, with plans to open a store in China every 3.5 hours.



Effective partnership ▪ Retail giant Target is working to build excitement and promote its limited-edition partnership with upmarket clothing brand Vineyard Vines. A digital book has been released, previewing the collection three weeks before the goods become available. Check out the images here.




Asia


Aims and admonishing ▪ Alibaba’s mall chief Jiang Fan has set the ambitious goal of doubling sales on its Tmall platform in the next three years. Meanwhile, the United States is criticising the online giant and rival Pinduoduo over the sale of counterfeit goods, with both Chinese companies being added to a trade blacklist.



Holistic shopping ▪ Singapore-based shoe retailer Pazzion has revealed a chic new café concept at Jewel Changi Airport, as part of a lifestyle addition to its traditional retail footwear business. Check out the pictures here.




Marketing magic


What’s trending ▪ Social media influencers in all their filtered and well-groomed glory are commonplace marketing tools in 2019. But it wasn’t always so. Check out this thought-provoking read that lays out the political culture that led to the rise of the influencer, and how the age of ‘the slacker’ might be just around the corner.



Suggestive sausages ▪ If you ever wondered how important the name of a product is to its popularity, look no further than ‘Little Willies’ vegetarian, soy-based sausages. British shoppers have found the cheeky branding most amusing, and taken to Twitter to share their delight - essentially doing the lion’s share of the marketing and promo!