Innovative ideas have caught our eye today - US retailer Petco cares for the wellness of pets with a special kitchen concept, online grocer Ocado is boosting its food offering with a robot chef start-up, while Canada's Sobeys is set to establish a competitive delivery structure in its home country. Read on and have a fantastic start to the new week.




Monday, 13 May 2019





Hello ,

Innovative ideas have caught our eye today - US retailer Petco cares for the wellness of pets with a special kitchen concept, online grocer Ocado is boosting its food offering with a robot chef start-up, while Canada's Sobeys is set to establish a competitive delivery structure in its home country. Read on and have a fantastic start to the new week.




The Americas


Operational tweaks ▪ Walmart plans to turn underperforming hypermarket stores into brick-and-mortar wholesale stores in Brazil. The mega-retailer will also close its e-commerce division in the country to focus on physical stores and is working on a new omnichannel strategy.



Ambitious goal ▪ Sobeys is set to build the 'most advanced e-commerce infrastructure in Canada. Starting in Toronto, the food retailer will offer online home delivery through its new service Violà, powered by Britain's Ocado Group. The two partners will also build a second warehouse in Montreal.



Popping up ▪ Retailer Target has opened a two-day pop-shop over the weekend in downtown Manhattan to give shoppers an early chance to buy from its upcoming design partnership with Vineyard Vines. More than 300 items, including apparel, home and outdoor goods, were on offer.




Europe


Online alliance ▪ German discounter Lidl has partnered with Spanish e-commerce (in Spanish) platform Lola Market to launch a food delivery service for online orders. Currently, the service is being tested in stores in the centre of Madrid, but there are plans to expand the offer to other cities in the country.



Scandinavian acquisitions ▪ Finnish retailer Kesko has agreed to buy the foodservice wholesaler Heinon Tukku. The latter has 450 employees and is one of the leading foodservice market operators in Helsinki. Coop Sweden has entered an agreement with the Danish Salling Group to take over their Swedish Netto stores.



Encouraging results ▪ Polish retailer and wholesaler Eurocash enjoyed a rise of 10% to EUR 1.28 billion in revenues in the first quarter and recorded increases in almost every format. The group is planning a number of optimisation activities throughout the year.



From the fashion sector ▪ In one of the largest settlement ever agreed by a company in Italy, Gucci-owner Kering has agreed to pay a total of EUR 1.25 billion to the Italian tax authorities to settle a dispute. Meanwhile, pop star Rihanna is launching a fashion label with luxury group LVMH.




Asia


Footprint expansion ▪ British stationery retailer WH Smith has extended its franchise partnership with Hong Kong-based King Power Group to Singapore, where WH Smith wants to grow its presence and explore opportunities in rail and metro stations, ferry terminals and commercial centres.



Chinese rivalry ▪ Four-year-old e-commerce platform Pinduoduo has emerged (paywall) as one of the main competitors to Alibaba in China's trillion-dollar online market. The rapid rise of the former is already altering the competitive landscape and is challenging its larger rival in the all-important logistics arena.




Unusual & remarkable


Ready-meal robotics ▪ British online pure play Ocado has invested in London-based robot start-up Karakuri, which is described as "a potential game-changer in food to go". Karakuri's robots can enable food makers to customise and personalise meals for customers with specific dietary plans.



Pet food kitchen ▪ Petco is tapping into a fast-growing wellness market for pets. In collaboration with a Californian pet food maker, the retailer has opened an upscale “pet food kitchen” at its flagship store in New York, where shoppers can purchase fresh, human-grade meals for their pets.